I wrote this after I did something very stupid one weekend and was consumed in remorse. Though the event prompted this journal entry, it’s a sentiment that I’ve long struggled with.
‘Even a halo is something to keep clean.’
What does it mean to be perfect? I’ve been searching for the answer to this for a couple days now, but I realize that this has been more of a lifelong query. With my Catholic upbringing it has always been difficult to adhere to the highest standards of morality and integrity.
I think about how I was raised in a rather strict Filipino home. I had to serve as the consummate example for my younger brother. The grades had to be the best, because our family was always the best. You are not to have a boyfriend before college or you will get pregnant and ruin your life. You are to watch over your brother because he looks up to you. Someone was always watching, and judging and I felt I could never just be. And mid-way through college, when it came time to cement my major and my future, I abandoned my love of writing for a more respectable major.
They never once asked me to make that shift, but I didn’t want to let my parents down. They had sacrificed for me and my brother that I didn’t want to let them down but relying solely on an art. How could I re-pay my parents back by putting my thoughts on paper?
My relationships were no better. I had no idea what it meant to be a ‘perfect’ girlfriend. It was like sand through my fingers, the more I held tightly to the ideal of perfection, the more they would slip from me.
Perhaps perfection is a mere ideal that we work towards but never completely achieve. It is something to strive towards that makes us better in our pursuit of it. But intention and execution are two very different things. Maybe that’s why we need things outside of ourselves to help us achieve that near-perfectness. God, art, love – these are things that are pure in and of themselves – but are transformed into something greater through human imperfection.
It is in our complexities and our short-sightedness that transforms these obscure things, into something real and tangible.
What is love without forgiveness? And would art be beautiful, if it were not borne from pain? And why would we need God, if not to acknowledge our own frailty?
I am tired of trying to be perfect. I want to be me, in all its glorious imperfection. I want to be the most perfect version of my imperfect self.