“A beautiful thing is never perfect.”
The world was once more genuine. Though the world was never perfect, and never will be, I believe there was once a time when not everyone focused on becoming something or someone that would make others envy them. Perfection and power go hand-in-hand nowadays because if you are viewed as perfect, typically by way of social media, you are seen as having more authority over others surrounding you. It’s a wicked competition of trying to reach an unknown and ever-changing beauty, intelligence, and, well, life standard. It's hard. It’s exhausting. I wonder why I have significantly diminished energy whenever I spend hours on my phone.
Often when I get into deeper conversations with my peers, we discuss just how good life used to be when we were younger — more vulnerable and innocent. And we always scratch the surface of the fact that we were once less focused on the idea of perfection. I swear I have had the same conversation with so many people — strangers, even. It all comes down to one thing: there once was a time when we didn’t worry about things as much.
We didn’t focus on how put-together our outfits were; instead, we dressed in our favorite colors and cartoon characters even if our tops didn’t match our bottoms. We didn’t worry about what kind of food we ate or how much, we just knew what we liked and ate when we were hungry, and we weren’t so against eating dessert. We didn’t care about how smart we were compared to our friends, and most importantly — the thing I miss the most — I was effortlessly myself. I didn’t care how people viewed me. I surrounded myself with people who were good and happy and I didn’t think too much about how their personalities differed from mine. I knew that I liked to create things, from flower petal pens to short “books,” to taking care of my Build-A-Bear dolls, to playing with my brother, to practically always drawing something with my grandma. I loved when my mom told me the same story about a rainbow outside of my house every day before a nap. I loved Eggo waffles in the morning and playing with my dog before school. I loved hanging out with my neighbor almost every day after school. I loved being outside. I liked my routine, and to me my life was perfect. It was so perfect that I never felt the need to think of it as “perfect.” It was simply my life and I was happy.
In conclusion, I have a theory. I feel like once we’ve reached a certain age, we start to try to revert back to that childhood happiness and ease we all once felt. I think people do this by journaling, going to therapy, meditating or performing yoga, and other mindfulness activities to try and reverse the damage of realizing just how competitive one must be to live and thrive in this life. The world is just too focused on power and perfection. I hope that one day it doesn’t have to be such a whirlwind of anxiety. I hope that one day people can realize that their life is perfect when they live it the way they ever so desire. I think that is the cure to letting toxic perfection take over. I know I am going to start trying to realize the good and perfect parts of my life, and maybe channel my younger self when I need to realize things aren’t so bad. At the very least, it is what I owe her.