Wednesday, October 13, 2010


In college, I went to a conference where we attended student-run programs throughout the day. One had the theme of finding ways to de-stress, which is a topic of interest because I am always stressing about something. We did some yoga - picture thirty students doing downward dog in the hallway of an academic building - and ended by going outside and screaming our faces off.

In between those activities, though, we had a discussion about why we were all so stressed in the first place. The leader explained a new term to us that nailed it right on the head for me and many of the other students there: procrastifectionist. Or, a procrastinator plus a perfectionist.

Throughout college and in many other areas of my life, I did things on the fly. Papers were written last minute, place cards for parties were made sometimes the morning of, scrapbooks were put together into the early morning hours of the day they were being gifted. Some of my best work was done when I knew I had no other choice than to sit down and finish it, but my body and mind were never happy with me for making those choices.

Experiencing these things - procrastination and perfectionism - at the same time isn't just a coincidence; they go hand-in-hand. Whenever I took on a project, the pressure was immense to get it just right. That pressure made me put it off, no matter how illogical that seems. Then, once it got to crunch time, I could sit down and get it done, knowing that if it came off as less-than-perfect, I could blame the limited time I had. Better yet, I could pride myself in knowing that I produced something almost-perfect even in such a short time span.

All of this sounds incredibly ridiculous, but I have a feeling a lot of people can relate. Unless you're one of those people with the amazing willpower to start projects as early as possible and finish them well before deadlines, in which case, I am insanely jealous. Honestly, though, if I were able to just let go of the idea of "perfect," there would be no need for all this anxiety (and often times sleep deprivation).

So. This is my protest of perfect. Right here, right now, I'm owning up to the fact that I am not perfect. Nobody is, in fact, and it would probably do you some good to at least consider that you're not, if not fully embracing that fact. But, you know, baby steps. The following are real, true statements about me, my imperfectness wrapped up in a pretty little list.


...can't sing well. to create.
...say 'I don't know' when I don't want to open up.
...doubt myself and my abilities.
...have a hard time trusting people.
...cry at any and all sappy movies or television shows (or commercials). because it's my only area of true confidence.
...use dance as a means of being outgoing. terribly indecisive.
...get excited over the littlest things.
...never ask for help.
...see things through rose-colored glasses.
...feel guilty when I don't ask enough questions about other peoples' lives. nice things for people because I know I'd like someone to do them for me.
...hate hurting people.
...have very little patience.
...shut down mentally if someone pushes me around.
...consider myself incredibly socially awkward most of the time.
...obsess. too much and often don't express it well. not perfect. But who wants to be perfect, anyway?