What it's Like to be a Perfectionist in 2020

To make it short, not fun. Frankly, it is impossible to do any year, but completely out of the question in 2020. As a perfectionist myself, I want to share with you the ways 2020 shredded my concept of "perfect."

I am a very goal oriented person, if you're familiar with my blog, you know I set yearly goals for myself, and monthly goals. Heck, I even made a list of quarantine goals, this list will never be shown to the internet. I can remember a pre-corona me, with ambition and hope, not knowing that shortly her goals would be ripped from her frail fingers due to a global pandemic.

It's October and I have only completed six out of the 20 goals I set for this year. I try not to think about that too much, and I tell myself often that I still have a few months. What hurt me the most was my list of March goals.

Back in February, I was stuck in an all work, no play mindset. I would go days without talking to anybody. I was putting in so many hours at work and consuming myself with school. So, for March I set out that I would leave my house for fun, to see a friend, once a week. It took a lot to set this goal, because I knew the second I wrote it down I would force myself to do it. In fact, it didn't even make the cut for my beginning of the month goals, a little over a week into March I crossed off one original goal and replaced it with this. Then COVID-19 came.

I'm not going to lie, guys. I cried. I stared at my notebook and cried at the goal I was so proud of that I could not safely achieve. Was this ridiculous? Very, but as a perfectionist it was so hard to know that I was going to have to let that one go.

Looking back, I'm glad my perfectionist heart was broken so early, because that was not the last goal COVID-19 took from me. I slowly watched myself decline in motivation for schoolwork and my patience at work was almost non-existent. My apprenticeship program through Meredith was canceled and I found out I would be attending my senior year of college completely online. Almost every aspect of my final year at college that I meticulousy planned was out of my hands.

Regardless of every bone in my body telling me I was going to self-destruct, I clearly survived. I never stopped setting goals, but I did start to accept that sometimes they would have to fail. Due to this predetermined failure on most of my goals, I think I have had more fun this year.

When I let go of my unrealistic expectations, I started to do things I really wanted to. I quit my lousy part time job that I hated and I started saying yes to more random 2am adventures with my friends. Somehow, schoolwork became less draining and I allowed myself to focus on what I was learning rather than what grade I was getting.

Being a perfectionist in 2020 is growth. It's realizing that perfection doesn't exist and for me, it was realizing that I low-key hated the way I was treating myself. The biggest lesson I learned through this was that I wasted so much time planning things that were never mine to plan.


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