Little known fact about me: I got a perfect score on the SATs.
For all you non-Americans, the "SAT" is a test that you have to take at the end of high school in order to show colleges that you're smart. It's super hard and only a fraction of 1% of people who take it get a perfect score.
I studied my ass off for THREE YEARS to learn how to master the SATs. Every single weekend, and almost every single day during the summers, I was at an SAT prep center. Because “almost perfect” wasn’t an option. I was gonna get a PERFECT 1600, or I was going to re-take that test until I did.
When I was 16 years old, I walked into the official SAT test and I finally did it. I reached perfection. And guess what? I felt AWESOME for awhile. My parents were super happy with me and everyone at school wanted to bribe me to take the test for them. My face was in all the local Korean newspapers and people were stopping my family in the street to congratulate us.
I felt super confident at being a good student. I learned that I could accomplish HUGE things if I set my mind to it and worked my ass off.
But I still didn't feel whole.
'Cause being a good student wasn't my soul's desire. And my worth hung on things completely outside of me: my parents' approval, my reputation as a "straight A" student, what college I was going to. So I was just afraid. Afraid that my "perfect" could disappear at any moment.
Of course, I was also sixteen, so I gotta cut myself some slack.
But whenever I feel the need to be perfect, I think back on my sixteen year old self. I was a pretty PERFECT student. And I still wasn't happy and secure and fulfilled.
So fuck perfection. It's a big, fat lie and it won't make you whole.
Just start. Make a messy version. Create something, even if it sucks.
Anyone with me?
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