I have always believed that there was only one right way to do things.
Just one path, one attitude, one way of going about things. If I didn’t do things that way, I was wrong. I wanted to be like everybody else because that’s what I thought was right. It was a constant struggle with myself, wanting to be someone else and putting myself down for that. I never was one of those girls with the most trendy clothes, straightest hair, or part of the right crowd. I wanted to be in it, but I watched from the sidelines. Yup, this is the cliche version of your insecure middle school girl. I think we all may have felt that way every once in a while.
Somewhere along the way, that changes. For me, it changed when I began attending high school. It was a bigger, more diverse environment that allowed me to find my place. I fit in right where I wanted to- with a group of imperfect, secure, sincere people. Some of them had lockers near mine, some were in my homeroom, some were from middle school, or even kindergarten. But the most impactful were the ones I met that were interested in the same things I was interested in. I was in a creative writing class that made everything clear to me: I wanted to write. I had known that before, but I was afraid to admit it to myself because I didn’t think I was good enough. But when I was put in that environment, I realized that I could be.
I wanted to make my passion a reality. That was the first time I saw that maybe I could. The people around me inspired me to enjoy my writing even more. They made me feel normal. A little more secure in what I was doing. Meeting others that had similar interests made me much less interested in being like everybody else, and much more interested in determining my own identity, despite what other people did.
I wasn’t often criticized for what I decided to do with myself. I’m sure people had opinions. They always do. Talking behind other people’s backs is almost expected at this point. I believe that almost everyone does it. No matter what the circumstances. Unfortunately, it is difficult to not form a judgement of someone based on what we see on the outside.
Just because we have our own view of someone, doesn’t mean we should judge them. We all have our own definition of perfection. Of normal. Of what we want to do with our lives.
Our idea of perfection will change every day. Each experience we have teaches us something. It changes our view of what we want to be. And with those changes, the life we desire will be very different, and our picture of perfection changes.
The desire for perfection will likely always be there. We live in moments wishing we could in others. This can throw us off our path.
At the end of the day, we can make an effort to treat others the right way and respect ourselves for every version of what we are. The reality is that we will never be perfect.
Don’t expect perfection. It’s not healthy. If you are doing your absolute best, let that be your happiness. It’s easy to get caught up in the mess that is this life. Even on the hardest days, if you are fighting to be the person that you want to be, acknowledge that. Give yourself a break for not having it all together, and recognize that no one truly does. That is happiness. Being secure in who you are, being content with what you have, and having optimism that your future will be great.