breeding neurotic perfectionists with a sense of entitlement can hardly be what mothers intended with their sweet bedtime promises. but what woman is going to tell her child that not everyone will grow up and conjure golden dreams from a magical pool of stardust, that sometimes you can find transcendental happiness living in an apartment and working behind a stack of papers to be filed? how do you define for some fledgling thing a genuinely accepting version of 'i only want the very best for you/i see a bright future full of many successes for you/i don't ever want you to settle for anything' that doesn't make teenagers want to die in bathtubs of their own blood for scratching out an awkward space in the world instead of shining like the prodigy mom knows they are?
some days it still makes me want to lay perfectly still on the floor when i look around and realize that i don't have a filigreed piece of parchment paper that validates the rest of my life framed in gilt and hanging in a place of prominence. and it's not even that i forget for a second how unhappy that lifestyle made me or how my body rejects the very idea of that future, i just for one minute care that no one will know my value without thousands of dollars of debt to prove it.
and then i wonder how on earth i ever came to be burdened with such bullshit prerequisites. and how, in all of my years of striving for a more informed sense of personal perfection, i haven't managed to shed them entirely.
i don't know. i don't know that it's important to know. i just hope to forget one day that there are paragons that i fall short of. or, failing that, that it's ok that i do.