I took a hiatus from blogging because I had become so hypercritical that I completely clouded it with negativity. I got so caught up in wanting everything to be perfect that I didn’t want to post until everything matched my expectations. I constantly reminded myself of all the things I had yet to learn, all the things I didn’t have. In my mind I had no photography, Photoshop, or coding skills…soon I had convinced myself I had no skills whatsoever. I wanted to push myself to learn everything in an instant and the impossibility of it all kept me from even trying. I ended up falling so far behind on posting that I saw no point in trying to keep up. So I quit.
But even as I had made the decision to call it quits I kept thinking about everything in terms of posts. I tried a Russian soda; I took a picture for dots. I planned to take a class; I planned a post for dots. I made tofu for the first time; I wanted to share it with you (whoever that ‘you’ might be). That’s when I realized I’m kind of in love with this blogging thing. I had managed to turn it into something negative because I was unable to be patient and flexible and forgiving with myself. There is a lot to learn, but there always will be a lot to learn. I’ve lived my life waiting until I’m 100% prepared and then, of course, I never can start. I won’t keep letting this perfectionism get in the way of my life. Sometimes you start at 20%, 15%, 0%. Everybody starts somewhere different, but nobody starts at 100%. In fact, there is no 100%.
In choosing to define myself by what I am not, I closed myself off to growth and possibility. My mind was so overwhelmed by what it didn’t have that there was just no room left for anything else. That’s not a way to live.
I’m choosing to embrace the learning process, however slow it may be. And accepting that overcoming a weakness is part of it. Perfectionism is a hard thing to overcome. I’m starting to feel anxious even as I write this because I even want to overcome perfectionism perfectly! Realistically, I know there is a good chance that I will be struggling with this for the rest of my life. I have vivid memories of being so anxious to start kindergarten because I still didn’t know how to read. I even went to bed crying because I wasn’t where I thought I should be, without knowing that I was exactly where every other 4-year-old was. In retrospect that memory is silly, even funny, but it helps to think back on it to remind myself not to expect things of myself that I haven’t had the chance to learn yet.