I hated Geometry. I really really really disliked Geometry. Thus, the 82% in the class and 63% in the finals. But now that the SATs are sprinting towards me, I feel like I should have paid more attention during class. I honestly didn’t learn much in that class, but I do remember a few things about proofs. That’s a total lie. I remember one thing we learned about proofs: this is that but that is not this.

A tiger is an animal, but an animal is not a tiger. 8 degrees is cold, but cold is not 8 degrees. I am a girl, but a girl is not me. Flowers are plants, but plants are not flowers.

Excellence is perfection but perfection is not excellence.

Of course, no actual human can be perfect. Perfectionists are people who strive for perfection. And as people strive for perfection, they might end up achieving excellence.

A work cannot be excellent without perfection. Mozart, for example, was a perfectionist. He could not stand anything that was out of place, just like any other perfectionist. However, that’s how he managed to create excellent work; everything fits together, in place, and making sense.

That is what excellence is: everything fitting together and making sense. The movie I am Sam is excellent. I have watched the movie countless times, yet I cry each time. As I grow older and become more mature, I cry for and because of different reasons. Each important character had a story, and just about when someone seemed unnecessary, I was proven wrong. Like I said, it was an excellent piece. I would recommend it to anyone out there unless you’re someone who is trying to impress your new girlfriend.

However, perfection is not excellence. Someone could be a perfectionist and I could find that person to be the world’s most frustrating human ever. And that frustration will veer them far far away from excellence. Perfection will be the reason they cannot achieve excellence.

Of course, every case has an exception or two. There are excellent works that are a total mess.

But the fact that these people who are so imperfect and ruined create these great works make it even more excellent and marvelous.

Word of the Day: alexithymia
(n.) the inability to express your feelings.

2 thoughts on “Imperfect

  1. Hanny, some part of this post is very mysterious and I still can’t pinpoint exactly what it is. I really like how you started it by telling a story about geometry struggles because I can so easily relate. I also thought that is was really clever of you to come at the prompt from a more objective approach but I would say that I missed your voice in that. I think what would make this post more effective would be if you actually told us how perfectionism plays into your life (and if it doesn’t, tell us why).


  2. Dear Hanny, thank you once more for the indescribable depth in your language! There are parts in this essay where contradictions occur (“Excellence is perfection but perfection is not excellence.” vs.”And as people strive for perfection, they achieve excellence.”), but this essay has stayed cohesive and engaging throughout – you’ve accomplished one of those hardest things already – so don’t be discouraged please, just fix where you need to 🙂

    Personally, I don’t like the way you used “him” in your third to last paragraph. It made me feel that you were mixing “excellence as in contrast to perfectionism” with “excellence as the measurement of a nice boyfriend” :-< But I do realize this is one of the realities in the way people see the world, and I'm not sure how to judge it…

    Like I mentioned already, don't be discouraged. The way you try see things would be one of the most important things that your readers will gain from this blog, not your perfectionism, right 😉


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