In a world full of imperfect people, I suppose it isn't strange that everyone strives to have that which no one can have: perfection.
It's easy enough to be perfect in one aspect of your life. Perfect hair. Perfect body. Perfect manners. But for some masochistic reason, we all feel this instinctual need to strive for total and utter perfection.
And the funny thing is, we trick other people into thinking they don't need to do that.
"It's OK, nobody's perfect."
"You don't have to be good at everything."
"You're not the only one."
And yet, while we say that, we're plotting the next way to better ourselves.
Here's what I mean...
We have to eat a certain number of calories every day in order to be healthy. But it doesn't just stop there. Within those calories, they must be divided up between protein, carbs, sugars, vitamins, etc in a way that is most beneficial to our bodies.
We have to drink a certain amount of water each day in order to be perfectly hydrated.
We have to maintain a certain hygiene routine that keeps our skin. This includes washing your face once (or twice) a day. Lotioning. Powdering. Face masks. Whatever your skin needs to be hydrated, clean and smooth.
For our hair to be healthy, we have to eat certain foods, drink enough water, wash it enough but not too much, find the perfect shampoo and conditioner, not style it too much, trim it regularly, use hair masks to keep it hydrated, keep a healthy scalp...
We have to keep ourselves calm and happy, whatever that means to us. Stretching, yoga, meditation, occasional breaks from work.
Work v Play
But we also have to maintain a perfect balance of work and play. If we work too much, we're a workaholic or "no fun." If we play too much, we're lazy or irresponsible. But it's still important to be perfect at what you do at work—we're ashamed of our own mistakes—and have impeccable social skills. (#NotAwkwardAtAll)
We can't be perfect at everything, but apparently we have to be perfect at at least one thing, whatever that talent may be.
We have to be responsible with our finances, but still somehow afford everything we need to have perfect nutrition, hair, social skills...
We have to look perfect for whatever situation we're in. Perfect makeup, if appropriate. Perfect clothes. Perfect body, face structure, whatever.
(I could go on, but I think you get the point.)
You know what the other funny thing is?
It's all self-imposed.
Most other people who look at you think you're pretty much perfect, while you think you need to have a better diet or a better body or better social skills. We put this pressure on ourselves.
But I have to wonder about all of these requirements to be healthy and happy. Isn't healthy supposed to be something natural or instinctual? Why is it that all of the "you have to do this to be healthy" seems so unnatural? Like apparently we needed scientists to figure out that this amount of vitamin A every day was NECESSARY for health. Shouldn't that be something that's incorporated instinctually into our diet? Or has our society become so messed up that a natural diet is no longer instinctual?
And what's this about healthy hair and skin? Is that natural? What's the point? It looks and feels good to be sure, but is it necessary to live a perfect life?
There's something missing above that I think actually should be on the list: SLEEP. Everyone should strive for perfect sleep, yet that's one thing that people don't consider in their plans to be perfect. In fact, lots of people brag about how little sleep they get because they're soooo busy, like being busy is some sign of having a perfect life.
The point is, we can't be perfect. It's just not natural.
I think most of us know that. But we still strive for perfection. We keep discovering new ways to be even more perfect.
But I guess this is a complete let-down, because you came here wondering how to be perfect, huh? Or maybe you saw the title and thought it was complete bullshit, but after reading this you're nodding vigorously? Well, to both readers, let me offer you a little advice.
We'll call it:
"How To Be Perfectly Imperfect"
No, "perfection" isn't attainable. But there is a sort of perfection that we can attain.
So don't freak out if you eat too much sugar or too little protein one day.
Don't get upset if your hair is frizzy, and the internet tell you it's because you have "damaged" hair.
Don't feel down if you aren't the perfect social specimen at the party.
Work as hard as you want and play as much as you want. As long as you understand that there's consequences for everything you do (it's still society after all), and you accept that, then it's your life to live as you please.
Sleep. Give something up to get some sleep. You won't regret it.
Spend your money or save it; it's your choice. But don't do either because you feel like you have to in order to be perfect. Spend it on things you need and things that make you happy. Save it because you need to for yourself, not for this messed up idea of perfection.
Drink water. Drink plenty of it. Not because you have to, but because it makes you feel good.
Why reach for the moon like everyone else when you can reach for one of the billions of beautiful stars? After all, stars are suns. They might appear insignificant, but they're brighter, bolder and far more powerful.