Struggling with Perfection (my story)

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I love reading my peers’ blogs. It’s so amazing to be able to read the thoughts of girls from so many different walks of life. Lately, I’ve been noticing that several girls, who are completely amazing, have been having difficulties coping with the demand that our culture places upon it’s teenagers.

Let me tell you about my story, in correlation with blogging. It happened during the point in my life while I was battling depression, as well as after that, when I experienced a lack of creative inspiration while trying to find my purpose in life. I felt as if I couldn’t do anything right – as if everyone was so much better than I was. My motivation within music was slowly slipping away, even though I still clung to dreams of being a professional pianist.

People might tell you that blogging will help, or that it won’t help, when you’re experiencing this period of readjustment. I think it depends on your personal needs, and how open you are to your readers. Blogging only created more pressure for me – more pressure to be perfect. Just like society demanded me to be. Many, many posts that I drafted/published at the time I ended up deleting later on.

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After winning the emotional battle, I struggled to find a purpose for my life. What did God what from me? Was I good enough for Him? I buried myself in my academics, using schoolwork to fill the empty place that depression had previously occupied. That spring, I quit piano, banishing any thought of becoming a professional pianist from my mind.

The calling that eventually filled that hole was writing, and later on, photography. I’m not going to say that I was faithful during that time – I most certainly was not. But I do believe God filled that hole in my heart and mind.

Friends (all of you, but especially to younger teens), don’t believe that this transition is the end of the world. It is not. Don’t think that what you want for yourself will not change. It probably will. Don’t let the awkwardness and pain overwhelm you, and drag you down. If you’re not careful, it will. Believe me.

I know it’s hard to deal with the expectation of perfection. Our society places so much emphasis upon being perfect that those who express their pain to others, especially in written form, are often ignored. “Perfection” is only a mask. Don’t wear it, if it’s not you. You’re allowed to be human. Everyone has been through this time of adolescence, whether they care to remember it or not. Don’t let perfection drag you down.

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If you got this far, thank you for reading this. So much. This wasn’t a planned post, but it’s been weighing heavily on my heart for a few weeks now, and I wanted to express it in some way or another.

(photos are absolutely unrelated to the post. still, posts are rather bland without pictures, yes?)

10 Comment

  1. Abby says: Reply

    Very true. My dad says, "Don't strive for perfection. Strive for excellence."
    Because if you strive for perfection, you're always going to feel like a failure, and you're always going to be depressed.
    Thanks for sharing!

  2. Thanks for sharing! Being a teenager is tough (Yes I can remember that far back). Hopefully, lots of teens will take inspiration from this blog.

  3. Alix says: Reply

    Amazing post! I definitely agree… everyone in my family is a hard worker and they're all successful in whatever they put their mind to, and it's hard for me because I feel like I have to "be perfect" in order for them to be happy. They expect a lot out of me, but they know that perfection isn't possible. In fact, my dad actually told me recently that he felt that I put too much focus in being perfect and I should just try to do the best I can. It's hard, but I know he's right.

  4. Liz B says: Reply

    Dear, dear Amanda, you are so lovely, and your happiness is contagious 🙂 We must Skype soon. And while you are't perfect, as no one is perfect, that in no way diminishes your wonderful-ness. <3

  5. I appreciate your honesty, Amanda. It is truth- we all go through these dry seasons- especially when we're looking outwardly for something to fill us, when the light is inside us. And even more so when we're trying to reach perfection- everyone eventually burns out aka the dry season. I feel like sharing a post me mum wrote on a similar topic with you- http://thepassionatewisewoman.com/2012/02/27/the-….
    anyway, continue debunking those mental myths-in the english & british sense of the word mental. 😉

  6. Hannah L. says: Reply

    Thanks for sharing, Amanda! And I was wondering–what breeds are you horses?
    ~Hannah L.

    1. Amanda says: Reply

      Hannah – we have six horses: two Percherons, a Haflinger/Belgian cross, a Belgian/Standardbred/Morgan cross, a Quarter Horse, and a pony, who I believe is a Welsh cross. 🙂

  7. patrice says: Reply

    Amen! I thought you posted the horses because they don't wrestle with that perfection issue at all. But the cute issue keeps them busy all the time!

  8. Chloe says: Reply

    Amanda,
    I love your blog, you have such a way of being so free and honest and I always get something out of reading your beautiful posts. I know what you mean by being put under presure to be prefect. I play soccer in a girls team. They all go the same school and know each other well, while I am home schooled and only know them from last season. I often feel the need to be like them to be liked and acsepted when really all I need to be is myself. It was great to read your post and find out that I'm not the only one who feels that way. It's comforting to know that I'm not alone.
    Keep up the awesome posts,
    Blessings,
    Chloe

  9. I enjoyed this, Amanda!! Thanks!

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