My mother was a perfectionist. She used to tell me to be “absolutely perfect,” not just perfect. When I would get excited about something, and my voice would rise in pitch, she’d say, “Stop. Lower your voice. It’s getting squeaky.” When life would rev me up, and I would talk too fast, she’d tell me to slow it all down. “Enunciate clearly,” she’d tell me. Just writing this is making my shoulders hunch up with stress. It’s a wonder I could get a word out with her around.
Yet, I turned into a writer.
I learned (in spite of her) that the best part of life is finding your own voice, no matter how childish or over-excited it is. Some of the most powerful things I’ve ever written are simple or raw or crazy-passionate. It’s the crack in the wall of perfection that lets my heart out. What my mother never understood is that that’s the most beautiful part of me.