Fighting My Man-Evil

Taming the internal evil of perfectionism and being present

I was born with a cursed trait of perfectionism. I tend to cling onto permanence and fixate on idealism. Everything I touch or see must be orderly, expected, and rid of entropy. I would easily get rattled by uncertainty and chaos, no matter how small they are. I was the poster child of rigor.

A scene from the Shining (1980)

Family is Not for the Perfectionist

We all know that having a family with children means welcoming chaos in every aspect of your life. Your home will never be as tidy as you’d like it to be. No matter how much work you put into it, it would explode again the next day. You won’t get enough rest, and your wardrobe will wither into a bunch of old tees, boxers, and a few pair of trousers and jackets to wrap the ugly inner daddy outfits that in turn loosely glaze over the dad bod. And as you are just about to get in the zone, your little one would, in a very precise and timely manner, break your flow as if she had been plotting against your productivity.

Portrait of me, drawn by a four-year-old.

The Road to Redemption

I began to seek all help and resource I could find. I attended groups on anger management and began to meditate for at least 10 minutes everyday (here is my Calm 30-day guest pass for you to try out). The goal was to be able to embrace the present and be mindful in every minute of my day, letting go of things outside of my control and become more spontaneous and humanly erroneous. Because, in a way, being controlling is about over-preparing to evade all the surprises life has in stock for you. You lock your office’s door because you don’t know how to deal with your child surprising you in the middle of a meeting call. You avoid eye contact with a stranger walking toward you on the sidewalk because you don’t welcome the possibility of meeting new people. And that, I learned, for my case, was mostly because my terminal fear of being imperfect.

Technologist, educator, and privacy advocate. Crypto enthusiast.