I can see it so clearly in my mind. I was sitting on the [closed] toilet, watching my mom do something at the sink. Or maybe she was fixing my hair. Either way, I was with my mom in the bathroom (and that’s the part I can see clearly, okay?).
We were talking about kindergarten, which would be coming up soon for me. She must have mentioned how first grade came after kindergarten, then second grade, and so on and so forth.
All of a sudden, I panicked.
I asked her what happened if I wasn’t ready to go to first grade after kindergarten.
I asked her if she or my dad had ever flunked a grade.
I asked her what would happen if I ever flunked a grade.
I may have been born a perfectionist. Or perhaps I started showing signs before that day. I’ve never actually been brave enough to ask my parents. But what I know is that on that day, in that moment, in the bathroom with my mom, I bloomed into a full-blown, put-pressure-on-myself, expect-excellence-and-fear-failure perfectionist. At age five.
That’s when it began for me. When do you first remember fighting perfectionism?