it starts with expectations, the ones that cripple you with goals and wishes that become burdensome and grow cancerous,

expectations which you internalize as your esteem, and externalize as your reality,

so nothing ever feels good enough without your presence or attendance,

approval sought in every solo adventure or social circle,

in all the school alleys that reconstructed your class lenses,

because now you’re an excellent student without social status,

the expectations of passing a test but failing to fit in,

perfecting your happiness on paper while drowning in insecurities,

later you carry your perfectionism with you to wherever you go,

to your work, your friends, your relationships,

seeking friendships to stand out instead of staying connected,

slaving for validation while constantly self-loathing,

dating and dinners while drowning in demons,

finding ways to show you’re better at everything instead of being good at what’s important,

perfect pictures by the pool side with a worn down soul,

happiness at your fingertips as emptiness cradles you to sleep,

perfecting happiness looks like a very well tailored appearance to hide a broken spirit

If ever you find yourself trying to perfect your happiness, your reality, your relationships, your smile, remember this…

Happiness is meant to feel beautiful, not worn like a burden…