Je M’en Fous?
Give me a white tee with a flash of red writing and I’m sold straight away, so when I saw this in Reformation I knew I was getting it even before I got the translation (French is not my forte). But when I found out it means “I don’t care” I knew I had to have it…
Not because I am deliciously carefree in this life, nor because I’m a selfish asshole with no care for others (hopefully not anyway!), but in fact because I’m the polar opposite to this tee and am forever working on giving far less f**ks in this lifetime a la Sarah Knight, author of the hilarious and liberating ‘The Life Changing Magic of Not Giving A F**K”. If you met me you might not get this from me; I have zero qualms about no makeup, no pedicures and no blow dries, I’m not a clean freak, my organisational skills are lacking, I’m messy, terrible at keeping things ‘precious’ and am pretty open and honest about everything and anything (I rarely spare the gory details). But I’m a pathological perfectionist at heart. ‘Perfectionist’ might be used as a pro on job applications and covering letters, but to me, its actually a huge con in this strange but wonderful life of ours. It’s not about having to colour inside the lines or always striving for better; it’s about feeling like you’re never quite there and never really letting yourself be present because we’re constantly looking for what’s wrong, what can be improved and what’s next. Congratulating ourselves or being empathetic to ourselves doesn’t come easy. Any fellow perfectionists out there will probably know this feeling right, even though it’s sometimes only in hindsight we can truly take it on board. We have the tendency to be pessimists, controlling, struggle to make decisions and get anxious easily; in short being a perfectionist is anything but perfect. It might mean we work hard and are conscientious, but we all know there’s more to life than work and behind the scenes we’re hard on ourselves, others around us and to top it all off, we’re covered in scales with webbed toes. Or is that just me?
Ever got really down in the dumps if the restaurant you want to go to doesn’t have room and you have to try somewhere else? Or are unable to pull yourself out of a slump if that holiday isn’t exactly how you imagined? You might be part of perfectionists anonymous without even realising it. If you of course genuinely do ‘m’en fous’, this will all sound a bit mental and you’ll probably be reading those examples shaking your head with a confused look on your face.
Us perfectionists tend to have vivid imaginations so we can imagine perfectly (lol) how something should be and seeing as perfection is subjective and totally in the eye of the beholder, it’s a pretty safe bet that to a perfectionist, nothing will every be perfect. Safe to say, realising this stuff about myself has been a bit of a process and trying to really overcome being a perfectionist is way more than just knowing it. In fact, I’m working on a post as we speak that’s in the same vein as this post on happiness here about what I’ve learnt so far about perfectionism. I think I’m going to start doing a few more of these ‘Lessons In… ‘ posts going forward, be it about emotions or buying a house or working for yourself, so let me know if you’d be keen. I don’t think I’m an oracle on anything, far from it, but sometimes it’s just interesting for you and me both to get others’ perspectives on things and issues we might all encounter from time to time.
So I’m starting with a t-shirt. A t-shirt that pretty much sums up life’s goals in my mind in the hope I can stop ‘shoulding’ myself. It’s not about not caring about others or about yourself or your actions; I firmly believe it’s a pretty good trait to care deeply about all three of those. But it is about surrendering to life’s spaghetti junctions, accepting others and their reactions as out of your control and truly believing that sometimes silver linings really do come out of those supposed clouds.
Ph. by Frances Davison