I believe if you love something, you make an effort to learn all you can about it, so with immense baby steps I've been learning to speak Thai. I asked my friend earlier this morning how to say "please", and with a slight hesitation he replied, "Kruna.. but we don't use that word. You say ka or khob khun ka to be polite." Khob khun ka (or khob khun krup for men), means "thank you", but since we differentiate between "please" and "thank you" in English, I thought the same would be the case in all languages. I asked him why they had a word (kruna) if they didn't use it, and he just smiled and shrugged his shoulders.
Later as I sat drinking my coffee, I was looking through some pictures my friend had taken from the muay thai class at Phuket Top Team last night, and I immediately began picking apart my technique in every photograph. As I've mentioned before, I'm a perfectionist to a flaw. It is very difficult for me to approve of almost anything I do. I want to do everything perfectly. I want to train perfectly. I want to spar perfectly. I want to fight perfectly. I even want to rest and recover perfectly.
I think it stems from being adopted and spending my whole life wanting to show my appreciation to my parents for adopting me by being perfect for them always. I wanted them to know in my every action as a growing human that they did well by me, and I appreciated how they were raising me. I followed the rules out of appreciation. I worked hard in school and graduated when I was 16 out of appreciation. I opened my own business out of appreciation. I tried to be perfect in all I did out of appreciation. I don't know where I picked up this idea of being perfect, because my parents never encouraged perfectionism. My parents encouraged me to try and fail over and over and over again until I succeeded in my dreams. In fact, one day I went to my parents' house seeking advice from my father when I was struggling with fear over the amount of risk that is involved in self-employment, and he pointed at the ceiling where my room had been located my entire life and still sat unchanged and unoccupied. "You will always have a room here, Maureen." He said. "Your children will always have a room here. You will always have clothes on your backs, a roof over your heads, and food in your bellies. If you risk everything and lose it all, you can always come back here. There will always be a place for you here. Now go take risks because you have nothing to fear." What a blessing being adopted turned out to be...
Perfectionism... what a childish notion. Perfect doesn't exist. It's a word we have... but not one we use. "Perfect", perhaps, should be our kruna. Just a word that isn't used. The beauty of life is the plethora of experiences it offers, meaning there is no perfect. The beauty of martial arts is the plethora of techniques available, meaning once more that there is no perfect. Even a black belt doesn't reach perfectionism, where he knows all there is to know and trains it perfectly every day. It simply does not exist. Nothing and no one is perfect, so why do we even have the word in our language?
The more I reflect on perfectionism, the more I realize what a boring existence it would be anyhow. There would be nothing to learn, nothing to grow from, nothing to make life more thrilling. To do things perfectly always would drain life of much of its richness: the highs that are made possible only by the lows; the celebrations we are able to partake in only because of the failures we have also experienced. There is no perfect, and THAT is what makes life an adventure every day.
It is my intention from this day forward to continue pursuing my best self, but while also eliminating the idea of "perfect" and enjoying the imperfections of every day a little bit more. After all... the truth is each and every one of us is perfectly imperfect and that is what feeds the beautiful diversity our world is filled with. <3
A lover of words, magic, and the idea of changing the world by encouraging the pursuit of one dream at a time. Living the dream myself as a professional boxer, kickboxer, and MMA fighter.