I spent four hours yesterday rewriting a post I'd written and published on my blog six months ago. Then today I read it, hated it, and switched it back to its original version. Meanwhile I'm still not 100% happy with it...
I am totally perplexed why I would waste so much precious time agonizing over an old post, especially since there is a strong likelihood no one will ever read it, and even more so that my blog is in dire need of new posts! I'm pretty sure my time could have been spent more wisely. But sadly there's no room for logic when perfectionism rules the roost.
Being a perfectionist is an odd thing really. It's a constant, unnecessary battle with myself. No one else gives a damn, but for some reason I do.
I watched the film "Everest" last night and was baffled why anyone would risk their lives and actually DIE just to proclaim they climbed to the top of Mount Everest. Willing to leave behind family, wives, kids, and sacrifice everything for a validation that only they themselves need. It seems quite irrational since no one else requires them to prove this incredible, courageous feat. Yet, for some reason, they are driven to do just that.
As I lay in bed last night unable to sleep (a bad habit of late) my mind berated my perfectionist ways as I concurrently mourned those crazy Everest climbers whose bodies, to this day, remain frozen on the icy cliffs. "All for what?" I thought. "For the glory??". As my train of thoughts shifted back and forth it suddenly dawned on me that my irrational drive to be perfect, my struggle to find that perfect word, or string of words that only I care about, actually shared a slight parallel (okay, ever so slight!) with the drive of those climbers. Since in both cases the final validation is internal, and in the grand scheme, the act itself is not necessary for anyone to endure.
Of course mostly the differences are huge in that no one could care less if I rewrite a post, nor will I ever have the added life/death pressures! But a person who makes it to the top of Mount Everest? Well, it's a given they will be revered as impressive, amazing human beings.
As I tried to settle my rampant thoughts, since it was now four o'clock in the morning, I decided that maybe I could use this to help put my perfectionism into perspective. No one will ever revere me if I write a perfect post. And perfect doesn't necessarily mean impressive, nor amazing. In fact, less than perfect is more real. Authentic. And in the world of blog posts, for goodness sake, isn't that all readers are truly looking for?!