I made a mistake. Mistakes are inevitable, after all. I tried to play it cool, not to overanalyze it. I will not let this bother me, I tried to convince myself. But like a small pebble stuck in my shoe, it bothered me. I had to get it out. As soon as I was alone, in the comfort of my room, I let the waterfalls wash over my cheeks. I cried like I have not in a while. I am not sure whether I cried for feeling terrible about it or for letting my ego and pride to get bruised. Either way, I opened the valve and let it pour. It felt oh-so-good, as good as you feel after emptying a painfully full bladder.
After a few minutes, I got up, washed my face, put on some makeup, and went out with friends. A wide grin and concealer covered any evidence of the earlier pity party. I was so close to canceling the plans and just staying in my room. But pity parties must be kept short. I did let this mistake get to me, but it was not going to own me. Life must go on.
As I write this, I realize that there are two kinds of perfectionism: healthy and unhealthy. But like a pair of identical twins, these two are indistinguishable to me. And while it is healthy to strive to do your best at all times, it has to be balanced with equal amounts of compassion and understanding towards yourself when mishaps occur. Otherwise, it can quickly transform into the unhealthy kind of perfectionism. That is what I am learning. And what else could life be defined as then of being one long learning process?