Perfection is an odd creature because it is best understood in the context of composition.
We all think we know what perfection is. However, each person has their own definition of what perfection means to them. We treat perfection like it’s a collective opinion, despite it only being a self-created, subjective opinion.
People who say they know what perfection is describe it as if they can manifest it into some tangible thing. So, what is it, and why does it exist without a simple definition? Is it a superficial means of perfection such as hair quality, clothing style, wealth level, and overall appearance? Is it a qualitative perfection such as academic achievements and character values? We can’t define perfection because it’s abstract feeling.
Perfection is free.
People might pay money to alter themselves, to “fix their flaws” and become their own version of perfection, but that’s their choice. Regardless, they’re still chasing the feeling of perfection. Now more than ever, perfection is an easy rush to chase because we know how to find it. Our idealized version of perfection exists in the palms of our hands. We enable it while simultaneously pretending that we’re above it. It’s the most perfect, imperfect cycle.
We strive to be the closest version of perfection that society has created and yet, we have no idea what that even means. We think we understand perfection, so we go on impulse and judge based upon what we see, not what people can do. Judging what’s right in front of us is easier.
Perhaps, the saddest part of perfectionism is that most people refuse to accept a version of perfect that’s realistic for them as an individual. A version that accepts flaws, a real, rational interpretation of perfection. Sometimes, our surroundings make our definitions of “perfect” irrational and outrageous. We can teach ourselves to believe that perfection can exist within a set of qualities that we decide, or we can teach ourselves that it’s a list physical attributes.
There’s no correct way to be the perfect version of yourself because no human is completely perfect.
Previously published on Thought Catalog.