31 Days in the Life of a Recovering Perfectionist

Hi. My name is Erin and I am a recovering idealist perfectionist. I see the potential in the world around me and would be happier than a little kid eating candy at Disney World if reality always lined up perfectly with what’s in my head. But obviously that doesn’t happen. Life usually doesn’t come anywhere close. Because life is life. And truth be told, life really wouldn’t be as much fun if it weren’t for the dips and turns and unknowns to keep us on our toes and always hanging onto God to lead us into the next thing. (at least that’s what I try to tell myself…in my current 12,165 step process toward recovery…the number of days I’ve been alive…plus a few more to account for leap years and the fact that I only counted from my birthday this year until Sept 25 since that was easiest [as my birthday is May 25] and it’s now Oct 1…confession: it is actually taking work to keep myself from looking up how many leap years I’ve lived though in order to calculate the exact number…but that would defeat the purpose of this post)

I have heard several times that perfection is the enemy of progress and that is definitely true. But for me, God has recently revealed that perfection is the enemy of purpose. For my purpose is to be me. In all of my crazy weirdo creative glory. Me, the analytical, daydreaming, getting excited about squirrels & bunnies in the yard, deep feeler, passionate, complex, beautiful creation of God. Because my purpose is to be used by Him to give others freedom to be their purpose as I freely live out mine. Because all of our purposes is to be ourselves.

A few days ago, I came across a 31 Day writing challenge thanks to my beautiful friend Angie. 31Days is a challenge to pick one topic and write a post about that topic every day in October. I immediately knew I had to join. I can’t remember the last time I’ve done something consistently for 31 days in a row…or even longer than a week if I’m being perfectly honest. (ha, see, even my honesty has to be perfect) The reason? Every time I have committed to consistency, the desire to be perfect has taken over. Perfect takes too much time and energy to maintain. ‘Hey, I need to do ____ today because I committed to it…oh but I’m not in the right frame of mind, I have a headache, the paint chipping on the wall is distracting me, etc etc etc’

It’s time for me to break through perfect. To live this life fully breathing in the beauty that lives outside of perfect. To write without trying to make sure everything is grammatically correct, or that I didn’t leave out an ‘or’ or ‘and’…to freely think in my quirky incomplete sentence fragments and random bunny-chasing side notes. If you plan to follow me on this journey, you’ve been warned…English majors beware ;).

I can’t wait to see where this journey takes me… and hopefully by the end of this month, I’ll be able to write a post without having to take so many breaks because I get distracted by trying to analyze certain phrases or thinking too much about whether or not something makes sense πŸ˜‰ HA!

In the modified words of Tigger, Ta ta til tomorrow!

31 Days copyImage Credit: Erin Kass Photography


10 thoughts on “31 Days in the Life of a Recovering Perfectionist

  1. Great topic and first post! I have been paralyzed by my perfectionistic ways and my new motto is “Progress Not Perfection”! And participating in this challenge is proof that I am embracing my new motto well! I, too, am not an English major and I am praying for a lot of grace and mercy throughout these 31 days!

  2. Beautiful – both the site and post! As I was scanning through the ’31 Dayers’ Facebook group, I saw that we had similar experiences of jumping on board and putting together a website for this challenge at the last minute πŸ™‚ That will do something for your perfectionist tendencies, huh? I look forward to reading about your journey – and learning from you!

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