T his past weekend, my bestie and I went to Cancun, and honestly, this was the most relaxing vacation I’ve had in a long time.
I wanted to take this vacation to really relax, meditate, pray, think, write, and just center myself. With my busy life, I rarely get time to just sit back and think without having to do something after (or being hit in the head with a doll).
While on this vacation, I happened to speak to someone, who for some reason had a lot to say about how she thought my life was.
An old high school friend.
“Perfection itself is imperfection. ”
F irst off, she started the conversation with…
“Girl! You have the perfect life! I wish I were you! Perfect life, beautiful daughter, how did you do it all?”
As annoyed as I was, I had to stop her and say, ” I am not perfect, by any means…”
So as I ran through the shit list of imperfect things in my life, she got quiet, and that’s when the real conversation happen.
She goes on to say what she meant was that she wishes she could hold things together in life, and also on social media like I do.
I had to remind her that not even a year ago, I was arguing with someone’s mama about something that she couldn’t control, nor had anything to do with.
“It’s growth! And learning from your mistakes!! And we will never be perfect.” I yelled.
“This crap didn’t happen over night. And do you know how bad I want to say something inappropriate to someone EVERYDAY! But is it really worth it? Do you really want to waste energy on these people?”
But do you know what is crazzzy about what that old friend said? The very few people that I would actually consider enemies, probably look at me the same way that she does!!
I’ve heard the comments.
“Ohhh look at Laurin. What is she doing? How is she doing that? Who does she think she is?”
From them it comes off as hating (being messy and gossiping about things they know nothing about because they are bored with their own lives), but from her it just came off as a person who really only interacts with me through Facebook.
And what I put on Facebook is literally only a little fraction of my life.
“You show/tell people what you want them to know on social media! No one needs to know that you just got into a fight. If I were to get into a physical fight with someone, Facebook would not know it. But that does’t mean I’m perfect. I also post things that are my reality like how single I am, how cheap I am, or how I have no life other than my daughter, two friends, my blog, and work. That isn’t the life of a perfect person.” I said.
But that conversation really took center stage in my life that day because I hear it all the time.
“Girl, you are doing it!”
“You have a perfect life!”
“I wish I had your life!”
So in my mind, I went from feeling like a normal human sitting on the beach thinking about my life, and how it could be better, to a woman sharing how perfect she thought I was.
It immediately took me back to when I was younger, and my family painted this picture of the life they wanted for me.
When you aim for perfection, you discover it’s a moving target.
I think that although we should want the best for our children, and uplift them, holding them to super high standards to break a generational curse, can be very dangerous.
I’ve never told anyone this before, but I remember when I was younger, I would act out on purpose. Yes, I said on purpose, because there was so much pressure on me to do great things, I just wanted to feel normal for once! I remember talking crazy to teachers that I actually loved, just to show others in the class, I wasn’t just the brainiac with the answers.
Pressure for me to graduate, go to college, and have a career. My family jammed education in my head so much that not only was it not an option when I went to apply, but I knew exactly what I wanted to do, and had a plan on how to do it.
Yes this sounded awesome, and made me feel awesome when asked what I wanted to do after high school, but it still put A LOT of pressure on ME! And I often thought;
“Can I really go to Texas, by myself, graduated (twice), and make a living for myself?”
Meanwhile this is my family;
“Yesss honey, my daughter is going to school in TEXAS.”
“She is going to school for ARCHITECTURE.”
“My granddaughter just got ANOTHER SCHOLARSHIP.”
I mean I literally would get headaches thinking about letting my family down.
My last year of high school, and this is the honest to God truth, I would have nightmares about not getting into any schools, or not passing any final exams. And the crazy thing is, I actually loved school, and really enjoyed it.
Thank God I can laugh about this now. Like really Laurin, you wouldn’t get into any schools??
“Have no fear of perfection – you’ll never reach it. ”
T here will always be a lot of pressure on anyone in a family who is the first to do something. But how much is too much? While teaching my daughter numbers, letters, and everything else, I try to make things seem fun and normal!
Like look at me, everyone counts and know how to spell their names. This is easy! And eventually I will say “College? Oh girl that’s just another stepping stone in the educational process for life, no pressure, you’ll get in!”
Rather than “Laurin, college is your only option, and you will be the first to go directly after high school, so you have to do good because all of your little cousins, and brother are looking up to you…not to mention your Nana will disown you if you don’t go.”
I am not by any means downing my family, or saying their ways of doing and handling things was wrong. I think they did a great job! And hell I’m not sure which is worse, a family that doesn’t push you to do things and just goes with the flow, or a family that literally stamps something on your brain so you’ll never forget it. I just think it has to do with the each family and their values. To my family, success was measured by a college degree or two and your career, and to another family, success maybe measured by happiness.
With my upbringing, I hope when raising my daughter, my views are somewhere in the middle, but leaning more towards your future, and what is the smartest decision that will also leave you happy.
Thank you for listening to my rant.
Has anyone else felt the pressures of family to do something GREAT!? Share below!