Perfectly Human

I go for a walk to clear my mind. I always forget that fresh air is medicine. But it’s not working, not today. jMy body still feels full of heavy fog, there’s too much space between me and anyone. Breathing is tight. I am so disappointed with myself for not going to the gym. I would feel fine now if I had. And even though I’m better at this, I still didn’t go today and I’m tired of relying on tomorrows.

I take a turn, frustrated because walking works, and then I pick up the pace and that’s when I realise that I just haven’t been walking fast enough, and suddenly I feel like running. My skin shivers, my thighs tingle, and I want to run away from the sunset, into the night, but at the same time I want to keep standing here on this street corner, drawing the silhouettes of how I feel and colouring in my analyses.

And later, after walking until I was swallowed by bright city lights. After pinching a glimpse of a flamenco dancer in a tiny burgundy bar. After mistaking many bottle caps for lucky coins, and watching a torn straw hat dance on the road like an American Beauty plastic bag. After wishing I had not failed myself so rookie-shly by wearing something nondescript, something so shamefully plain. After searching for stars and finding none, and attributing the lack of romanticism to my own shortcomings. After all this I realise that a fuckload of my unhappiness has hell-deep roots in perfectionism.

Because in my mind, I can only be worthy of love if my nails (all twenty) are always impeccably manicured. That is why I can be an hour late because I can’t find the right earrings for that outfit. And why, if I feel fat, I won’t go out at all. I need to wow the world every waking moment. 

I freaked out yesterday because I hadn’t done my washing and there were no matching underwear sets. I had to wear a black bra with something black and fuchsia. Since adolescence I have torn out pages with more than one mistake– I have rewritten whole essays because I didn’t like my handwriting, even if I was only going to get a C.

My standards are crippling me. It is okay to separate books into various categories (read/havent read, all alphabetised of course) but I cannot start a new book without finishing one so maybe I won’t read for weeks. It is okay to colour-co-ordinate the closet but do you have any idea how much effort it is to put everything back? And so I am crazy-messy. Even when I polish cutlery, I have a system- order of prestige (fork, knife, spoon, teaspoon), and then always in multiples of seven. And the more aware I become, the more I realise how many quirks I have, how much  need to control.

What does all this mean?

I have arrived at one major conclusion– I do not have the courage to be myself, to trust that I am enough. And I don’t know when I started believing that chipped nail polish made me worthless, or why my only options are to be the epitome of beauty or utter ugliness. I don’t know when I started believing that everyone was allowed to be naturally, beautifully flawed, except for me. But it explains my high-strung, underachieving self so fucking well. And god, maybe now I can learn how to let myself be human.


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I drink, I laugh, I smoke, I write.

10 thoughts on “Perfectly Human”

  1. I hope you do, because you’re an amazing human! Learn to embrace your imperfections (cliched I know), they are what make you unique and different. It’s better to be natural and beautiful (again, you need to think this of yourself, other’s opinions don’t matter), than tiring yourself to fit the standard.

  2. Yes, what makes you you ARE your imperfections, and you’ll find that people absolutely adore you when you allow your real true, beautiful self shine through… Self acceptance and in turn self confidence are nothing short of STUNNING in a human. And it helps attract the amazing men we deserve, too 😉 ❤

  3. One thing I have written to you from the moment I was introduced to your words: you OWN your brokenness. If it came in he past, if it hangs heavy on your present words, or that you know will come in the future…you are fully aware and are unflinchingly honest about the cracks inside. I wonder if your need to present as impeccable outside is a consequence of being so intimately familiar with the folds and fault lines In your heart…and knowing, as all of us who refuse to avoid the darkest corners inside, that you own them because you cannot repair them. You own them so that no one can have the power to reopen them. There is no acrylic for the heart…no flattering accessories for our souls. This is a thought I’ve not explored before. I’d be interested in knowing if it moves you at all, and if it stands under deeper consideration.

    1. I completely agree with your theory regarding my perfectionism, Ben! And that we own the wounds we are scared of re-opening…because then we hold the key and can keep them locked away for as long as we like!

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