In Pursuit of Perfection

Today at work, I put address labels on info post cards to go out to high schoolers. On the surface, that seems simple, right? Peel label, stick label on card and repeat. It should have been a no-brainer, even though I had a stack of a thousand.

If you know me, though, you know it very quickly became an ordeal. Even though these things were going to high schoolers (and a good percentage of them would undoubtedly be returned for whatever reason) I became obsessed with getting the labels completely straight. So, out came the ruler. Labeling postcards had suddenly become a time consuming, anxiety-ridden task.

My supervisor happened across me while I was fighting the inevitable crooked disaster. You’re using a ruler he stated, clearly surprised. And I went into a whole spiel explaining how using the ruler made me feel better and how I was never any good at making straight lines…

He just looked at me. Let it go he said. If a label ends up a little crooked, it’s not the end of the world. I ignored heard him, but it wasn’t until later that I actually got what had occurred.

Those post cards had become just another symbol of my unending mission for perfection. Ever since I was little, I wanted things (mostly me) to be perfect. I wanted perfect hair, perfect skin, perfect grades. As I have gotten older, I’ve shifted to wanting the perfect relationship. To be the couple that everyone hates envies.

I set such high standards that no one could ever live up to. I’ve been accused of treating my significant others like projects that I can mold and form to my heart’s desire. Maybe there is some truth there. I’ve never found exactly what I was looking for in a mate; perhaps because I was looking for a unicorn in a field full of perfectly good horses.

My pursuit of perfection has set me back plenty of times. It’s made me lose friends, lose lovers and many missed opportunities. However, it just seems like a cycle I can’t break free of. The more I strive for perfection, the more things land in shambles at my feet. The more pieces of my world that crumbles at my touch, the harder I chase perfection. In the end, nothing ever gets better. In some cases, it even gets worse.

Long story short, my preoccupation with perfection shot me in the foot again. I only got 300 postcards done. I suppose I should be happy that they aren’t scheduled to be mailed today.

I guess I live to chase perfection another day.

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