A grammar mistake in an offhanded comment.
A tone in a nonchalant phone conversation.
A blog decision from two years ago.
I want to yell LEAVE ME ALONE and WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU, and I do! during my imaginary conversation with these people in my kitchen completely with hand gestures and witty retorts.
Until I realize: I AM THE PROBLEM.
Yes, these people are annoying, but if I didn’t think I should be perfect, I wouldn’t get so upset.
Of course, I don’t think: I just got caught not being perfect!
I think: I’ll try harder and show them! I’ll be so awesome and cool that they will stop talking about me. I’ll be friends with everyone. I’ll reread my posts 18 times. I’ll say hi louder or quieter or whatever it takes to have no one say about me what I don’t want them to say.
When I was young, I would hide my mistakes. I remember biking back to my house when I was 7 or 8 years old. I had to pee but just could not pedal fast enough. I ran upstairs and threw my urine-soaked underwear and pants to the bottom of my laundry basket without a word to my mom. I wouldn’t have gotten in trouble, but I didn’t want anyone to know.
As I’ve gotten older, I’ve grown into myself more. I don’t think my ideas, beliefs and style should match those around me. I am not a chameleon nor am I rebelling against the norm because it is the norm. Even online, if people call me a crazy liberal or a crazy Christian or great writer (haha), I’m fine because those are parts of me I chose to put out there to be picked apart.
I am okay with who I am, but I still hate messing up what I do. Mistakes like forgetting my kids’ school bags or mistyping their/there feels sloppy and avoidable. I think: If I had just paid more attention, it wouldn’t happen.
But I cannot pay attention constantly. I can only have so many to-do lists and reread so many posts before I have to move on.
No wonder I’m exhausted.
Why can’t I remember mistakes happen to every person? I am not immune and having my humanity pointed out to me or to others is not a big deal unless I make it a big deal. Unless I act like it shouldn’t happen.
I don’t need people to stop picking on me. I don’t need to try harder. I need to stop pretending that perfection is attainable.