The idea of perfection is nothing new. Many people struggle with it, people of all ages, genders, and careers. There have been countless blogs written about living by a standard of grace and not perfection, mine is not the only one, nor the best one. I like to think that I don't struggle with perfection, or that if I did, it's really not that bad of a thing. I tell myself that there a lot of worse things to struggle with. I also never want to be thought of as someone who uses struggling with perfection as a way to brag about themselves. That's why I want to talk about this. I want you to know, that it is okay to struggle with perfection. It is a real thing, and it can be extremely frustrating and debilitating. I want you to know that if perfection is something you struggle with, you are allowed to admit it, and you don't need to hide it for fear of what others will think.
Honestly, I didn't notice my struggle with perfection until a couple of weeks ago. To make a long story short, I was a girl who was trained to take every advanced class and good opportunity that came her way. However, I was forced to make a decision this past month about my summer, which will be before my senior year in college, about an internship. I had to decline the amazing opportunity due to its dangerous location. However, after a few days of over thinking and irrationally freaking out about not being "good enough" when I graduate, I realized this was a pattern of struggling with perfection and always doing the next step. This realization inspired me to make 2018 a year of making progress in different areas of my life, instead of striving for perfection.
1) Schedule time for studying, but also time for rest.
This upcoming semester I have scheduled time for purposeful studying. It is my goal to in a sense, "work smarter instead of harder." In the past, I have felt like I always studying and working on projects, but not actually getting that much done. In retrospect, my time spent doing homework was also spent texting on my phone, browsing Pinterest, and other things. Instead, I plan on really devoting my scheduled time for school matters and getting the most done during that time.
2) Be a good intern, but know that I am only one person.
I am very blessed to have a great internship at a place I love with amazing coworkers. However, the past semester I would get stressed out easily due to it, especially because it was 40 minutes away from my school, and I would sometimes put internship work ahead of school work. This semester I am dedicated to performing well in my internship, but also asking for help when I need it, and being honest with my supervisor if I am being too overwhelmed between all of my responsibilities. If you're like me and balance school and work or an internship, remember that your education should come first. I know it's easy to get caught up in the "real world" of careers once you start, but remember that you haven't graduated yet!
3) Be diligent in living a healthy lifestyle, but also say yes to ice cream with a friend.
Over the years, I have tried several times to live healthier, but I have learned that the best results come from a balance. This year, I am not giving myself a number of a measurement for a goal, but a state of being happy and healthy. For me, this means going 4-5 days a week to my local YMCA to work out and choosing healthy foods in the dining hall, and not doing as much eating on the go. However, it also doesn't mean that I can never indulge in a little treat. For me, this means not keeping any goodies around the dorm, but if a friend and I want to go out to dinner or get ice cream, I can say yes and know that I just need to balance it.
4) Spend more time in the Bible, but know I do not need to be a "perfect" Christian.
I want to genuinely spend more time digging into Scripture and living my life more intentionally, but I also need to realize that there is no perfect Christian. In the world of Christian bloggers, there is a pressure out there to seem like you have it all together and portray this perfect world, when that is far from the truth.
5) Do my best to prepare for the future, but accept that I don't know what the future is.
One of the biggest realizations that has hit me since the start of 2018 is that next year I graduate college, get an apartment, and have a big girl job. The thought of that is extremely exciting but also equally terrifying. This year I want to do my best to make sure I am doing what I can to secure my future and have a good start after college, but not obsess. I don't know what's going to come after I graduate, and as hard as that is for me to accept, it is necessary.
My goal for this blog post is to share with you my dreams and worries, and to show that we all have them. I hope you come alongside me and make this year about progress and not perfection.