Life of a “perfectionist”

As I complete the last few hours of my 8 hour shift at my office job, I finally submitted what would be my last paper for the semester. I have to say that I can finally breathe… at least for now. This academic year honestly has not been my best. I experienced constant highs and lows, and right when I thought I couldn’t take anymore jabs…. things continued to happen. I feel nothing but relief right now though because I can finally say the worse is over and I am still standing.

During my fall semester, I had to drop a class and I barely passed my other classes. This put me on academic probation for the spring. I continued to push myself harder even though I felt so unsure of myself. I clearly didn’t learn because I took on a lot more than I could handle. I was accepted to compete for Miss Minnesota USA. If that wasn’t enough, I picked up a second job as a bartender on top of pageant training, full-time school, internship, and volunteer work. I was so incredibly drained. I was constantly in and out of sickness and eventually ended up having to drive myself to the emergency room during finals week.

Then one of my worse fears came true.. I received news that I failed a course for the semester. Call me dramatic, but it seriously felt like my world ended. I thought to myself, “What the hell did I get myself into?” “What is going to happen now?” Then it finally clicked in my head that I was working so hard, too hard, that I lost myself in the process. I realized that I was trying to prove people wrong that I forgot all about me.

I call this the life of a “perfectionist.” A life where people are always expecting so much out of you. If you succeed in one thing, there’s another thing you must achieve. And then if you make one simple mistake, you’re seen as a failure for the rest of your life. It feels like there’s never a time where enough is enough because there is still so much more that you need to do… and you can’t and won’t stop until everything is accomplished. It can honestly drive you insane, like how it has done to me.

In truth, there is no such thing as “perfection.” I relearned that today.

I believe that there will be things you’ll fail at in life, but that doesn’t make you a failure. If anything, knowing that you tried makes you a winner in your life.

As for that failed course, don’t worry…. that professor will definitely see me again and I will pass the next time around. Until then, I will keep reminding myself to not be so hard on myself… and so should you.

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