I never considered myself a perfectionist.

I always noticed the flaws in my work and tried so hard to blur them. I always stayed up until ungodly hours of the night, trying to convince myself that there was something better, brighter, more... something with more to offer than what I had right there in front of me.

I come from a woman who never stops working; never for herself, but always for others. A woman who will sacrifice anything for people who really do not deserve it in the slightest bit. Such a cliche, yes I know, but it is true.

I come from a city where there was no standard, because the expectation was that no one would meet it anyway. I come from a room upstairs, where the 1st, 2nd, 3rd graders would go for the Gifted & Talented program. We were the lucky ones. We were all so different, and now that I think about it, I don't see any correlation between us. The race, religion, amount of money, parents at home, siblings; it really does seem random.

I come from rooms that couldn't be painted because we were renting them, and would have to move out eventually anyway. I come from catching fireflies in the yard, barricaded in our little kingdom by the surrounding apartment buildings. I come from 59A, from down below the family who went to mass, dressed in their best every Sunday, but made their daughter cry for help during the week.

So how did I end up here?

Without ever realizing, I searched for perfection in everything. Whether it be in an essay for English class or in a stray lock of hair hanging from my bun. The flaws bothered me so much. To the point of insanity at times. The hangnail or the bit of chalk on the board or the untied shoelace. If the photo wasn't perfect, it was a waste of film. It was such a strain on my mentality.

To be honest, this is not where I had meant to take this entry. But I need to learn to appreciate the beauty in ignoring the plan. Slowly, I'm trying to let my hair do whatever it wants, to let my pen go outside the lines and to let my shoes get dirty even if it bothers me at first. I'm trying to learn to let go a little bit. I don't think it'll happen right away, but I'll work on it.