In middle school, my mom had me dress up in my Sunday best for a Saturday morning summer camp interview. I wore my lilac-colored Easter dress, a purple cardigan, and my hair was primped and pressed to perfection. I brought my “portfolio” (aka a blue three-ring binder where my dad kept all my report cards, perfect attendance awards, and other certificates of merit), and I answered all of the questions as politely as a 10-year-old could.
Granted, it was a camp for “leaders and scholars” led by a local private college (which would eventually become my alma mater), but in sixth grade, I had already internalized that I had to constantly be professional, punctual, and all around perfect lest I poorly represent my entire race. Twenty-five years later, and I still feel this way sometimes, so much so that I’m writing a book about my experiences aptly titled Stop Waiting for Perfect.
So last week when I saw this tweet about