If anyone knows where the perfectionist gene comes from, can you tell me, so I can kill it? Seriously, I am willing to pay one of you genius micro-biology whatever to locate the strand, and strip it from my genetic coding.
Looking back on my 19 years, it’s easy to see how I missed the signs. They were subtle; not learning to tie my shoes until I was 7, and someone taught me the “bunny-eats” method, because it never “looked right” when I did “loop-swoop-and-pull”; storming out of math class in first grade when my teacher told me I did a problem wrong; re-cutting my construction paper shapes in art class so many times that they were too small, because the edges were never straight enough for me. I thought this was normal; doesn’t every one cry when their Cleopatra Halloween costume doesn’t have gold sandals with laces up to the knee? No?
I think the reason it took my so long to identify this quality, though, was the contradicting nature of my condition. When I wasn’t able to get something exactly the way I wanted, instead of pushing forward to get it there, I just gave up. Ultimately, everything either had to be perfect, or I just stopped caring about it. This is what has given many people the impression that I go with the flow. And somewhere along the way, I began to believe them.
And yes, the evil perfectionist gene still lives inside me. It tends to appear in the way only a real monster can: when I’m working on a tedious and uninteresting assignment, which is usually a paper for a subject that I’m not taking by choice.
Which brings me back to this very moment, (which is exactly 1:30AM, if you were wondering,) in which I am not writing a five-page paper on my family’s history in America that is due in 10 hours and 10 minutes. Why? Because I can’t for the life of me find a subject significant enough to fill up the three and a half pages I have to go. And, as a perfectionist, I won’t just fill up the space with useless information that isn’t perfectly relevant to what I’ve written so far.
So you see my curse? This is why I will never be able to write a book. This is why I will spend 20 minutes doing my eyeliner, only to wipe it off before I leave. This is why I will continue to clip my nails until the bleed, because there’s still one more jagged edge to get rid of. Please, smart scientist people, can you help me? I’d really prefer not to live the rest of my life never finishing anything, because I’m afraid it’s not “perfect”.