For the longest time, I have tried to make sense of why I can focus on something only if I have 3 other things happening in the background. I can’t work unless I am overflowing with ideas. I cannot work in silence either; I cannot work on something that I am truly happy with unless my favourite upbeat songs are playing in the background. Some call it distracting, others fail to believe that it’s possible because they would much rather work in silence. I wondered if something was wrong with me, if I was doing this whole life thing wrong. And I get that everybody has their own ways. Different things inspire people differently.
And what has inspired me the most and will continue to do so is the minor ‘flaws’ that people would much rather erase from the picture, because their ‘vision’ for it is glossy, smooth, high-definition perfect, are the same things that draw me in. I have always had this love for grainy, blurry, moody photos, paint-stained t-shirts, slightly yellowed pages of a book, smudged ink, accidental light leaks, double exposure, bleeding ink, blank verses— in short, anything that has been considered as an ‘imperfection’ by whoever set those standards for the entire world. It’s not a rebellious phase or open defiance. I just feel like conventional perfection is overrated.
I’m not romanticizing ‘imperfection’ either. But what is imperfection anyway? Who is to decide what isn’t perfect? Who came up with the idea that certain things are perfect because they are appealing to the eye and everything that doesn’t fit into those standards is ‘imperfect’? Because let me tell you something, there are over 7 billion people on this planet. So you best believe that there are 7 billion definitions of ‘perfection’ and 7 billion perspectives on this world. How incredible is that? But we’re all hung up on getting that ‘exact look’, or the ‘perfect body’ or ‘I want a love like theirs’. Have you ever wondered that what’s seemingly perfect for them may not necessarily be perfect for you?
This afternoon, I was simply going through a book that my best friend had given me on my birthday last year. It’s a tiny book full of quotes that are supposed to be inspiring. And I’m not even surprised to say this, but almost every other quote is about being yourself or loving yourself for who you are right now, or learning to embrace your ‘imperfections’ because they make you unique. You see? Those people who inspire you are where they are right now because they didn’t try to be like anybody else; they chose to stay true to themselves.
Very often, I think that we mistake inspiration for imitation most of the time and while imitation is, indeed, the highest and sincerest form of flattery, it isn’t you unless you take this inspiration and add your own unique element to it. And as it is, there are more than enough clones on the internet trying to alter themselves to look like and live like somebody else. But hey, I’m not judging because if that’s where their happiness lies, it’s none of my business, is it? In spite of everything, even if we alter ourselves on the outside to look more like somebody else, it doesn’t change anything on the inside, so what was the whole point anyway?
If this world has ever made you feel like you’re ‘imperfect’, remember that this is the same world that went crazy over clumped mascara, all-denim looks and ridiculously low-rise jeans. Nobody knows what ‘perfection’ truly is unless something takes their breath away and leaves them speechless. And like I said before, 7 billion people have 7 different versions of ‘perfect’, so what makes you think that you don’t fall into the category of perfection?
You might not see it, but I promise you, somebody out there thinks that you’re perfect, especially because of the quirks that you call ‘flaws’. Don’t be so hard on yourself. Imperfect is just a myth, after all.
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