Childhood is the beautiful time when we think that everything, including us is perfect. We have those perfect bunch of friends, fun at school and loads and loads of dreams. My childhood was all about friends, family, school and Bollywood. I was crazy about Bollywood movies and songs and would enact them sometimes when left alone. I had loads of friends but no girlfriend.
So, since the age of 12, I always had this fantasy of having a girlfriend with whom I could roam around just holding hands, talk for hours and sing songs with just like those Movie Actors. I thought that I would make a perfect one-woman-man boyfriend and a loyal husband. My misconception about myself came to an end once I started getting in and out of relationships and concluded over the fact that I’m not a serious relationship material (at least for a while now). Not only the relationship part, I always tried being the perfect kid in the family, respected elders, did my homework on time, worked hard to get good marks, etc. Everyone around liked me but this effort towards being perfect drove me crazy to a point where I literally was pulling my hair out which I realized when I saw some of them on my palms.
I knew something was wrong and that needed to be changed. I got angry and upset trying to figure out what was wrong. I got depressed looking at the fact that no one even bothered to ask me as to why was I going insane. Finally, my Mom who has always been my best advisor spoke to Me. She said “Its not necessary to make everyone happy and if you’ve succeeded in doing that then you’re not being yourself and there’s something wrong with you. Don’t try to show the world that you’re perfect. Show your real side. Show your imperfections too and the ones who truly love you will stay.”
Initially it felt bit weird when I started not caring much or no more went out of my way to do things. I felt like the world would fall apart but it didn’t. I started doing things that were fun rather than things that looked necessary and there were no consequences. I wore clothes that I liked, changed hairstyles, did not treated people well if they were disrespectful (literally flipped off at them) and I just felt okay. I started doing things that gave me a peace of mind.
Looking back, I say there’s a huge difference between the way I was previously and the way I’m today. I’m not saying that it did not cause any conflict. I still have family members, neighbors and colleagues who are not at all pleased with my behavior. I have no plans about changing for them because off late I realized that it’s too good to be happy rather than perfect.
I’m sure everyone must have at some point tried being perfect about something and then sooner or later gave up on it. It’s good to strive toward excellence, but it’s not worth stressing about perfection all the time. I have learned to abandon the idea of being perfect and focus on enjoy life and be happy. Try it and you’ll see how this reduces stress, increases happiness, and will make you the kind of person you would want to be friends with.