Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Anti-Perfection

My name is April and I am a perfectionist. Perfectionism is a great and horrible thing. One the one hand it can drive you to succeed where others would give up. On the other hand, it can prevent you from even beginning a task because you know that said task cannot be completed to your own high standards, or because the thought of all the work it would take to complete said task to your own high standards seems overwhelming.

There is nothing like the feeling that comes from having created something that feels right (perfect). For example, I bought a group of pictures and arranged them in a frame. Then I rearranged them. Then I rearranged them again. Then I rearranged them again. This went on for quite some time. I couldn't get that perfect feel. I knew that there was some arrangement of these pictures that would bring all of the elements together in the best way. I, finally, brought in a second pair of eyes (a big step forward for me) and together my husband and I moved the pictures around a little more. At last, I had just the composition that I wanted. My husband hung that frame on the wall (in just the right spot, bless his heart) and now every time that I look at it, I get a little rush of satisfaction. And that is how it goes when it works out. Sometimes though, that feeling of perfection is just out of reach and now matter how hard I keep trying and trying, I can't get it just right. Sometimes, I can get stuck chasing that perfection and loose sight of the bigger picture. But, when I reach that place where everything comes together…bliss.

I have a complex set of goals charting out where I want to go the next few years. This project is integral to one of the legs of my ambition. If I get bogged down in perfection, there is no way I can achieve what I want to do in a reasonable time frame. I've started this blog several times and then torn it apart again. Today I have decided to try another strategy. I will become, on these pages, the Anti-Perfect. I'm going to start on this part of my goal. I will let the chips fall where they may. Okay, I will probably stack them in neat little piles, but I will not pick them up. You can consider my run-on sentences and eye-hurting grammar as an exercise in letting go.


 


 

2 comments:

Abby said...

Yay for letting go! It is truly liberating, isn't it? Though, it's very, very hard to do--that must explain why I can't stop editing my book and probably never will.

April W said...

Yeah, writing has always been very difficult for me. I edit as I go. That results in some beautiful first paragraphs, and not much else...ha ha.