Sunday, October 23, 2011


She came out of the womb completely and utterly perfect.
As we all do.

Yet she emerged kicking and screaming. The world was already a cruel place and she was prepared to fight it to the death. No one gets out of this life alive, but she sure as hell would try.

Her body was perfect: young, innocent, fleshy, alive.
Her hair was perfect: new, blond ringlets.
Her eyes were perfect: shiny, bright, greenish-brown.
Her value in the Universe was monumental (just like every other human being to ever step down on planet earth). Yet still, so very important.
Her character, personality, and charm were evident from day one: fresh, unique, worthy.

From the first time she looked at her reflection in the mirror,
From the first time she listened to beautiful women argue with compliments given them,
From the first time she measured her most average qualities to the absolute best in others,
From the first time she made a mistake and felt inadequate in every way,
From the first time she expected more from herself than any human being should,
she wanted more.
More assurance.
More confidence.
More peace.
Being simply "human" wasn't perfect enough.
Unattainable at best, but completely worth working for.

So she searched.
She fought with her body's natural cycles.
She saved up her allowance to buy anti-aging creams when she was ten.
She disagreed with her body's definition of "hungry" and "full."
She starved. She exercised. She vomited.
She argued with her body's size, shape, appearance.
She resented the vehicle designated to carry her through life.
If it had been up to her, she could have done better.

Family and friends adored this girl, for she was actually quite wise and intelligent and gifted and courageous. But there was always this one thing that held her back: herself.

Acquaintances and even strangers envied her confidence, her charm, her talents, her legs, her smile. When they told her, she said, "Thank you" with a smile, but thought to herself:
They must
be crazy.

Sometimes she even wondered if she was crazy.
If maybe everyone else wasn't telling her lies.
If maybe she wasn't seeing clearly.
No. She knew who she was and if they knew, they wouldn't be proud of her either.

She spent her precious seventy years on planet earth tearing herself apart, seeking perfection, not believing people's compliments. Not believing in herself.

She graduated college.
Got married.
Pursued a career.
Bought a home.
Spent holidays with good people.
Took a few vacations.
And died.
What a waste.

At her funeral, people did not mourn her absence as much as they mourned the life that could have been. The life that laid buried beneath her own self-hatred and doubt. The possibilities of all that she could have been, but refused to be until she was perfect and life fit within her expectations.

She never got it.
She spent her whole life missing the point.
She never understood that she was perfect from the very beginning.
The brutal fight she waged against herself for decades on end was completely unnecessary because she had won the battle for perfection seventy years earlier on the day she was born.

But now it didn't matter.
Because she was dead.

And life went on.