A couple of years ago I thought I had this perfection thing nailed. I even wrote about it for my Masters. Drawing on my experiences of recovery from an eating disorder, I wrote about accepting & thriving on imperfections in my work; how learning to Let It Go opens up so much more…..
I was that child that got herself up at 6.45 to practice the clarinet, & put herself to bed after a full day of school & evening classes with a solid hour of reading, of the most dull-looking tiny-print book I could find.
When I developed my eating disorder, I found a new thing to be perfect at. I could balance all these pretty little numbers called calories & become pure skin & bones. Nothing else messy. When my dietitian said she’d never met anyone alive with a BMI as low as mine I felt a little thrill.
In recovery my attention turned to my work, & by God I was going to work harder & clock more hours than anyone else ever. I was never going to risk making a mistake.
As my career developed I realised that actually it’s fine to just be on time, instead of an hour early. It’s ok to say ‘I’m a bit tired & bored today’. There aren’t any medals for staying up all night doing paperwork. In fact it’s a bit annoying. & not really worth it.
So I wrote lavishly of accepting my flaws, of learning from mistakes, of the new golden age of imperfections. Who was I kidding? For some (probably very dull & predictable childhood related) reasons I crave control. & neat edges. & clarity.
So I stopped eating biscuits at tea breaks… & BAM! So easy, so comfortable. It all came rushing back like it’d never left. Soon I had my bones & my numbers & my single focus for each day. To be perfect at not eating.