Letting Go of Perfect: I Doez It

(This post was originally written on February 11, 3013, but technical issues got in the way of actually posting it :).)

Throughout my years of blog-browsing and seven months of blog writing, I’ve picked up on a common, unspoken rule:

Bloggers, especially orange happy-happy-joy-joy bloggers like myself, should only post things that are inspiring to others and portray themselves as angelic, glorious role models.

NEWS FLASH I’m not.

While I think it’s important to have role models and like to think that there’s probably SOMEONE out there who looks up to me, I also believe that it’s inspiring in its own right when said role models talk candidly about their personality vices or things they struggle with.  (Don’t worry, this will all be relevant soon!) So…

Confessions of Le Girl in the Orange:

  1. I am master procrastinator l’extraordinare.
  2. I daydream in class.  Sometimes.
  3. I eat way more chocolate than can possibly be good for me.
  4. Sometimes I neglect my bird’s out-of-the-cage time in order for me to have free time.
  5. I’m majorly cynical sometimes.
  6. I tell lies.  (And that wasn’t one of them.)  Though never on the blog.  Blog is place for purity and honesty and awesomeness.

7.  (clears throat) “Um, hello everybody…My name is The Girl in the Orange, and I’m…a perfectionist.”

Everybody else at (Type A)non now: “Hi, The Girl in the Orange.”

I told you guys I was off taking a scholarship test.  And the English exam was pretty lemon-squeezy, and so was the first math exam, but the second math exam…well, to quote directly from my journal in the emotional aftermath:

“The math exam was actually kind of funny, in an FML kind of way.  I had painstakingly made sure to review all of my Geometry notes from the year, to prove to the admissions directors that I was ready for Algebra II next year–and the math exam turns out to be 1.5 hours of concentrated Algebra I.

EXPLETIVES (edited to add: Yes, I actually wrote “expletives”…)

The first test, I know I did all right, because the second one was wickedly harder.  (But I know I made a few errors due to nerves, which gave me an actual nightmare.)  Then, on the second test, I just wanted to be like (in the words of a former student at my school): “Don’t ask me about numbers!  I’m in Geometry, I draw triangles!” ALGEBRA I IS A YEAR IN THE DUST, PEOPLE.  LET’S NOT BE JUDGING OTHERS ON STUFF THEY LEARNED A YEAR AGO, NOW, NOT IF THEY’RE NOT SUPPOSED TO STUDY FOR THE TEST.

It was brain-blanking at its finest  (…) I left a whole entire PAGE of the test blank (…)

I know I should totally stop stressing about this, because there’s nothing I can change now, and stressing will make me pimply/chubby, and there’s probably some divine reason that I got whatever score I got–but I still ca’t help feeling that I might’ve blown something really big, just because of a lack of motivation to study (even though we weren’t supposed to…).  I don’t often “blow” really big things.  What’s worse, I might’ve blown this to blog and read for pleasure–immediately gratifying things, rather than focusing on success in the long run, which I’m USUALLY very good about, but…this sentence has too many commas.

Que sera, sera, I guess.

(dies a little)”

There you have it.  This probably sums up my thoughts on the matter quite nicely.  I’m both torn between a deep level of shame and #innerperfectionistwringinghishands, and a strange spiritual “What’s done is done” sort of attitude toward the whole matter.  The point is, it was not a good experience and I know it will continue to eat me alive until a weeks from now when my results will arrive.  (That rhymed…sigh…)

All my life I’ve been excessively perfectionistic.  In fact, I think pretty much every major emotional letdown I’ve faced has been caused by this (sad over moving because I don’t like “my groove” to be thrown off, crying over test scores because I missed a point, freaking out over the fact that I can’t run anymore because that will mean I’m not “perfectly” healthy, etc.).  And now…this happens…something so important, and yet I let myself down…

I want to make this a journey.  By the time my exam results arrive, I want to be able to say that I’m at total peace with whatever the contents of the envelope may be, and be content either way.  Life is full of awesomeness and mistakes, and I can’t let either of those things in the past continue to overshadow my future.  After all, I’ve got TONS of other things I can be focusing on at this very moment (homework perhaps?); hopefully enough to keep me distracted until Judgement Day.

Most of all, I want to just…accept my humanity.  That sounds frighteningly hippie-like, but truly accepting myself is something I’ve struggled with my whole life; I mean, yeah, it’s super easy to accept the AWESOME parts of me, but what about my flaws?  The things that separate me cleanly from my heavenly relatives and make me human?  And alive?

The fact that yeah, okay, I didn’t study for that test as hard as I should have?  The fact that I am Socially Awkward with a capital S and A?  The fact that I’m heavier than most girls my age?  The fact that I write dark poetry?  The fact that chocolate makes me break out like an escapist jailbird but I could never give it up?  THE FACT THAT I WILL NEVER, EVER, TRULY MEET MY STANDARDS OF “PERFECT”?

Could I maybe even accept the fact that I have an insanely difficult time accepting these things?  Whoah, paradox alert.

By now, I’ve probably incorporated much more philosophy into a math test than is probably healthy, but I can accept that. 🙂  This test does not define me and it’s actually most likely a much smaller deal than I’m making it out to be.  I’ll let you guys know my results at the end of…(cue hippie sitar music) the journey.

Fellow perfectionists, will you join me? 🙂

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