Hello, my name is Ashley and I am a perfectionist.
Phew, okay. It feels great getting that off my chest. I know, I know, you’re all SHOCKED by the news, but seriously– let’s talk about this devil of a word for a second.
I’ve been quite open about how perfectionism played a heavy role in my past struggles with anorexia and exercise addiction, but eating disorder aside, perfectionist like tendencies have always been present in practically every aspect of my life — and I know many of you can relate. So in the spirit of Buzzfeed and the Huffington Post (because numerical list articles are seriously my favorite articles of all time), I present to you my very first countdown article on Pretty Fit Life! A little tongue in cheek, a little earnest, and hopefully thought-provoking for my fellow perfectionists out there (you’re not alone!). The struggle is real, but don’t worry, we’ll all learn to be imperfect one day
1.) Spontaneity is literally your worst nightmare:
(Cue the horror music). Routine keeps you sane—for the most part anyways. Sure, you like the idea of road-tripping cross-country with nothing but a change of underwear and a toothbrush, but in reality an alteration of plans requires advance notice and proper preparation (so you can at least look like you’re letting your hair down for once).
2.) You don’t know how to relax:
In fact, downtime gives you straight up anxiety. You hate lazy people and fear someone will think you’re one of them if you aren’t chronically busy. You don’t believe there’s ever “nothing to do” and have an equal amount of jealousy and intrigue for people who seem to have that whole “just chillin’” thing down pat.
3.) You set an alarm on the weekends…sometimes multiple:
Heaven forbid you sleep past 7:00am—after all, that would mean you’ve practically wasted the day away! If you haven’t worked out, checked your emails, prepped your food for the week, and run all of your errands before 10:00am, then clearly you’ve failed at life! When you do have a day off from work, you intend to make the very best of it by completely scheduling out your whole day out hour by hour—even the fun stuff.
4.) Your new place is never “finished”:
You have dreams of your new home looking like something straight out of an HGTV special, but paint is permanent– just like the scar that will be left on your heart when you find throw pillows that match that “Bohemian Paradise” theme and you’ve already settled on “Shabby Chic.”
5.) Meditation and yoga are the bane of your existence:
You SO want to be a yogi, goddamnit! Some of the most successful people in the world meditate and practice yoga every day yet you can’t get through two minutes without wondering when your car had it’s last oil change, and if you should consider switching your cat’s food to that expensive, organic, non-GMO ish…
6.) January 1st is the calendar marker for another “midlife crisis”:
Yes, you have a midlife crisis–every year. You make lengthy lists of resolutions, apply to new jobs and/or Master’s programs, purchase a pricey gym membership, and shout phrases like “What am I doing with my life!?” You commit that this year will finally be the year you find yourself, and for a while you believe it– until the snow melts at least.
7.) You fear you’re never good enough:
You question whether people like you, whether you’re good enough at your job or at your relationship, and whether you’re a success or a failure. In fact, you probably question this every day. Unless you’re being acknowledged or praised, you feel you’re being condemned. You live in fear of disappointing others—especially yourself.
8.) You second guess everything:
You’ll never be truly satisfied with your decisions—even if they were the right call to make at the time. For you, the grass is always going to be greener on the other side and you’ll spend your whole life wondering “what if I did this instead of that…” Yes this will come up A LOT, but you also know it’s toxic to spend too much time here—dwelling in the past will prevent you from looking to the future.
9.) You don’t know what “happy” is:
Happiness seems like a magical, sparkly, unicorn that everyone can see but you. Yes, you get happy feelings like a normal human being, but whether or not you actually are happy…. you’re not so sure. You tell yourself “I’ll be happy when I (fill in the blank).” But when one goal is attained, you just immediately set another one, and then another one—preventing you from basking in the glow of achievement for long. Long story short, happiness comes from within–it’s just going to be a little harder for you to find it.
10.) No one knows how insecure you feel:
You’re a PERFECTIONIST for crying out loud! That means you’re perfect, REMEMBER?? False. Sure, on the outside you’ve got it together. People actually admire your crazy schedules, to-do lists, daily routines, and disciplined workout regimens– but little do they know how much time and energy it takes to keep up with this perfect persona. Little do they know that deep down, we wish we were a little more human like you—because it’s starting to look pretty perfect…
So, let’s just all take a word of advice from Tay Tay herself…
And learn to be a little more like Michelle Tanner.
Because blue-haired, Bride Wars Kate Hudson is right…
I mean…even Beyoncé isn’t perfect