I didn’t think of myself as uptight. I didn’t think of myself as perfectionist. I can point to my living space as proof against it: I don’t care about crooked pictures, crumbs on the floor, or dust on the decor. But as I look around the apartment, I see that the imperfections are skin deep, covering up the fact that I won’t tidy up unless it’s absolutely filthy.

Another example has been exercise. I actually love exercising but I keep avoiding it until a set of conditions is met. I want about an hour to work up my motivation, mix my pre-workout and protein, get my earbuds and workout clothes together. Then I want a two hour block to drive to, use, and drive back from the gym. And it want a warm day so I can wear shorts, because I hate wearing pants at the gym. And I want to wait until the afternoon so I can avoid the daytime crowds. All these conditions are arbitrary and unnecessary, but I want to have the situation just right. One condition out of place, I default to laziness: watch youtube instead, or read SCPs, or scroll through reddit.

I keep putting off for tomorrow what I can do today because my laziness has become my default, my rule, my rut. A good friend of mine says we either live by design or by default. That means we either make our life happen or let life happen to us. You see, designing takes effort, whereas default settings are preprogrammed and easy to run on auto.

So how is this perfectionist of me? Because it turns out I won’t do something unless conditions are… perfect. But the truth is, conditions will never be. So I need to learn flexibility in order to get my life going. I will have to design flexibility into my everyday life in order to live the life I want. Because so far, waiting for the right situation hasn’t worked. I need to accept that, wake up, and stretch myself—that is, be flexible.

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