Coming out of my Cave

“The reason you’re not really good at anything is because you never apply yourself.”

This was said to me quite a few years ago by a rather forgettable friend, after I was foolish enough to lament to her that no matter how hard I tried, I could never excel at anything. At the time I had been bothered by the fact that even when I loved to do something, I still couldn’t get it right.

My high school photography class is a good example of this. I loved it so much, I spent so much time on all my photographs, manipulating every movable piece on my camera to get what I thought would be the perfect exposure. I could always imagine the final result, I knew what I was going for every time I pressed the shutter. Yet, after hours in the darkroom, I could feel only disappointment. My photographs often came out blurry and dull. To this day I tend to avoid black and white photography because, as beautiful as it is, I can never get the result I want.

And unfortunately enough, this has been a pretty constant pattern in my life.

I have recently come to the realization that I’m a perfectionist. I used to think that a perfectionist made everything perfect. I couldn’t make anything perfect so, by definition, I couldn’t possibly be a perfectionist. Funny enough, it was my supervisor at my current job that was the first person I actually believed when he called me a perfectionist, and have since embraced my new identity. However, now I discover that my problem is I can’t accept any compliments. If anyone compliments me I feel awkward, then I get angry thinking that they must be lying to me and are holding something back. I panic because I think that maybe I’m good now, but just wait until I slip up and then you’ll see me for the fraud I really am!

Yeah, I know, I’m a little bit bonkers, but at least I’m aware of my own insanity.

Why am I telling you all this? Mostly because I was beating myself up for not staying dedicated to this blog. The whirlwind of negative thoughts returned, just because I’ve neglected a blog that barely half a dozen people actually read. That’s when I realized that something as trivial as an unread blog becomes an excuse to get discouraged. And that’s just dumb.

So, here is an update, quite a few months late perhaps, but it’s here. It may be a somewhat pointless and introspective post, but that’s okay. I have updated, and there is no longer a reason to beat myself up over not updating.

And in the vain attempt to keep things fluffy and light, I seriously love this British folk quartet, Mumford & Sons.The Anglophile in me bounces up and down every time their killer banjo skills start up on my playlist. And though I said this is my attempt to lighten the mood of this post, their lyrics are by no means light and fluffy. I normally don’t like pushing my musical tastes on others, but this is a band that deserves a bit of pushing.


3 thoughts on “Coming out of my Cave

  1. You know, you’ve made a big step by embracing your perfectionism, as you call it. In German, we have a saying around the lines of “realizing is the first step to improving”. You already realized your problems with compliments and I’m sure the day will come when you can accept honest compliments and be happy about them!
    And remember, no one needs to be perfect! My nanny once said to me when U told her I wanted to become perfect: “You can’t love an absolutely perfect person, because it’s always the little faults that we love people for”. Back then I didn’t understand it, but now I do. No one will see you differently if you screw up once, because that’s what happens to everybody. No one expects you to be able to do 5 tasks as once or to excel in absolutely everything you do.
    So don’t be too harsh to yourself and accept that you are a great person the way you are <3

  2. My sister is a painter, and like you she is a perfectionist. That quality has made her create such beautiful works of art that were only possible because she wasn’t satisfied with them and so she kept working on them until, in her eyes, they were perfect. Being a perfectionist is not a bad thing unless you start expecting yourself to be perfect.
    Also, learn when to stop. Some people never finish what they are doing because they never feel that it’s done. At one point, even if it’s not perfect, you have to stop and move on.

    Like Jen said, everyone fails sometimes, granted, some more then others, but I think it’s all about how you come back from a failure that determines the kind off person you are.
    Does that make sense? It does in my head =D

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