The Perfect Myth

Pic by Caro Willis

What do you consider perfection? The sunset on your honeymoon, van Gogh's brushstrokes on canvass, the way your favourite dress still fits after so many years, your team winning the cup, that night out with your friends...I think there are as many definitions of perfection as there are people on the planet. And I find it hard to get my head around that issue: if we're all individuals with different tastes and preferences, why is there even something like perfection to aspire to? Who decides what's perfect? What happens if I disagree? I say, it all depends on the definition; what's perfect for one may be unacceptable for another.

Take for example the perfect relationship. Countless books have been written on the subject, and we all know the songs and the movies. Have you ever been in an actual relationship that was pure smooth sailing? Or put in another way, how many perfectly (ouch, pun) decent potential partners have you rejected because they weren't perfect in every way? I'm not saying "aim low", or "it's time to settle". I'm saying it depends on your point of view. You are the person living your life, nobody else can answer or decide for you. So if you think that you might just fancy the guy with the long hair who your sister thinks looks like a hippie - on you go! What do you have to lose?

I'd like you to take a minute and think about whose ideas of perfect you live by. How many and which of your opinions are really yours, and which have you taken on from somebody else's point of view? We all had our parents' values instilled in us as kids. We all live in a society that is influenced by the media. We're constantly subjected to images and outside information of what people should look like, what they should wear, how they should behave... I remember myself as a 7-year-old and how I didn't get to hang out with the cool kids in school because I used the wrong kind of pen and didn't have the socks with the button in them. Nowadays I can smile about it and see it as a valuable lesson and great experience, but at the time it was horrific, because what I learned was that I have to conform in order to fit in.

We've all come a long way since our highschool years, and I hope we're all able to embrace those embarrassing and awkward moments for what they are - our experiences. (I actually have the opportunity to check on that courtesy of my highschool reunion that's happening in three weeks' time. I'll let you know how that goes.) If you're an adult, know that you are in charge of your life and have the power to decide what standards you want to live by. You make the rules! Your thoughts and your values make you who you are. Whatever works for you.

By the same token, I dare you to spend a whole week without judging anyone. ;-)