I have come to the conclusion that I am a perfectionist - I just didnt realize it until recently. How did I come to such a realization? Well, I look at the different things that I do and how much I complete as well as how I feel after any task assigned to me. I know some of you are probably snickering because you are thinking "I have read these entries and I always see typos or poorly constructed sentences." You are absolutely correct, I say. But that still doesn't preclude me from being a perfectionist, does it?
For instance, I have an extremely vivid imagination and I envision particular events transpiring in very particular ways. When those events do not pan out in quite the manner I was hoping for, I get dejected and I immediately begin to second guess myself and wonder why I chose to do X as opposed to doing Y. A prime example is the fact I love planning surprises (this is from someone who doesn't really like to be surprised - I forgot to mention I have a little bit of control freak in me too). So it really bothers me when a surprise I have worked out in my head (such as the one I planned for Superwoman yesterday) goes awry somehow because of a decision I made or perhaps didn't make. Yes, timing is everything.
Would you like more evidence? I recently hosted a dinner for a few friends. The corn bread (from scratch) was done up right. The greens were slammin'. The rice had just the right amount of fluff. The chicken was top notch. But the pound cake was awful. It was too crispy around the edges and worst of all - it had fallen. I felt as though all my hard work had been spoiled because I couldn't get the cake right. While I later learned pound cake can be one of the most difficult to bake (thanks Candice Bianca), I still felt as though I failed somehow because everything wasn't perfect.
Returning to my writing, another clue that I am a perfectionist stems from my reluctance to submit my work for fear that it will be scoffed at and shredded like a top secret document. Perhaps writer's block itself is another perfectionist trait. Think about it, I went four months not writing anything. I didn't think I had anything to say - this is from someone who doesn't mind writing about the minutae of life. It's not like I mind criticism either. Honestly, I don't. In fact I welcome it. I just have this fear of feeling stupid or that I am out of my league.
On the other hand, maybe I am not such a perfectionist. I am not a very neat person (one look at my car will clue you in on that). I may like shopping, but I will wear a wrinkled shirt in a minute. I am not all that tough on my students either. Or could it be that this is just more proof of my egocentric self and that I am not a perfectionist at all, but that I simply want accolades heaped on me from every corner?
Maybe the feeling of being imperfect is a feeling we all have at some time or another. After all, we are humans and imperfection is a standard feature we all come equipped with. For all I know each and every one of you may also be a perfectionist. Who knows, maybe I am being too hard on myself? Yes, I probably am. However, being tough ononeself is perfectly reasonable isn't it?
Well, I gotta scoot...