Perfectionism has been a struggle of mine for quite some time. It’s what makes me edit as I write, baby new clothes, and stress over the smallest flaws and imperfections. On a good day, I call it having great attention to detail; on a bad day, I find it nearly paralyzing. I beat myself up over the smallest mistakes. Wear and tear to my favorite boots haunts me every time I put them on my feet. Even though the moments of “damage” are behind me, the stress from it never really ends. It’s a mess.
I think the worst part of being a perfectionist is the near constant feeling of overwhelm. I’m always thinking… and overthinking which I’m sure a lot of people can relate to. If I’m not worrying about all that I haven’t accomplished yet and how “perfect” I need to be to get there, I’m stressing over stupid things I’ve said and scolding myself for it. I’m imagining the houses I’d like to the live in and the goals I have but instead of being excited, I’m worried that it won’t be as perfect as I’ve imagined or that I’m not capable of getting there. Or that there’s too many details for one person to handle on their own so I should just give up. That’s overwhelm. Everything all at once, all the time.
All these thoughts make me feel rushed and keep me away from the joy of the present moment. When it comes to writing and producing music, perfectionism makes me put my equipment away. I just shut down.
Something I realized recently though, is that art doesn’t need to be perfect to be memorable. It doesn’t have to be inhuman to be enjoyed. In fact, art needs to be the exact opposite for people to care. Its flaws make it relatable; its honesty creates compassion between people.
This realization gave me the strength to start practicing and pursuing music again. By no means is my voice where I want it to be or are my guitar skills as good as they could be. I don’t know everything about producing music in a home studio (if you can even call it that) and I’m only just learning the basics of recording. I don’t even know exactly what direction I want to take my sound in quite yet. But the day when I can do everything perfectly and keep everything under control is never going to come and if I keep waiting, I’m never going to try. I have to start somewhere. I deserve to go after what I want and at this point in my life, I’ve decided that no one is going to stop me, not even the perfectionist part of me.
p.s. – it feels like Fall here, I’ve got a cat in my lap, and I couldn’t be happier.