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  • Writer's pictureAmanda R

Perfectionism is a B

Hello February! I thought you'd never arrive.

Is it just me or did January seem extra long this year? Let's be honest, it's probably the Midwest weather that's really givin' it to us. The short days and lack of sun makes January (and February) less than stellar. But we'll survive.

Today I want to talk about perfectionism. Not only am I a recovering people pleaser, but I'm also a recovering perfectionist. Two qualities that feed my stress levels and anxiety/depression... at least that's what I think.

I think perfectionism can manifest differently for everyone. I think for some people it shows in their grades at school, how they complete projects, or maybe it's how they dress and present themselves.

I was told that I should never leave the house without doing my hair and makeup. So... perfect makeup or at least some eye makeup never fails 99% of the time.

In high school, I had my set routine of dance classes, school, poms practice, homework, socializing. I would stick to the usual 'no going out on weeknights' and not being out too late on the weekends or just stay home with my family to regroup.

Through college, I had a set routine but I'd say it wasn't as black and white since class schedules varied. I still stuck to the usual 'no going out on weeknights' or go out minimally. I was and always will be a homebody. Upon graduating college, I carried around in my head a life schedule... Actually, I had it in my brain since I was around 13 years old!

Marry at 25. 2 kids before 30. Life would be perfect.

Whelp, I'm 32 now and neither of those have happened. Guess what? Life is... imperfectly great!

I still try to plan every little thing out ahead of time but like my boss and boyfriend has told me "Not everything is going to go as planned/smoothly". A lesson I am still trying to grasp and accept.

What I constantly remind myself is that "It's okay if something doesn't go as planned." "I'm learning to go with the flow."

An event that really reminds me of how far I've come with perfectionism and sticking to a plan is the day I locked my car keys in my trunk... 30 mins before my therapy appt.

I had made a mistake.. one that I had never done before. I broke down. I sobbed. I called my therapist crying hysterically because I had let her down and chances are I was going to have to pay for a late cancellation fee for my stupidity. I was running behind and lived 45 mins from my parents. (I was around 24-26 at the time). I was trying to do so many things at once... I knew none of my neighbors to help me... I couldn't think straight. 60 mins later my dad came with the spare keys and all was right in the world.

To think back at how hysterical I had become is insane to me. I had no sense of calming down to just think of how I can solve a problem. When a situation like this happens present day, I am able to STOP. I remind myself "it's okay..." and because I've worked through the perfectionist thoughts/feelings I can take a moment to collect myself and begin to solve the problem at hand.

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