Monday, 4 July 2011
Perfection and Assured Disappointment
How on earth can you live with a declaration of perfection thrust upon you when a person first meets you?
It's impossible, right?
I sat across from someone on the weekend who said "So, you're a perfect person?" I'm still not sure it was a question so let's assume it was rhetorical. I did however respond with "hardly". That's because I'm so flawed that I exist in a plain of existence that looks like a whole lot of floors - carpeted; tiled; wooden; floating; and even cave dirt.
There is only one way forward if you do not deal with this unmaintainable perception, in the very early stages.
Like any other belief, it should be based in fact and the one overruling positive and absolute truth is that there is no perfection. In nature... In mathematics... In concept... there exists beauty in flawlessness but that is only relative to the broken and rebuilt. People are failing from the second they are born. Even supermodels abuse airline staff and destroy the facade of perfection with ugly manners. Even rare and exotic triffid-envied tropical orchids wither and die when their time for perfection is passed.
Maybe that is what he meant. Maybe I was perfect for a short passing moment in time. Obviously, I left before I could rot in to the rainforest floor. Obviously, I wasn't snoring at the top of my lungs during his favorite movie. Obviously, I wasn't sulking about the wrongs of me suffering first world problems while other less fortunate people struggle to survive this imperfect world.
Everyone has heard me quote Marilyn Monroe when she said that if you can not take me at my worst then you don't deserve me at my best. This may be a point when the corollary kicks in and spits up on the embryonic idea that you should give me time to fail and see if I still fit in to your view of perfect.
I'm an odd person in many ways. One is that I celebrate the breaks in people. The cracks that make people the glorious random souls they are. The tarnished lives that sprout the best stories from histories lived. All an acknowledgement that there is no actual normal. There is no simply average. There is a bell curve we fit under and round holes we must fit our square peggedness in but that's it.
In our failings, we hold the key to the individuals we are. In accepting those breaks and stains and scars in those and others, we celebrate that although there is no perfection that there sure is a whole lot of really interesting, amazing and magical people.
Pedestals are precarious places. Be awfully careful not to put someone on one unless you are willing to catch them when they surely fall, after a few too many wines.