Today, I would like to call three words to the stage to acknowledge their contributions in my life’s journey. Please welcome Perfectionist, Worry and Best.

A short scene will now be acted out to briefly illustrate those words’ role in my life.

*Applause. Lights off.

*Spot light focusing on the side of the stage, with burgundy curtains backing two actresses wearing black silk.

Myself holding stack of paper: I am telling you, this is not the best and I feel it is not good enough to be presented to my boss. But honestly, I am tired so I might as well send it through.

Best: yep this work is definitely not my style.

Ms Perfectionist turning to face Myself with a frown: No! Are you insane! How will we get that acknowledgement for all that hard work if you just present it? You need to do your best and nothing else. Best, work with her for God sakes!

Myself: This is too much! It won’t be that bad I always do a good job.

Ms Perfectionist: You could be shouted at, or worse! Receive that disappointment look and be scolded the way you hate for this.

Worry: Did someone call me then?  Oh, Hi Ms Perfectionist, what pleasure do I owe you this time?

Myself, throwing the papers in the air: Oh God! Now you’re here Worry this will be messed up even more! what should I do this time…

*Light dims.

“People call me a perfectionist, but I’m not. I’m a rightist. I do something until it’s right, and then I move on to the next thing.” ~ James Cameron

As a young girl, I have always sought to be complemented for a job well done, simply because I was raised this way and expected people to acknowledge it just like my parents would. I thought this is my contribution to doing my best and doing it right.
But one day, I was introduced to Perfectionist by my grade 5 English teacher, who insisted we got a lot in common. Seeing how well groomed and repeatedly complemented she was, I humbly accepted that thought.

per·fec·tion·ist

/pərˈfɛkʃənɪst/ [per-fek-shuh-nist] noun

1.a person who adheres to or believes in perfectionism.

2.

a person who demands perfection of himself, herself, or others. (From Dictionary.com)

The dictionary portfolio has failed to add two partners to perfectionist’s career, worry and best. As you seek to be perfect, you quite instantly worry you won’t do your best and so the three words somewhat join. You become trapped in thinking you need to do everything perfect, worry about it and never know what is that Best you need to reach.

“Be empty of worrying. Think of who created thought! Why do you stay in prison When the door is so wide open?” ~ Rumi

Thinking of all the times I worried, the times I allowed myself to stress and lose my peace of mind, the times it made me lose my confidence in my ability and fear not doing “my best” is countless. It was in some way a self-made prison.

I realised that although the three partners called me off celebrating a job well done in my eyes, simply because I have not received the celebratory “great job” outside myself, it made me push harder to be who I am.

The trick is, those around me expect me to do my best again and again and the words like “great job” became too custom it has been removed from the heritage of marking my work.

“The map of our lives is folded in such a way that we do not see one great road stretching ahead of us, but, as it unfolds a little more each day, hundreds of smaller ones.” ~ Jean Cocteau

I just unfolded my map on this one…

 

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