The Ever-Elusive Quest for Perfection

I’ve come to realize in life that searching for perfection is like searching for the Fountain of Youth. Sorry to all you Ponce de Leon wannabes out there, but – just like the fountain – it doesn’t exist. It’s an ever-elusive quest that some people get so caught up in that it practically eats them alive.

Before I get into this, I’d like to set the record straight. After reading over my first post, it makes me come across as a condescending, egomaniacal, self-centered smart-ass (in the words of the one and only Jen Lancaster – if you haven’t read Bitter is the New Black, go buy it…I’m not kidding. Do it!), but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Since I’m sure some, if not all, of my internet-savvy family members will end up getting wind of this blog at some point or another through the grapevine, I’d like to set one thing straight: I’m no better than any of you. Yes, I am the tall, tanned, well-dressed one – we can all agree on this, but am I any better than any of you for this? Not at all. I’ve worked hard to get to where I am in my life and without you I wouldn’t be who I am or where I am today, so thank you. I wouldn’t change a thing about how or where I was raised or about any of you in general.

Now, with that being said, perfection is not measured by the clothes we wear, how we look, what car we drive, where we live, financial success, who we date, NONE of that. I’ll be the first to admit that my life isn’t perfect and probably never will be. Perfection simply doesn’t exist. I mean, take Lindsay Lohan for example. Childhood star, had everything she could have ever wanted. BOOM. Look where she is now. Hanging with Oprah and talking about how big of a mess her life is and how she wants to change. Perfect life to perfect mess. Just like that. 

Some people get so caught up in the quest for perfection that they lose sight of who they are and what truly matters in their lives. This is especially true in today’s society for gay men. Everywhere we look, nearly everything is based on looks. If you don’t have six-pack abs, a sculpted chest, and an 8″ or larger tallywhacker (or at least claim that you do by online measuring techniques) then good luck ever being perfect. And even then, there will always be someone more desirable. That’s just how our society works. So many turn to drugs, steroids, eating disorders…you name it…in the quest for perfection and lose sight of who they really are. We live in such a materialistic looks-focused society where if it’s not aesthetically pleasing (or stimulating for that matter) then it’s not worthy.

Well guess what. I enjoy food. I also enjoy not working 80+ hours a week and having to sacrifice going out some nights or buying the latest shirt of $300 pair of jeans just to be “cool” or closer to perfection. Sorry, guys, but it’s just not happening. I’ll never be a twig (primarily because 1) I can’t even force myself to throw up when I’m drunk or extremely hungover, and 2) because I can’t go hungry) or a ripped, chiseled model because, you know why? I enjoy food and despise the gym. Do I go? Yes. Why? Not because I want to be perfect. I know it’ll never happen as hard as I try. I eat healthy and I work out to be healthy because health problems run in my family. It’s a fact of life. It sucks, but sometimes you have to better yourself to be proactive, not because you’re on a quest for perfection.

The same goes for finding the “perfect” person. Just as none of us will ever be perfect, neither will the person you eventually settle down with. There will always be something that drives you nuts. They leave the toilet seat up. They put the toilet paper roll on backwards. They’re too (fill in the blank). They’re not (fill in the blank). You could make a list a mile long. Essentially no one is going to be perfect. I’ve tried enough times to change people – as I’m sure we all have – but sometimes you have to realize that someone’s imperfection is really the best fit for you. While it may not be perfect, it can sure be pretty damn close.

Now don’t get me wrong…yes, I surround myself with as close to a perfect group of friends as I can and live in a nice condo BUT that doesn’t make me perfect. It just means I have good taste. My friends mean the world to me, and being a designer I appreciate surrounding myself with a four nicely-painted walls (thanks to my OCD) that aren’t crumbling, infested with roaches, or smelling of the neighbor’s ill-fated attempts at cooking. At the end of the day though, whenever my family comes to visit I don’t hesitate to introduce them to my friends, coworkers, significant other (should one be in the picture at the time – been there done that) because I’m proud of my family and love them to pieces. They’re behind me every step of the way on this journey called life and I couldn’t be happier to call my somewhat dysfunctional (but isn’t every family?) MY family. I mean, why else would I tattoo my last name on my triceps? Duh.

So all in all, while we’ll never find the fountain of youth, we’ll never find 100% perfection either. While we can most definitely aim for perfection, we need to realize that you can shoot for the moon and still land among the stars. There’s more to life than the clothes you wear, the car you drive, the home you live in, and how amazing of a body you have. At the end of the day, your friends and family are the ones that really matter who will love you and support you regardless of how you are.

And on that note, I’m going to take the stairs down four flights and go work out.

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