I never saw myself as a perfectionist until this whole mess of mine. But now, reminded of how imperfect I am, I can look back and realize how highly I thought of myself previously. It’s not that I obsess about perfection — in fact, when it comes to the ppl I surround myself with, I prefer unique characters and ppl who have lived far from imperfect lives. But I will admit that I have high standards and that I micromanage and that I expect ppl (especially ppl outside my immediate circle of friends) to behave a certain way, and I have no compunctions in reprimanding someone if they fail to live up to it (I am the master of the raised eyebrows and the snappy sentence). And in regards to myself, there are few things that I expect myself to be good at, but when I fail in those things, I am not happy with myself — which is partially why this recent mess has been so hard on me. I failed myself, and I failed to live up to my expectations of how I should behave.
So it’s funny how I keep being reminded, in all these readings that I’m doing lately (Emerson, Confucious, David Hume, Paul Woodruff, Karen Armstrong), that part of being human is being imperfect and failing and causing horrible messes. And furthermore, that part of being a decent, virtuous (if I dare use that word today) human is being compassionate enough to recognize and accept that the other person/that yourself is human and will err.