Finding Peace in Imperfection
I always thought I would find peace in perfection. That in getting good grades, being likeable and pretending I knew what I wanted to do with my life, I would find peace. The kind of inner peace where you feel self-assured and confident in your decisions. But I haven’t.
I used to tell myself that I would be happy and content with my grades if I knew I’d worked hard to get them. But deep down I wasn’t. I believed I needed to get top grades to prove my worth to my teachers, friends and myself. And what does work hard even mean? I didn’t feel satisfied unless I had studied every free moment. I mean how could I justify to myself that I worked as hard as could if I hadn’t studied every moment? And even then, it wasn’t enough. I know now I was setting myself up for failure. Even when I should have felt proud of myself I didn’t, instead I felt disappointed in myself thinking about all the things I should have done to reach this unrealistic goal of perfection that I placed on myself.
I thought having lots of friends would also prove my worth and prove to myself that I was likeable. I thought if lots of people liked me then there must be something good in me that I could eventually learn to love. But how many friends is enough? 5, 20 or hundreds? Does this amount actually prove my worth? A part of me would say no, that it isn’t about the number but more about the quality of connections you make. But another part would say yes. It’s difficult to argue the negative voices when society judges you based on numbers, the number of likes you get or the number of followers and friends you have.
I thought that if I had clear plans of what I wanted to do in life and achieved this that I would feel like a success and would be accepted. But growing up people don’t tell you that it’s okay to change your plans. Instead you’re expected to make decisions at a young age that sets your life out. There is no room for change, even if you’re unsure on what you want to do. For a long time, I worked towards something I didn’t want to do because I thought that I was doing what people expected of me and I guess I followed because a part of me naively believed that it would work out in the end. We are taught that if we want to get anywhere in life you need to follow a specific path. And when I couldn’t do it anymore I felt like a failure for not achieving what I planned and what I thought was expected of me.
Once again, I couldn’t reach perfection.
All my life I’ve been searching for some kind of perfect but does perfect actually exist? I’ve always believed that perfection would calm the negative voices which told me I was never good enough. I hoped it would give me inner peace and allow me to finally be happy with myself. But instead this pursuit reinforced all those negative thoughts because every time I failed I proved them right.
I’ve spent so long chasing something that I could never have because perfect doesn’t exist. Life isn’t perfect. There isn’t a perfect way of living life, instead lessons are learnt through imperfections which allow us to grow and blossom. And I think I’m finally starting to feel at peace with that.
Until next time