Wednesday, December 16

Perfection

When I first moved into residence 3 years ago, I quickly realized that my room was going to need some TLD-- Tender Loving Decoration.* Badly. Although it's not the same set up as most American colleges since I have my own room, it was still pretty plain and boring. I had one blue (think stormy blue) wall, while all the others were an odd beige colour.** The light in the room was--and still is--so dim it actually hurts the eyes to use it. And the furniture. Sighs. Oh the furniture. It's not the prettiest by any means. It's serviceable and hardy, which is what it's supposed to be. But it's certainly not pretty. Add this all together, and I came into quite a dilemma. My room needed to be in my taste for me to feel truly comfortable there. And so I set out to make my room the best I could.

In the end I am quite happy with how it turned out. Even though I've changed apartments over the years, my room has basically stayed the same (I'm apparently a creature of habit). My comforter is a pretty black and white creation from Ikea, the pillows and blankets are all moss green and stormy blue, and my knick knacks--teddy bears, fake candles (no flames in residence, remember), picture frames, posters and whatever else floats my boat--add a personal touch to the room that most other residence rooms lack.

This year, I added a few new pictures to the walls. I now have what is probably the most famous kissing picture of the 20th century (I am an avid romance reader and writer) and one of the best pictures depicting the joy of Freedom:



I also bought another picture, which sits over my desk to both taunt me and inspire me.

Here it is above my desk at school:

I'm not sure if any of you have noticed, but I'm quite the perfectionist. My room is always clean, everything is organized, my grades must be as good as possible, and my writing... well my writing has to be perfect, which complicates my life immeasurably when it doesn't work out that way. So I got this poster, both for the pretty picture and also to remind myself what perfection should be, not what I always make it be. However, while staring aimlessly at it during a break from studying the other day, it occurred to me that not everyone would view perfection in this neat and tidy way. While I believe perfection to be clean, organized, and beautiful, many others would readily disagree with me. And I don't blame them. I do think the picture above is perfect; however, I would say the same of a wild, overgrown meadow. Which brings me to my main point. If everyone sees perfection in such different ways, how can there ever be a solid, concrete term to rely on? If everyone has a different view on perfection, how can we determine what body image is perfect, what behaviour is perfect, or what writing is perfect? The answer is simple:
We can't.
So stop trying to mould yourself to what society deems is acceptable. Don't try to force your behaviour into what you believe is perfect (unless you have the inclination to break the law... then you probably shouldn't do that). And most especially my friends, don't try to squeeze, shove or bully your writing into being some false ideal of perfection. It won't work. In the end you'll only feel nauseous for ignoring yourself and for forcing yourself to be something you're not.***
As my poster says, "Perfection: Success is the art of doing ordinary things in extraordinary ways."
Take it to heart guys. Sometimes the simplest, smallest thing can be the best.

*Cheesy I know. Gimme a break, it's exam period.*
** My room is still this way, with one blue wall and all the rest being beige.**
*** This is not based on my own experience, but from what I've read/seen from other people.***

8 comments:

  1. That is a very poignant message, Natalie, and you delivered it beautifully. I think this is my favorite Natalie post so far! ;-)

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  2. I love this post. I think perfection is distorted in today's times and it is important to remember that your best is always good enough, as long as you try your hardest.

    Sending the best of luck to you and your writing.

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  3. Great message- one I sometimes have a hard time remembering.

    And I love the black and white pic! One of my students is doing her final exam project on that. It is terribly romantic and hopeful.

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  4. I'd have to agree - this is also my favourite Natalie post so far. Really well written =) And really good message.

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  5. I love your posters, Natalie, and I don't think your room is cheesy at all. I would've loved an apartment like that when I was in college instead of cinder block walls.

    Perfection? I don't think it's possible. However, as someone once said '...if we chase perfection we can catch excellence'. Somedays I'm chasing it, and others I'm just muddling through hoping to find excellence at the other end.

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  6. Happy Thursday, Natalie! I have a little something for you at my blog today. :-)

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  7. You write the best posts, Natalie. If your WIP is half as good as your blog, you're going to have a long and successful career as a published author in the not so distant future.

    I like your poster and share your perfectionist attitude. When everything is neat and tidy and organized, I'm a happier person. But I do need to rethink my idea of perfection on my WIP. Otherwise, I'm never going to get to THE END.

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  8. Shannon- Aww thank you =]

    Vicky- Thanks =] I agree completely. I think children especially need to be taught this. Back at ya =D

    Stephanie- I think we all have troubles remembering this at times. Me too! I've always wanted it. Oh wow, that sounds like a neat project subject.

    Meg- Thanks hun.

    B.E.- Eww. Cinder block walls?! I'm the same way. But as long as this sits in the back of our minds, I think we'll end up just honky dory =]

    Shannon- Thanks hun =] I need to start posting all those awards soon. They're just so much work, LOL!

    Jen- You made me cry. Thank you so much for being so sweet. It's been a tough week and your kindness was such a blessing.

    Yeah, I just have to have things clean and organized-- including my writing. LOL! Yeah. Me too. Sighs.

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