Monday, February 21, 2011

Bow Out

I'm not super fond of mornings like this.

Mornings when I don't get out the door in time.
Mornings when my hair does this greasy, floppy, uncooperative thing.
Mornings when I spend far too long trying on skinny jeans or boot cut? Converse or flats? t-shirt or sweater? hat or headband?
Mornings when the longer I spend looking in the mirror, the louder that bullying voice in me becomes. Words like "fat" and "gross" and "ugly" and "unmotivated" and "pathetic" sneak into my otherwise kinder vocabulary and leaves me feeling, well, most of those things.
Mornings when it's only Monday and the war has already begun.

In all actuality, the war never ceases. It just ebbs and flows. In and out. Louder and softer, depending on whose in charge.

Yesterday, I went running with a new friend. We talked for quite a while about how much we have in common, the biggest one being that we are both recovering perfectionists.

Talking to her I was reminded of the journey I am still on.
The journey that challenges me.
The journey that has enabled me to consider a whole new way of living life.
The journey that brings residual doubts into my head from the girl I used to be.

She was driven for many of the wrong reasons.
She was unable to admit her flaws.
She was tough on the outside and falling apart on the inside.
She was convinced that organized, efficient, and productive were her most important virtues.
She was sad, but unwilling to say it out loud.
She was apparently "perfect" but unable to see any worth in herself.

It's taken me several years to acknowledge that perfection is a myth. And I was just chasing my own tail in circles attempting to catch it. There are people I see around me who are running in circles. When they try to compete with me, to prove they've got it all together (and they don't), I bow out. That's right. I let them "win."

I have a friend whose apparent life goal is to be the most beautiful woman in the room. Always. I'd say she succeeds most of the time. Congratulations. Now what? When I am around her I purposefully wear sweats. Why? Because the game is silly and I'm not playing it.

Some describe this perfection seeking personality as Type A: aggressive, sometimes hostile, stressed, controlling. Yes, yes, yes, yes. Either way, I don't think it's any way to live and frankly, it already been too long.

To the Non-Type As: thanks for your patience.
To the Type As: there's another way if you're willing to work for it.
To the Type As (perfectionists) in recovery: Hang on. Deep breaths.