Chasing Perfection

I am a screw up. I used to be fantastic at hiding it. I was the person everyone admired for my success in school and the social realm. Truth is, I’ve been faking it from the beginning. I’ve been striving for perfection my entire life. Fierce independence and a desire to surpass everyone I competed with defined my personality. I’ve always had to be strong. The friend with all the answers and even some advice. The girl who continuously smiles and can’t possibly have any fears or problems in the world. As much as I wanted others to believe it, I’m flawed.

I’m a head case, constantly analyzing everything I say, do, think, and feel. I honestly do not care about what others think about me (unless I care for them immensely). I do all of this micro-managing and self-assessing because I need to be perfect for myself. I hate how much I mess up. I despise all of the ignorant things I’ve said in my life. I’ve hurt too many people, helped too few. I want to make a difference and a positive impact in the lives of others, but when I try I never feel like my efforts matter.

I’ve been a push-over all my life. Whether it was doing 99% of a group project because I couldn’t give up any control and risk a bad grade and due to the urging of my peers, or giving my lunch to my best friend every day because he just asked for it. I’ve always changed myself to what will please everyone. When I disappoint I want to give up. But, then I’d be a quitter. Nothing is ever good enough for myself. Perfect scores on a test aren’t sufficient. I could always have done better. I could be happier. I could be smarter. I could be more attractive. I could be more compassionate. I could be perfect. But, I’m not.

And then there’s you. You think you’re flawed as well. I see none of it. You’re everything I pictured when I was six years old. Sitting in my room creating my life with only fantastical notions of what love and happiness mean. You care so much. All I do is hurt you. I pull away because I don’t want there to be a chance at breaking your heart, or for you destroying mine. I constantly embarrass myself around you. I’m a nervous wreck all the time. All the while you seem laid-back, calm, understanding. I just can’t handle it. Standing in front of me is the dream I’ve been sculpting since early childhood. A vision of the perfection I’ve been hopelessly trying to achieve. It seems so easy for you. I know it isn’t, but I wish I knew how I could even have a fraction of your wonderful qualities. And I ask myself all the time: What the hell do you see in me?

I don’t offer you enough. And, when I try I inevitably screw it up. No matter what you say I will never feel like I am acceptable for you. I’m self-conscious to the point where I can’t eat a meal knowing that you’re in the same building, seated fifty feet away from me. I can’t relax enough to cuddle with you unless the light are off. It physically hurts me when you touch me. Sometimes I can’t make eye contact with you because I fear you’ll see something in me that scares you off. I’m terrified you’ll change your mind. I don’t want you to know what I’m thinking. I want you to think I’m okay. That’s all I ask for. I know I’ll never reach faultlessness, but I just want to pass. I want you to think I’m decent. 

You’ve helped me learn to love and trust so much more than before. But, I periodically resort to my old ways. When I look at the person I am I don’t understand how you could love me.

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