I began to read a book called “Own Your Everyday” by Jordan Lee Dooley that my friend Allison gave me to read. I made it through a solid 12 pages before a new and intimate blog idea popped into my head. So, I dropped the book and picked up my laptop and began to type. In the 12 pages I have read so far, I can feel the realness of the author. She openly states she is a perfectionist who battles with three toxic traits of insecurities, expectations, and the pressure to prove. After reading those three words, I read them again and I think it is so relevant especially in this day and age where we struggle with these traits and so many like them.
With our society being consumed by social media, we strive solely for perfection because that is all we know. We have grown up being told that to get the boys to like us we must look, act, and dress a certain way. We must not order a large fry and spend extra time at the gym. We must be the best daughter, the best Christian, the best friend, and the best looking to reach the unobtainable standards society holds us to.
When we log onto Instagram we see picture perfect people without a flaw knowing that the photo has been edited to look that way, yet we still want to be just like them. But, this isn’t what perfect is at all. Perfect isn’t the stick figure you see on your phone who has worked herself and still hates what she sees in the mirror. Perfect isn’t the couple who look flawless together while behind the scenes they fight every day. Perfect isn’t the amount of Instagram followers you have because PERFECT ISN’T REAL.
Let me say it one more time for the people in the back, perfect isn’t real. We have such a misconstrued idea of perfect that we never think we are good enough for anything or anyone.
Let me tell you about the imperfect me. Hi, my name is Payton. I am a 20-year-old who writes a blog about my life and my struggles. I love to sing, listen to music, spend time with those who mean the most to me, and eat lots of ice cream. I am a follower of Jesus and hang out with both believers and non-believers. I am self-conscious about people not liking me and I am a people pleaser. I edit my photos and hold myself to extremely high standards. I’m not exactly sure what I want to do with my life after college and I am finding out that is okay. I cry when I am stressed and overthink way more than is healthy. I love getting dressed up and I’m constantly scared that I am sick. I don’t like being vulnerable with others, but I have learned it’s the only way to have open and healthy communication.
This is just a little bit about me. While on the outside I may seem like I have my life put together, some days I am a complete mess. I think there is no perfect, there is not one standard of beauty, social status, or prosperity to live by. Perfect is beyond relative because my perfect life may be completely different than that of the person next to me. This is why perfect shouldn’t even be a word in our vocabulary. Perfect puts people on a pedestal and egos explode while others disintegrate at the same time. I wish I could tell my 15-year-old self that the amount of likes and comments seriously don’t matter. And if you are a 15-year-old reading this please know that social media is not the way to measure your worth!! No matter how much you change yourself to be like others or to impress them, you will never be happy. Perfection is a societal scam; trust me this is coming from someone who has heard “Oh you are so perfect! I wish I could be just like you!” many times. My reply is always the same “Oh, that’s so sweet! But trust me I am not anywhere near perfect!” Because 1. There is no real perfect, and 2. I have made my fair share of mistakes and will continue to. And do you want to guess why? Because I am not perfect, and I don’t strive to be anymore.
So, to the girl who is nowhere near perfect, go on and admit it. Admit that attempting to reach perfection holds you in a box you cannot ever fit in. As hard as it is, it will relinquish you from your self-doubt and fear of not pleasing others. I will be the first to say I am not perfect and that is more than okay! We all live our lives differently and no one is living it the wrong way. Just because I go to church every weekend doesn’t make me perfect, just like going to the gym every day doesn’t make someone else perfect. We are always our own worst critic, so I think now is the time to love ourselves the way we are. Say goodbye to the impossible idea of perfection and learn to love your imperfections just as you are.