21 February 2019 @ 11:20 am
on the flavors of perfectionism
I'm reading Brave, Not Perfect by Reshma Saujani at the moment, and it's proving more than a little frustrating. I know a huge part of my trouble challenging myself, especially with what really matters to me, is that I'm trying to get it Right—that is, Perfect—but most of what Saujani is citing about perfectionism in women and girls isn't what I'm struggling with: I don't have a fixed mindset, and while I worry about what others think of me, I've never seen their assessment of who I am as more valid than my own.

If I sift my feelings and thoughts for what really keeps me from pursuing my dreams, what motivates my worry and fretfulness over Getting It Right, this is what I come up with instead:

Fear of Commitment
What if I try something and I don't like it? Do I have to keep doing it just to do it? Am I a bad person if I give it up and move on to something else? And how do I know I won't come to like it if I keep doing it? Should I just pursue it and pursue it until I know for sure? And if I don't, if I decide it's not for me, am I feckless or unreliable or unworthy of my own, or anyone's, trust?

Don't Count Me Out
If I don't get it right the first time, I know I'm capable of getting it right eventually. I'm smart and persistent and...I don't fail. Not when it matters. But if I don't get it right the first time, will you still be there to see when I get it right? Or will you have decided I'm incompetent and unworthy of your respect and time? Will I be the only person to know I got it right? And if no one else sees, will that hurt my future opportunities? Will anyone even bother to show up by the time I can show off my new skills? Will anyone give me a chance once they're convinced I don't deserve one?

Return on Investment
Time is finite. Life is finite. What if this thing I want to do just ends up making me miserable and offering nothing in return. And don't give me that life-is-a-journey cliche: I know it's a's also a journey I want to spend doing more than just finding stuff I dislike over and over again. And what if the experience is so overwhelmingly negative that instead of developing resilience, it builds walls forbidding any future forays into the unknown?

Perfectionism and fear and worry over others' opinions of me are certainly woven into these feelings, but they're not quite what Saujani seems to be targeting. Perhaps her coping strategies will have something to offer, but isn't there another book out there with a more nuanced perspective on perfectionism? For those of us who are Faramirs instead of Hermiones? Please?
Prepare a Face: disappointed
26 September 2018 @ 09:15 pm
so be it
I'm out of practice at being lonely. Which is a blessing, really. I mean, how many years have I been bolstered by good friends and close family relationships? And those are still there. It's just that lately I feel as if there's too much Self bubbling out of me to find the proper reception. I don't want to burden my loved ones with more and more and more me-focused chatter, but there are so many thoughts in my head wanting to be heard, to be recognized and acknowledged.

And so I'm lonely, a situation made worse by the part of my brain that doesn't like that feeling and tries to blame others for it: This person is so busy with her new project that she doesn't even have time for you. That person doesn't even seem to listen when you talk. And her? She only wants you in her life when it's convenient!

There's just enough truth in those thoughts to make them dangerous, and so in addition to feeling lonely, I feel alone, as if my friends and family weren't as good or as close as I know they are. I'm so out of practice in taking these feelings and putting them in their proper perspective...or accepting them as they are and hunkering down for a period of intense isolation and growth, which is what I always used to do.

I think I can still remember what that felt like, though. Letting the loneliness move through me, letting it wring sadness and determination and strength from me. Looking to the future, to the person I would be when the tide ebbed. And finding solace in writing, in connecting with my voice and my words even when I couldn't reach anyone else with them.
Prepare a Face: lonely
04 January 2015 @ 03:23 pm
now the wind is still
This anniversary message is a little belated, but I didn't want to let the tenth anniversary of this journal pass without acknowledging it. Especially since, though I've been far less active recently than in previous years, I have no plans to abandon this sliver of virtual space.

2014 has proven to be a peculiar sort of year---distracted, fretful, pregnant with potential only partially expressed---and that's been reflected in my journaling, or lack thereof. I'm hopeful 2015 will find roots and nourishment and bring many of last year's may bes into fruition...and, in the process, spill a little of that growth and creativity onto these pages. In that spirit, welcome, everyone, to 2015, and happy first decade, my lj.
Prepare a Face: hopeful
Love Song: Dan Fogelberg - Song from Half Mountain
23 June 2014 @ 04:34 pm
on strugglebustin' (as my sister says)
I'm experiencing one of those times in my life when not-so-great stuff keeps piling up on me. Normally, when I have a not-so-great thing or two on my mind, I can think my way 'round it and focus on the good things, but these just keep shuffling around each other, leaving no room for any good things. So I'm just going to list them and see if laying them out here gives me a better handle on what I'm dealing with. ::deep breath::

Cut to spare anyone struggling with their own not-so-great stuff. )

Sorted. More or less. Not that I won't still struggle to keep these things in perspective, but at least now I feel I have a sense of how to shove them back in their rightful places. And I'm free to enjoy the rest of day.
Love Song: The Moody Blues - Talking Out of Turn
Prepare a Face: stressed
07 June 2014 @ 10:45 am
with those who join us
AC is out. Again. Sigh. So much though I'd love to linger and enjoy this last day of the Week of the Killer Quizzes, I need to turn my computer off before it overheats. Sev and I have managed to clean up a good bit of my parchment mess, though, and if you'd like to join us in a celebratory Mai Tai, we're happy to attempt a long-distance toast. ::clink of glasses:: Cheers and enjoy! )
Love Song: Midlake - Aurora Gone
Prepare a Face: groggy
06 June 2014 @ 03:51 pm
upon the shelf
Today was my last day in my library. It's slated for renovation, so even if I return when it reopens in 12-18 months, the library I've known will be gone. I'm feeling a little at loose ends---not quite sad, but also very aware that the place I've left is one which I will truly never see again. It's strange to know that at the outset.

...And, as Sev keeps reminding me, there's no guarantee they won't need me to assist in the packing up in a couple weeks, so I might very well see it again. In other words: enough moping, time for quizzes. )
Love Song: Roosevelt Dime - Oh To Be
Prepare a Face: sleepy
05 June 2014 @ 08:01 pm
ah, so chill....
I believe my AC may finally be fixed, but I was out of the apartment seeing the new X-Men movie while they did the fixing, and since I returned to find all my windows still open and the AC going full blast, I'm getting some mixed signals from the maintenance folks. Ah, apartment life. At least I don't have to unclog my own drains or caulk my own bathroom or replace my own appliances. Theoretically.

But enough of that. I'm celebrating the return of my AC by giving Sev the day off. Which means he has to relax. Which means no work of any kind. Which means he's spent most of the day alternating between glowering into a fruity drink (complete with umbrella) and eyeing his potions experiments wistfully. Personally, I don't know why he doesn't just kick back with some scholarly potions journals...or that Mozart opera that he pretends he doesn't sing along to...or, hey, some quizzes. )
Love Song: Jim Croce - Time in a Bottle
Prepare a Face: cool
04 June 2014 @ 05:32 pm
i'm just a geeky romantic
My AC is on the mend...I think...but it's still fairly uncomfortable in my apartment. So in the interest of saving my computer (and myself) from heat stroke, I'm going to get right down to business. Sev? ::parchments unfurl with a snap::

...So what these quizzes are saying is that I should expect to find my soulmate at a 'con? )
Prepare a Face: amused
Love Song: Amy Stroup - With Wings
03 June 2014 @ 02:51 pm
'neath heated brow
Today is a hot, sticky taffy pull of a day, the sort of day when I wish Sev's dungeon were a little less...fictional...and a little more accessibly cool and damp. ::glare from the darkness:: Don't look at me like that, Sev: just because you make an excellent secretary doesn't mean I'm completely delusional, and the fact remains that while you are in your nice dark, dank dungeon, I'm here desperate for a breeze while I wait for the AC to be fixed. Luckily for me, quizzes are a rather excellent distraction in these hot and endless hours.

Which is not to say I've stopped dreaming about the dungeon.... )
Love Song: The Byrds - My Back Pages
Prepare a Face: hot
02 June 2014 @ 03:27 pm
maybe the purple skirt?
We're celebrating Elessar's 21st birthday today, and since he wants to go out for cocktails, I'll need a few hours to prepare. (That is: a few minutes to tackle my hair and make-up and hours of raking through my closet for something fancy-but-not-too-fancy to wear.) Fortunately, Sev has offered to deliver today's quizzes. Don't mind the potions stains, yeah? It's still a little messy in here....

Sev? They're all yours! )
Prepare a Face: distracted
Love Song: Elbow - Real Life (Angel) acoustic