What Consumes You?

I prefer lines over curves. I prefer even numbers over odd. I prefer draping a nicely ironed scarf over my head rather than a semi-wrinkled one. I prefer a hundred over ninety-nine. My inclination toward minor details and the drive to be the best leads me to believe I’m a perfectionist.

Perfectionism, why strive for the impossible? My entire life has been overtaken by the constant chase of perfection, at times so close my fingertips brush against it before it slips away. The endless game of cat and mouse has caused me to speed past my life achievements brushing them off with the thought “I could’ve done better.”

It has taken eighteen years for me to realize that perfectionism shouldn’t consume me. Too long I have raced through life failing to realize the best moments are those of imperfections.

What consumes me now? The falters of a curve, the inability to equally divide odd numbers, the wrinkles of my favorite scarf, and the strength it took to reach ninety-nine. What perfection blinds, imperfection perceives. It’s all a matter of the mind: I can set my standards to transform my “failures” into successes. An imperfectionist holds one thing over a perfectionist: genuine happiness.

Doha Ali