Every human being tries to attain it and none of them do. Some comes to terms that they will never achieve it, some give up and live their lives bitter, and some... Some people keep searching for it their whole lives and never find it. That thing, of course, is perfection.
This perfection can be towards anything... The media encourages perfection in looks; some parents encourage perfection in intelligence. For some unfortunate individuals like myself, the call for perfection encompasses everything. There is a word here for people like me and that is "perfectionist" (and "sufferers of anxiety disorders" but that title only came for me later). It's a terrible affliction to have and I'm only just beginning to heal from it.
It's okay to work hard but sometimes it can be just too much. Sometimes it can reach the point where it's obsession. Where you feel like a failure if you don't meet all of the goals you set for yourself. That's what it was for me anyway, and that's what it's like for one of my friends now.
And that's when the quest for perfection becomes a problem. While it oftens means higher grades, it also can mean lower self-esteem and a lower quality of life.
Perfection is impossible and anyone who says otherwise is lying. There is no such thing as perfection, especially to a human being. Perfection is just a pretty idea for a state no one will ever reach. Maybe I didn't think it was perfection at the time but it was... I would have been happy at nothing less than perfection and even then I wouldn't have been happy. I mean not even Einstein knew everything so what made me think that I had to?
Finally I reached my breaking point. I looked at my life and I thought a lot about everything that was going on. I asked myself, "Tori, would you be happy with the way you are living your life if you found out you were going to die?" I realized that I wouldn't. I was living my life full of regret, stress and hopelessness; I didn't take risks because I was too afraid to fail. I hated myself and everything I was doing and the direction in which my life was headed. So I set out to change that. I'm not saying that it was easy or even that it happened overnight. I took a long, painful road before I reached self- acceptance but in the end, I did reach it.
Now this state of perfection, for my friend at least, did concern a grade. It concerned grades for me too (but also much more) With that above decision, I made a choice this year. I decided to live first and get good grades second. So far I've been getting the best of both worlds in that regard.
Grades are letter and numbers. Perhaps ones that will get me to college but... At the end of the day, just letters and numbers. My life? My sanity? Now that is something much more substantial. College might pave the way for my future, but what's the point of a better future if I've doomed myself to a screwed up life? School might teach knowledge but more importantly it teaches ways to cope with failure, stress and life in general. All of which would be lost on me if I continued to live as a perfectionist.
What I'm trying to say is that it isn't worth it. Perfection is impossible but happiness isn't. At the end of the day, what's worth more?