“Live and let live, honey.”

My mom says this to me from behind the wheel of our car filled with crumbs because my dad eats muffins messily. She says this to me in overly lit supermarkets when I note under my breath that a woman has poorly arranged her cart and is going to crush her vegetables. She says this to me when I call her after rehearsal and tell her how many times we had to repeat a certain section of a piece because the other sopranos weren’t getting it just right. I need to let people make their own mistakes, my mom says. And guess what. I know this. I’ve heard it countless times. But coming to terms with it doesn’t mean I don’t stop noticing. I notice more than a normal person should. I can read you in an instant and I know what to say. “A chameleon,” my parents call me, and it’s true. And yet this “ability” to observe is also a hindrance–a reflection of my own self-awareness. And it’s exhausting to be so self-aware. So self-aware that you know it’s your perfectionism that drives your desire to be less of a perfectionist.

Mindfulness, intuition, my violet third eye? I’d prefer to call it that. I’d also prefer to dwell on the unending love and support I have from my mom, the stick holding me–the boulder—up, just like you see in cartoons–and from my dad, the one I call “Baba” who named me before he knew I was a possibility. They inspire me to be a better person, to go for what I want, and to be polite. To ask questions. So, did they inspire these thoughts? This awareness? This perfectionism? I will never know, and maybe I’m okay with that, for once. So those crumbs on the floor, those bruised tomatoes, and those wrong notes? They’ll just have to be there, whether I like it or not. I’ll be busy living.