Being a perfectionist. You’re literally plagued and fatigued by constantly striving to be better- no, perfect- in every area of your life.
I’m not complaining. I’m just now realizing how exhausting it is.
At 19 years old, I would say I have a great deal on my plate. I am currently engaged and planning my wedding, working 3 jobs and starting my own business, I live on my own, am in charge of mine and my roommate’s bills, and I am a high school leader and 3rd and 4th grade teacher at my church.
Now, I know some people handle more than this. But let me break it down for you- what this is all like with a perfectionist mind.
It is 11:02 at night, and I am supposed to be up at 4 am to open a little coffee shop up the road known as Dutch Bros. Sadly, I cannot sleep, as this whole night was spent with me researching different vendors for my wedding, calculating prices, following up with clients from my other job with Bella Baby Photography, and then scheduling in several fall sessions that I have with my own clients for my personal business, Kayla Jean Photography. I got sidetracked while I was researching vendors for my wedding- I saw some business cards that caught my eye, and played around with a few templates for a couple of hours until my brain hurt. This led me on a rabbit trail to working on my website a bit; you see, everything about my business must be perfect. Whenever I start something, I want to be the best right away. Now, I know this isn’t possible, but inside, my drive is to MAKE this possible. So every waking moment is spent on researching the industry, researching people I admire and their work, and learning the tricks on how I can get to that level.
Back to the wedding. That needs to be perfect too- it’s my wedding day! Every detail must be laid out, organized, within budget, but perfect. Oh, and I have to invite everyone we know (Can’t hurt anyone’s feelings). Next week alone, I am meeting with 2 flower girls, a design company, a catering company, and a wedding coordinator- I’ve been engaged for 3 weeks.
Let’s see, what else. Oh, I also constantly have to be making money. Now I know this seems superficial, but it’s just a part of wanting to be perfect and successful. To me, my salary is a reflection of how well I am doing as a person. How many sales have I made this week? How can I make them better? How many clients have I booked for the next few months? Who am I meeting with, and where? What locations should I take them to? What am I worth? Do I have enough to pay bills? And put aside savings for my future? And save for the honeymoon? And save for the wedding? Oh, and I need to buy my girl’s flowers to give them this Sunday- some of them got baptized and what kind of teacher would I be if I didn’t get them a card with flowers?
And then at the end of the day, when my brain has finally slowed down enough to let me at least think about crawling into bed to lay down, I stop dead center in front of my mirror. Lift up my shirt, and suck in my tummy. Slouch in defeat if I feel like I haven’t worked out enough lately or eaten well that day.
“You can do better, Makayla. I know you can. I’ve SEEN you do it. You have complete control over what you eat and what you do- why didn’t you do better?”
-But I’m so busy wi-
“‘Busy’ is not an excuse. What’s the point of all this if you don’t even feel good or look good?”
And so I drop to the floor and begin to do a quick, 15 minute exercise, to try and tell myself I’ve accomplished that goal, at least partially.
Okay, now it’s time for bed, right?
“Why are your shoes from yesterday on the floor? You slob. Pick those up.”
-But if I pick my shoes up, then I might as well tidy up my desk and all those papers. Oh shoot, the garbage can is full. Crap, tomorrow is trash day! Need to go take out the trash.
And it’s down the stairs I go, to take out the dumpster.
Finally, in bed, but thoughts are still swirling through my head. Need to text the fiance goodnight. Need to fill up the cat’s water. Tomorrow; what’s on the agenda? What pictures do I need to backup? When should I fit in that 45 minute workout? What should I have for lunch? Got to edit those pictures and mail them to that client. Oh, and I need to edit that picture of Buster and email it to dad! And I forgot to fill out those questionnaires for the vendors- better do that too, they’re waiting. I wonder if I have time to work on the guest list as well, before GCB starts? And then the college party after GCD, and I totally forgot I have to-
……Where is God in all of this? Where is He? The One who makes all these things possible for me- why has he not crossed my mind yet?
The thing is, and I’m realizing this more and more every day- I can’t compare myself. And as a perfectionist, I know that this will be the life I’ll live. I will never stop pushing, never stop striving to be the best in every single thing that I do. But I do know I can handle it better. I do know that I can give a lot of these smaller, trivial things to the Lord. Man, what a weight that is off our shoulders, when we give our burdens to the Creator of the Universe!
Every day is a learning experience. Today is just one of them.
Friend, if you can relate all too well to this post, I implore you- give all of it to God. Unplug from social media, unplug from what the rest of the world is doing, or what everyone else is trying to tell you you should be doing- and just rest in his presence. I am so tired of trying to impress the whole world and be like everyone else. I just want to do my thing, at my pace, and let God take me there in the right timing.
Finally, time for some rest.