This I Believe

emily - Orem, Utah
Entered on May 23, 2007
Age Group: Under 18

Perfections Imperfect

I know the scene– Walking into my room after having an argument with my parents. Laying down, needing sleep, but worry floods the mind. Sleeping is impossible.

My parents don’t expect me to be perfect. They just want me to make good decisions in life. The problem was, I expected perfection from myself. I believed in perfection.

My uncle died of a drug overdose. It was because of many mistakes and bad decisions on his part. I had to attend his funeral. I blamed myself, thinking somehow I could have stopped him. I became stressed, even depressed, wishing I could be perfect. If I was perfect, I would avoid causing any pain to my family or myself, like my uncle had.

I believed to be perfect, you had to help everyone else, not yourself. What I didn’t realize was, wishing for perfection, I was becoming imperfect. My anxiety and depression, deepened when I believed in imperfection.

I would constantly cry through the night, wishing I was better; wishing I was perfect. I knew I was doing something wrong.

My one reason for being perfect was to not cause people pain. What I was doing caused my family pain, almost like my uncle’s death. Three days a week I would take a seat in my English classroom. I would stare at the vacant space, with tired eyes, until my instructor appeared. A happy day came. I looked at the walls of the classroom, and on the front wall was a poster. It said, “Always make new mistakes.” Now this might be referring to English papers, but it slapped me hard. It gave me hope! I knew every aspect of my life could benefit from that poster.

After a long time of refining my habits, I no longer had to be perfect. I just had to try to be the best I could. I was happy, because I believed in imperfection.

The world gives the impression that you have to be perfect. To succeed in life, I thought I had to be the best. In reality, there is no perfect life. Things will come my way at what seems like the most imperfect time. Death, loosing a job, whatever. Living in an imperfect world, I don’t need to perfect. There will be mistakes, whether they are mine, or someone elses. I don’t need to always be the perfectly strong one. Sometimes, I’m going to get down on my knees and cry. Just because I need help from someone, it doesn’t mean I’m horrible. I’m just a human being.

I know that I can make mistakes, learn from them and grow. I can feel happy with myself, and not be depressed. I believe in imperfection.

Now, I can kiss my parents. I can ask them for forgiveness of my mistakes. I lay in bed, close my eyes and sleep well, because I believe in imperfection made perfect.