“Being Perfect” by Anna Quindlen

A requirement for Graduate school, write up a summary of you… your background, your goals, your experiences in 400-500 MAX!!!

Me: uuuuuhhhh……… how am I supposed to sum myself up in 400-500 words?!?! I have so much to say, so many goals, I love writing!

Well, point being, I’ve struggled to complete this personal statement. I began in January and have not completed a final draft to this day. I was stressing out earlier in the week, thinking, how can a so-called Journalist be struggling to complete a summary of herself?!?! And then of course, my OCD kicked in. “This has to be perfect… what is wrong with me” blah blah blah.

It wasn’t until I had a deep conversation with the best person out there, MY SISTER BRENDA 🙂 that I finally let go of that unrealistic attitude and that I started focusing. Then, today she handed me a book and told me to read it. Book title: “BEING PERFECT” by Anna Quindlen. In this small, 48 page short book, Anna Quindlen speaks on her experience growing up. She begins the book by summarizing herself as a child, the perfect child. After having lived a so-called “perfect life”, Anna went to College and was hit with reality…. uhm PERFECTION doesn’t exist and she realized that she was far from perfect.

“eventually being perfect became like carrying a backpack filled with bricks every single day….so if this sounds in any way familiar to you, if you have been trying to be perfect, too, then perhaps today is the day to put down that backpack before you develop permanent curvature of the spirit”

AMEN I thought…. I kept reading.

“But nothing important, or meaningful, or beautiful, or interesting, or great, ever came out of imitations. What is really hard, and really amazing is giving up on being perfect and beginning the work of becoming yourself”

“each writer brings to the table, if she will let herself, something that no one else in the history of mine ever has. That is her own personality, her own voice. If she is doing Fitzgerald imitations, she can stay home. If she is giving readers what she thinks they want instead of what she is, she should stop typing”

And that is when I was so amazingly inspired to open up a new document on word and begin writing! Because it was after reading those words that it was so clear in my mind what I wanted…I want to write and I know that my voice isn’t like anyone else’s. I am certain that my words, expressions, beliefs are my own. I write on my experiences growing up as a second-generation Latina, growing up with two amazing cultures. I, at many times have felt alone and is if I didn’t belong…. but I don’t know why! There are hundreds, thousands of others who grew up just like me and I think the important thing is so share our lives and experiences with others, so that we know we’re not alone.

Thank you Brenda for sharing this book with me and thank you Anna Quindlen for sharing your experiences with the world. Now, back to writing!