When I shop for fruits or vegetables, I pick them with excessive care. The perfectionist in me searches for those without blemish, perfect in shape, firm to the touch. I know, however, that this is a fundamentally wrong way to shop for food in a world where food waste is a problem.
When I have to do something important, like seeing a doctor or buying something expensive, the perfectionist in me craves as much information as possible. I can research something until the data overload leaves me quite baffled as to how to proceed.
The perfectionist in me can also hurt my writing. It makes me dismiss writing that seems awkward or too personal, even if it is authentic and reflects me closely. He may also make me keep my writing to myself, under the excuse of polishing it to make it perfect.
And then there are the relationships with other people. The perfectionist in me likes to sabotage them sometimes. He likes to tell me that I should have done this or said that or that I shouldn’t have done this or said that. Sometimes, just to get rid of him, I am tempted to avoid people.
When I fail at something, the perfectionist in me is especially hard on me. I may have gotten up early, I may have worked hard, I may have done my best. Even so, the perfectionist in me can be merciless. He can make noise in my mind like a song on repeat. Only sleep can quiet him.
But then of course there’s also the perfectionist in me who spots typos and missing Oxford commas. Who earns me a living. Who makes me eat healthy and cook good food.
Who helps me learn and become more conscious and aware of myself with each new day that passes. Who makes me look up in a dictionary every single word on a page that I don’t know. Who encourages me to do everything well.
Much like my shadow, the perfectionist in me follows me everywhere. If I could get rid of him, perhaps I would. But then I do need him sometimes.
So what I do is try to push him out of the way when I can and not pay much mind to him. Like when buying fruits.