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Perfectionism


My mother was a perfectionist.  She used to tell me to be “absolutely perfect,” not just perfect. When I would get excited about something, and my voice would rise in pitch, she’d say, “Stop.  Lower your voice.  It’s getting squeaky.”  When life would rev me up, and I would talk too fast, she’d tell me to slow it all down.  “Enunciate clearly,” she’d tell me.  Just writing this is making my shoulders hunch up with stress.  It’s a wonder I could get a word out with her around.

Yet, I turned into a writer.

I learned (in spite of her) that the best part of life is finding your own voice, no matter how childish or over-excited it is.  Some of the most powerful things I’ve ever written are simple or raw or crazy-passionate. It’s the crack in the wall of perfection that lets my heart out.  What my mother never understood is that that’s the most beautiful part of me.

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