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girl_ballet_729-420x0As a little girl, and even as a tween I would idolize the more senior dancers at the studios where I grew up. I didn’t just want to be like them. I wanted to BE them.

To me they embodied perfection as they danced across each stage and floor seemingly effortlessly.

Well, eventually I grew and I was one of the senior dancers and I saw little girls smile big and look up at us with wide eyes and open mouths.

My thoughts: Oh no, I hope they don’t want to be like me. 

I didn’t feel the way I assumed all the dancers at this level did (or should). I was still me. I was still Erin. I still had zits and fought with my dad, I was never happy with my appearance or my weight and there was always the next thing hanging over my head: that paper I needed to write, the boy I liked who didn’t like me back or the fact that I just couldn’t fall asleep to save my life.

My life was no where near perfection.

My thoughts: I must be doing something wrong. 

Well it’s true. I did a lot wrong, but one of the biggest things was making the assumption that perfection existed and I could attain it (if I only worked a little harder). I put others on pedestals and push myself into the ground. This turned me into an incredibly hard worker; always trying to attain something that didn’t exist. As a teen others considered me a success. But it almost killed me.

I didn’t know what was going on at the time. All I knew was that I needed to BE something that was perfectly pictured in my mind (and for me that was good enough). When I failed time and time again to reach this unobtainable goal I became a failure, though only more committed to perfection.

After years of treatment and therapy and recovery and insight and understanding I can finally combat this thought process; but it still takes work. There is part of me that will always want to do better; BE better. But today there is a new part of me that wants to live better, and living better requires accepting who I am right now where I am.

Even for those of us who are not full-blown perfectionists, I think we all have things we are protectionist about. Ask yourself if what you’re chasing is real or not. If it is, what are you sacrificing? Is it worth it?

My name is Erin and This is Where I Stand.