Hi. I'm Jaymee. A recovering perfectionist.
I don't know exactly how long I've been in the disillusioned quest to be perfect. But it has always been ingrained in me as a child coming from a traditional Asian culture combined with hardcore Catholicism.
I was programmed growing up that I must look perfect. In the Philippines, it means long, bouncy, shiny hair, fair and flawless skin, long thin arms and legs with a small waist and pouty boobs and bum, gorgeous dress, pretty accessories, clean make up and polished toes and nails.
I also have to act ladylike. Smile all the time, speak soft and fluent in English (which is a "rich" status symbol in the Philippines), have a sweet wholesome personality and exude poise at ALL times even if an alligator is about to bite my ass.
Oh, and I have to finish education from a good school and fair out great. I have to figure my future out by 16 years old so I can invest on a degree that would lead to a successful career path. And it better be the right one because studying in a good university is expensive as hell!
On top of that, I'm also expected to possess woman skills... must cook well, bake yummy goodies, tidy up the house, have the ability to attract a potential rich husband and take care of him and our future kids, host a lovely dinner for Christmas and birthdays for everyone to see our perfect life in our big mansion in a guarded subdivision.
Yup. This was the belief system injected in my youth. That to be a woman means to constantly be pretty, act finesse, figure it all out, excel at everything you do and have that exceptional nurturing ability.
All my life, I tried to fit that peg. As a teenager, I enrolled in Personality & Poise Classes to be more refined, tried all chemicals (no matter how harmful) to straighten my hair, did crash diets, stuffed my bra with socks, wore uncomfortable heels and dresses to get noticed and dumbed myself unconsciously with guys to lift their egos so they would like me.
I kept trying because if I don't, then what good am I? My parents will be disappointed, I won't have cool friends, no guy will want to ask me out, no TV job will take me in, the society will despise me... IT'S THE END OF MY WORLD.
But you know what? I had to learn the hard way that PERFECTION IS AN ILLUSION. It doesn't exist. It took me 38 freakin' years to realize it and I wish it happened sooner so I would have been more forgiving to myself and the people I came across with that I brutally cut ties with just because they weren't "perfect".
My learning curve happened when my true self forcefully came out in my second lease in life. One day, I was looking at myself in the mirror and it's as if lightning hit me by the head. I saw who I am so clearly without any influence from my parents, friends, the media and the society.
I have naturally curly hair. I have a petite frame. I don't like girly dresses and ribbons. I speak loud. I have a strong personality. I freak out and lose my composure when shit hits the fan. I am not into school and was never into academic style of learning. I suck at acting dumb to get a guy. I don't know how to bake. I don't like hanging out in large groups. I hate big mansions. I don't have it figured out. And I don't have strong maternal instincts.
It's so far-fetched from the "perfect" expectations of the Asian/Catholic setting but it's ME. Jaymee. I am who I am because of these and many more other traits that are distinctly unique from everyone else.
As I stared into my own self's revelation in the mirror, I uttered, "Oh my God, THIS IS ME! Where the hell was I hiding?! WOW! Hello there Jaymee, it's so great to meet you after 38 years!"
It's as if I'm meeting myself for the first time. It's as though I'm talking to an old best friend who I haven't seen in decades and have now grown up that I'm so excited to get to know her all over again and show her around the world.
You may be wondering, if perfection doesn't exist, does that mean we should just be complacent with shortcomings then? Should I just justify my behavior for using the F word when writing or being late at appointments because I keep snoozing the damn alarm when I nap or procrastinating in doing important errands?
Not at all. PERFECTION is different from STRIVING FOR PROGRESS. Perfection is achieving to be flawless while striving for progress is learning to play the life cards you're dealt with the best way you can. The first is geared towards wanting approval externally so that people have nothing bad to say about you while the latter is a desire to evolve that comes from within in order to collaborate with others better and inspire people to do the same.
I am given my unique features, personality, characteristics, quirks and calling by the Creator. I'm done trying to be perfect but rather, I'll keep working on managing my flaws. I'm done trying to change ME into an unblemished living porcelain doll but rather, I appreciate my unconventional look.
Hence, I will maximize and improve each one of them the best way I can so that I can continue to share my God-given gifts to the community and inspire along the way.
It's liberating to finally stop hating myself for not being what the world expects of me and put an end to judging others for not being perfect as well. It feels light in the heart to be able to walk confidently with my crazy curly hair and loud voice and feel content even if I don't look like that hot model in the billboards.
Once again, I'm Jaymee. A recovering perfectionist and a committed self-improver. With or without filter, I'm happy looking at myself just the same. Welcome to my imperfect yet continuously WINNING world! :)
TO YOU READING THIS: Again, perfection doesn't exist. You can kill yourself trying but it's not attainable. Instead, focus on self-improvement while working around your quirks. Get to know the REAL you by identifying everything that feels natural for you to BE, DO and SAY without external influences. I'll elaborate on this topic further on another blog. For now, let go of the perfection obsession, accept the true YOU that is begging to be loved all this time and keep evolving from the inside to give inspiration on the outside! I'm with you on this. :)
PS. I wrote this blog in this YouTube episode...
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