“Perfect” is a tricky word. It implies this idol, some standard that can never be fully achieved. After all, what does it mean to be truly perfect? My good friend Google defines it as “having all the required or desirable elements, qualities, or characteristics.” I’m sorry, Google, but that definition makes the perfect, impossible. As humans, we are always searching for something more, which prevents us from finding this individual, this state of being, this magical unicorn that fulfills every desired quality or characteristic. Fairy tales were created to fulfill this ideal of perfection because reality will never deliver on it.
All of us are human, and thus by definition, are imperfect. That’s the beauty of our existence. Each day brings something different, some new complication, another splinter in our perception, yet another opportunity for growth. How we handle those moments are what define us. We grow not despite our imperfections, but because of them.
But is “perfect” truly an impossibilty? I look at my afternoon today. It’s the beginning of February in the south, with nighttime temperatures below freezing last week, scraping ice off my car has become a reality, and I’ve had to learn to factor in time to defrost my car in the mornings.
And in the midst of this, a day appears where temperatures hit 70 and the sun couldn’t stop itself from shining. I was able to run in my favorite place in this city in shorts and a t-shirt, which hasn’t been a possibility in months. After, I made a fresh cup of coffee and camped out on my back deck for the rest of the afternoon – reading, writing, and enjoying the beauty of the day. I finished a piece I’ve been working on for a while and it says exactly what I wanted it to. The pain of writing – piecing those words together, listening when they talk back, working through the imperfections, and knowing when the moment is right to finally stop – is made worthwhile through the finished piece. Always.
If this isn’t perfect, then I have no need for perfection. Reality is splendid enough for me.