On Monday morning, I tell myself all the things I’m going to do differently than I did the week before–the mistakes I’m not going to make, the buildings in which I’m not going to get lost, the snarky stuff I’m not going to say. On Monday morning, I get to believe that I can have a perfect week.
Writing is my Monday, even though it’s all in my head, connecting the thoughts inside of me to the world I’m inside. For a little bit, writing lets me believe that I could do everything over perfectly, if only I had the chance. I write, and at first it feels like perfection because look, the words are flowing and there is a rhythm to every paragraph on the page and each hidden emotion is picked apart and analyzed.
But then I poke holes in my logic and find flaws in my sentences, and I realize that I will never, ever create anything truly perfect; and that should make me at least a little bit sad because these words I have put down in hopes of building a framework for my world are already broken, but really nothing is as reassuring as the knowledge that I don’t have to be perfect–that every Monday, I get to try again, and it’s okay if I fail. And even if this stick structure of words and punctuation and paragraphs is not perfectly what I wanted to say, I wrote something. I learned something. I tried, and some time in the future I’ll try again, and although just as Mondays never end perfectly I will never write perfectly, a thing does not have to be perfect to be worthwhile. I believe that writing is worthwhile, and so I write.
Maybe that sounds a little anticlimactic, but isn’t that the reason a person does anything? We fall in love because it’s worth it; we exercise and eat vegetables and marathon TV shows because some part of us decided that it was worth it. And so I approach that untouchable asymptote of perfection word by word and edit by edit. I’ll never reach it, but on the way there–out of the corner of my eye or flashing past in the distance–I might just see something perfect.