Unobtainable Perfection


I am one of those people whose own expectations for myself far surpass the expectations that others have for me. I have always been like this. In school if I received an A- I was upset because I should have done better. I knew that I was capabale of doing better. Well, maybe not in science or art, but the rest of it should have been a shoe-in for me.

As I cross stitch I try to make sure that every stitch is perfect. If I am one stitch off I will more than likely rip out all of the stitching that I’ve done just so that I can get it perfect. Even if modifying the rest of the pattern a little bit will finish the piece without anybody knowing. When I do try to hide my imperfections in my pieces I obsess over them and look for others to point out my flaws.

Last night I was flying with Jay and I was not doing very well at all. I couldn’t keep the wings level and my approaches for landing were atrocious. I know that I can do better because I have done better in the past. To be fair, I am now controlling all aspects of the plane whereas before Jay controlled the throttle so that I could concentrate on the ailerons and elevator. So this was the first time that I was trying to do everything by myself without ditching the plane. Because it wasn’t going so well I was getting frustrated and finally had to tell him that I needed to stop. The more frustrated I got, the worse my flying became. I know myself well enough to say that I need to stop before I really get upset and something gets broken. lol. Yes, I can have a temper, but it’s usually reflected at myself.

It is all completely illogical, and I know it. That’s the part that irritates me the most. I shouldn’t try to be so perfect because I know it’s not attainable. The nature of being human is that we are flawed creatures. I know that I can’t expect perfection from myself after only getting a few hours in on the trainer plane. Yet, I do anyway. Why? Because I have set this HIGH bar of expectations that says that I should be at this skill level by now. It’s not based on any logical calculations or experience. Just on what I have determined I should be capable of doing.

I am my own worst enemy. There are other areas of my life where I worry about being perfect. I want to be the perfect daughter. I want to be the perfect girlfriend. I want to be the perfect employee. I even want to be the perfect housekeeper. I know that everybody in my life loves me for who I am and my imperfections, but that doesn’t keep me from continuing to strive for the unattainable. I need to somehow learn how to stop that critic in my head. When somebody tells me how wonderful my cross stitched piece looks I need to stop listening to the voice in my head saying, “No, it doesn’t. How do they not see that this stitch doesn’t look right??” Or when Jay tells me how good I’m doing with the planes I need to ignore the voice that says, “Good? Yeah right! If I was doing good then I could have at least kept the wings level!”

How do I stop that voice? How do I shut it down? How do I silence it? When I can manage to do that then I’ll have finally reached a point of perfection in my head. Maybe….

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