Okay. . . . Perfect. High standards. What's so wrong with that?
Well, according to Parker Whalen:
“What’s wrong with that is that it’s not how the real world works. That’s why, sometimes, it’s good to be flexible. When you don’t get what you want, you make other plans.”
Cross My Heart remains (to date), my bestseller. I've gotten quite a bit of mail about this book. Most of it relates to Parker and Jaden and their love story and *swoon* (which I love, obviously!).
But every so often I get one of those emails that reminds me why I do what I do.
It's usually from a teen girl. Someone who calls herself a "perfectionist." Someone who is learning to let go. To be flexible. Who is beginning to realize there is "more to life."
And it's because of Jaden.
The word "perfect" pops up a lot in Cross My Heart.
From the first page to the very last:
Jaden's glitter poster is Perfect.
The date of Sarah and Daniel's wedding--even though it conflicts with graduation--is Perfect.
Blake is Perfect.
Parker's hand in hers is Perfect.
The day with Parker is Perfect--
The same day that ruins her Perfect attendance.
She's in search of Perfect timing.
Wants to hang on to Perfect moments.
And "There is no such thing, even. You just do what you have to do and hope for the best."
Perfect grades. Perfect hair. Perfect makeup. Perfect friends. Perfect boyfriends. Girlfriends. Perfect wardrobes. Perfect resumes and applications. Perfect classes. Perfect degree. Perfect jobs. Perfect apartments. Houses. Families.
It never ends.
Perfection is impossible to attain.
Perfectionism is impossible to maintain.
There will always be someone out there who's better at something than you are. That's okay. Celebrate them. And celebrate you.
You're going to make mistakes. Accept them. Learn from them. Forgive others theirs.
It's okay to fail. You will learn more from your failures than you will ever learn from your successes. Get up, brush yourself off, try again.
There is no finish line--no "ideal" you. You are always learning. Always growing. The You tomorrow will be better than the You today.
You are whole--and you are wholly you. Embrace it. Get out of your own way.
I don't want to give away any spoilers, but Jaden learns some tough lessons in Cross My Heart. One of the biggest?
She can't control everything.
Neither can I.
And neither can you.
And that's okay. :D