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Completely Imperfect: An Essay on Life

By Viktoria Vee

Everyone will be able to at least vaguely remember how one imagined and longed for life as an adult as a child or adolescent, and probably none of us suspected that one would later become the adult person with a meaningful look at every child appeals that they should please enjoy their childhood and still take their time growing up. In any case, this child has now more or less fallen into the well and there you stand: in the middle of life - with the feeling of living past it.

The first love is passé and disappears more and more from consciousness, with a still slightly bitter aftertaste of the lost youthful lightness. The second great love and the related relationship somehow hit you against the wall and at some point, when the grief has subsided, you realize that you may have contributed more than you wanted to admit at the time. Even now you don't quite admit it to yourself, you just keep looking, because that couldn't have been it, life has to have something better in store for you.


Independent and cultivated and interested in social life


Some have been working in front of themselves for years or at least towards something, others avoid exactly that and exhaust their maximum duration of study up to the very last semester and are happy with the opportunity to hang around a little "if it really were". You feel stress at the thought of not having backpacked in Australia, New Zealand or Cambodia and the countless blogs and Instagram profiles that happen to be beneficiaries slowly but surely give you the feeling that you haven't quite got to the point where you actually want to be see. You may even have a few talents, but you could use them more effectively. You have good and true friends, but you have already lost at least as many friendships or somehow hit the wall just as much as any love affair. You are about as far away from starting a family as you are now from your own. And when our loved ones mark us on pictures and videos, the main message of which is how little we can go without alcohol and how high the probability is that we will end up as a lonely cat lady, we smile about it, but we would not shake our hands either be sure to put it in the fire and claim the opposite. A hungover Sunday is the same as another and all the celebrations make you lose more and more of your liveliness - at least in retrospect. When I whatsapp with my mom and we exchange a few words instead of emojis for a change and I proudly announce that I'm going to party again and have no answer to her question about what I have to celebrate (again), the feeling arises briefly a not quite on the right track. You didn’t miss the path, after all you have a secondary school leaving certificate and / or Abitur and - even if you personally no longer believe in your degree - you will soon have a bachelor’s degree, which nowadays is not only given away and you are also independent and cultivated and interested in social life. Even if you still don't get involved politically.


Off to the land of gross national happiness


From day to day your guilty conscience gets closer and you are fed up with your own excuse. We want to get the best out of ourselves and we are entitled to a certain quality of life. We look for happiness, look for it in other people, in different places, in different things and sometimes forget to pause and enjoy our already existing happiness in its full value.

We are free. We can go, drive and fly wherever we want to and often for the price of a pair of shoes that children's hands sew for us and that we can all somehow afford. Maybe my next trip is to Bhutan - a kingdom where there is gross national happiness. Or maybe I will think back and start looking for happiness in myself. The happiness of being who I am. With all the lost lightness that was nevertheless lived out in its time, with all the added burden and the lack of willingness to take risks. We are lucky enough to be able to enjoy all of this and so much more every day. We don't live completely past life. We just have to accept how wonderful it is to be imperfect. But just to be.


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Image source: Camilla Cordeiro under CC0 1.0