What is it about this neat little word that I detest so greatly?
The rolling purr– into the sharp –fekt. A deceitful word if there ever was one.
I suppose I don’t like perfect because the truth of it does not exist. Perfect is the lettered representative of a ghostly idea, diaphanous and elusive. Perfect is a tantalizing illusion, an unreality. An impossible bar to measure success and performance whose sole purpose is to remind us that we are not good enough. You cannot be perfect enough. Only perfect.
Or maybe I don’t like perfect because it is so utterly and soul-crushingly boring. Perfect lacks inspiration, innovation, experimentation. The rule of perfect is the rules. Standards. Pressed uniforms and picket fences. Strict codes of behavior hidden in its unassuming syllables. It implies something already decided, predetermined.
When was the last time you were perfect?
When was your last “perfect moment”?
Because chances are that what made it so perfect was precisely the opposite of perfect. We call a moment perfect when it is unexpected, when the motions of our day suddenly transcend our plans and visions and become something more vivid and alive, pulsing with breath and emotion and color. This is not perfection. This is life. That moment when you suddenly find yourself with a heart beating against your own and the thrill of a long-desired kiss. That moment spent solitary under a red sky and a setting sun, tired and satisfied in a hazy foreign land. That moment when this thought, out of nowhere, pops into your mind:
If I died here, right now, this very second, I would die happy.
Perfect is not nearly enough to describe these moments.
So give me messy. Give me rule-breakers. Give me spontaneity and joy and impulse. Give me all the mistakes and misadventures perfect could never be. Life requires the opposite of that staid and disapproving word; life is wild hair, strength and freedom, the courage to follow the unknown rivers of this world without reserve or worry.
Imperfect is glorious.
And perfect? Perfect can only quake in its presence.
Virginia Moore is a twentysomething yoga aficionado, recovering world traveler and aspiring writer exploring the mindful life. Newly based in Boston after two years of world travel and one year in NYC, Virginia now blogs at The Life Found, where she covers topics such as yoga, food and the wonderful confusion of life in general. Tweet her @MooreVirginia or email [email protected].
Editor: Jayleigh Lewis