This I Believe

Marisa - Salt Lake City, Utah
Entered on January 4, 2008

An Imperfect Life is the Best Kind

I believe in imperfection. There’s no point in trying to reach some goal we know is unattainable, no matter how hidden or denied that knowing is. Why not just live for what you can live for, instead of what you were told you should live for?

Of course, I’m not trying to blame society, but they are at fault to some extent. So I guess in a very accurate way I am blaming society, or at least the society I knew growing up. What I grew up to was thinking that I needed straight A’s and a spotless room in order to be a good person, thanks to a combination of school pressure, unintentional parental pressure and the ever-present “perfect” lives that were all over cable. Then, luckily, I realized this was just what I was taught, not necessarily what was right for me.

What turned out to be right for me, at least so far, is getting the grade I want to try for and quite a messy room. It’s very far from the “perfect” I grew up to, but it definitely became what I consider my personal perfect.

I believe that everyone has their own thoughts on what “perfect” really is. It all starts with what you grew up with.

I grew up in a small neighborhood where everyone knew each other. All the kids were friends, in my case only to a slight extent (I wasn’t very social), and all the parents knew one another. Then a new kid moved in, and eventually and unexpectedly helped me realize there was no such thing as a universal perfect.

The kid was around everyone else’s age, 10 or 11, and he had much bigger family than what we were used to. He lived with about six or seven other people, while the rest of us had quaint little families of three or four. He spoke more than one language, while we all spoke the only one we knew, English. He had pet ferrets, which most of us thought smelled bad. But he was also really happy with his life.

This kid helped me see that perfection was only a person’s state of mind. There really was no universal “perfection”, not in any sense.

I’m sure there are people that think perfect is a stay at home mom, a hard working, office job dad, a brother and a sister that get along wonderfully and the family dog that brings in the newspaper. I can’t imagine a life like that; it’s really not one for me.

Perfect for me is a contentedly dysfunctional family, pets that chase each other around the house on a daily basis, a sister that won’t let me borrow her things and a room where the carpet is barely visible.

To me, imperfection is the perfect “perfect.”