Every now and then, I go through phases of wanting to improve myself, where I take mental clippings of things that inspire me and strive to attain them, or at least copy them to the best of my ability.
I identify who I want to be (at least for the moment) and trawl through Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, to see how it can be done. It’s this weird, heart-in-the-throat kind of feeling. A kind of excitement, a feeling that I am going to be better than ever, that I am going to be the IT girl who can do everything and anything.
Perfect hair, perfect face, perfect clothes, weight, work-life balance, friends, relationships. It all becomes a plan and within a few hours, I feel inspired and motivated, determined, to be this new person.
And then, it stops. Just like that.
For two reasons.
The more I pursue it, the less I feel like I have it. And then I realise, it’s the chase that makes it so exciting. The possibility of what could be, not of what I am. The more I “perfect” myself, the less perfect I feel. So I begin to realise that this excitement, the heart-beating moment, is nothing more than that. It’s the thought of being something, not actually being it, not temporary. It’s an excitement for what could be and can’t be replicated.
The other reason comes has its roots in this article on why women will never believe that they are beautiful, as it made me realise why so many of us give up on ourselves. We are constantly shown with society’s image of what is beautiful, often leading us to believe we, our beauty, is second-rate. I realised that no matter how much I “improved” myself, there was another woman doing my dream life better, making me feel nothing more than a wannabe, a hopeless trier who, well, tries too hard. At that point, my desire and inspiration shuts down. And I’m back thinking that I’m just floating through life.
So I’ve decided to change my perception instead of changing myself. In that, instead of changing my face, my hair, my clothes, my whatever, I change my attitude. Be the personality I want to be and not the tall, skinny, Normcore lookalike – do people still use that word? Be a little bit crazy, be nice, be reliable, funny, and sometimes serious. Those things usually make more of an impact on who you are and the people you interact with than what you wear. I know I’d rather be told I’m funny than pretty. I’d rather be the spontaneous one than the one with the perfect shoes. Whilst I still love fashion (and I’ll still trawl Instagram for inspiration), I’d rather sacrifice a good outfit for a day of getting rain-soaked in the woods. Memories are made from your personality and how you interact with others, not on what you wear or how you look.
It reminds me of these words by Rupi Kaur
Maybe striving for personality “perfection” (within reason) is perhaps better than striving for visual perfection? Because it’s a lot harder to find someone else doing you better than you.