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On the pursuit of perfect and the process


Perfect is not a word I grew up with.
I'm fortunate enough to say that there was never any expectation for perfection in my family.
We just didn't really do perfect.
We did messy, crazy, real. We did chaos and beauty and unfinished projects, we did half-baked ideas and we did barely organised adventures. We did spontaneous a great deal, often with mixed results. We didn't do the idea of perfect; of saving face or pretending to be or have it all together if we weren't.
We didn't do perfect, we just did our best because we were taught that was, in fact, enough.

But I think we also understood the idea of perfect. It has a way of creeping in doesn't it?
I remember it most vividly as a word I would use when I wanted to wind up my little sister, the way you do with siblings. "Oh you're so purr-fect, little miss purr-fect," I would sing-song, as she would vehemently deny the accusation.
Perfect was not something we as a family had ever strived for, but in a way, we understood its presence, the threat of it, of what chasing perfection might mean.
Perfectionism seemed to me like something other people strived for. Something that, in a way, haunted the people I loved from time to time but never fully managed to engage me in my adolescence.
As a teenager I was obsessed with the idea of being 'different', (which led to some questionable experiments in clothing and hairstyles), but I wonder now if it also was a way in which my teen self rejected the idea of being or looking perfect. I badly wanted to be considered 'outside of the box', not to fit neatly within it.