February 24, 2022

Perfect is the Armor we Wear.

Perfect is the armor we wear to stop ourselves from being seen.

Perfect is the way we repeat things over and over in our minds—like situational mantras that help us hide from how it feels when they don’t respond the way we hoped they would.

Perfect is the sound of the shower running, steeming the glass and blurring our thoughts, as we try to hide from the angry glare of a full-length mirror and all its revelations.

Perfect is the blackest eyeliner and the honey contour and the luminous silk foundation that we hope will tightly bottle our blemishes within us.

Perfect is hours of meticulous rewriting and rephrasing and rewriting and rephrasing on an email that we immediately regret having sent…because we wanted to be right. Because perfect is never wrong.

Perfect is not allowing ourselves to get close, lest they see the unfinished bits.

Perfect is the way we search for the undo button—for the wrong thing we said in the wrong tone of voice, for laughing at the wrong time, for the way we slink up against the wall like a coward afterward.

Perfect is half a mandarin and two mini carrots and one Babybel cheese, with a quarter bite to the dog. For the day.

Perfect is devouring the fridge later that night: punishment, comfort, adding to the armor.

Perfect is going above and beyond, resentful, yes ma’am, resentful, happy to help, resentful—because why haven’t they noticed how hard we try? Why are we an unloved necessity? Perfect is doing even more, then.

Perfect is keeping us superglued to our patterns of self-destruction and toxic habits.

Perfect is a cancer that saps all our energy, leaving us drained—a clammy, pasty shell.

Perfect is the armor we wear.

And despite how terrifying it may seem to do so, we can shake it off.

Because allowing ourselves to be blemished and fat and awkward and goddamn good enough—to be messy and imperfect—is love, is freedom, is the rest we need from this beautiful, difficult world.

Want more? Read this one from Tina Wirth on the myth of perfect love: Relationships don’t have to look like they do in Hollywood Movies.

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Catherine Monkman  |  Contribution: 188,745

Image: Holly Lay/Flickr

author: Catherine Monkman