Wednesday, February 3, 2010

light bulb

I've had another Aha-Erlebnis. I have them, every so often, but since I started doing this e-course, they come at me so fast and furious it's hard to keep up! Let alone come up with a satisfying way to describe them. But I'm going to try, anyway.

Perfectionism. Yeah, that old chestnut... I've known I am a perfectionist ever since my mom called me one, a long time ago. At least, I think it was her. No matter. This is not about who said what to whom, or whether I was a perfectionist before (egg) or became one once I got labelled (chicken). The gist is - we are all behaving towards what we think we are (the hope in that being that if we change our thinking, we can become something different).

I've always believed calling someone a perfectionist was a compliment, a badge of honour. Yes, really! Because I've always thought that Perfection is something to aspire to, and perfectionism saw me on my way there.
In my mind, I have used it as an excuse when I felt I didn't measure up, and it has stopped me from diving into something, anything, with passion, head-over-heels - more times than I care to remember!
But man, am I ready to let go! I have no idea how I'm going to take off that stuffy overcoat just yet - not exactly - but I just know I've got to.

When I really think about it, being perfect, knowing everything would be so... dull!
Here is something I've known about myself for a long time, but never really articulated: I love learning! Reading books, reading myself, thinking, writing, mulling over the world beyond my backyard; people, places, spaces, times... I appreciate my own opinions, but I never want to lose the willingness to challenge them, change them, find out I was wrong!
The fun in life - maybe even life itself - is in the process. The journey, not the destination. These are cliches, I guess, but I think I'm actually getting it - feeling it - for the first time!

I am reminded of Samuel Beckett's play 'Waiting for Godot'. Two men sitting under a tree for what might as well be a lifetime, waiting for this guy who never shows. I remember when I read the play (18 years ago), I felt a sense of dread, desperation and boredom, and yet, that is how I've been living my life. Sure, I've shared food, had good conversations and it hasn't all been misery! But essentially, I've been sitting here, waiting for something. Something that would make my life perfect. Magically. Without the trial, the error & the fun of trying something, anything; trying, failing & laughing about it!

So here's to change! I might not have a pink folder with an action plan yet - or is that my inner perfectionist talking, with a last-ditch effort to reel me in, tempting me with timetables and a folder, surrendering on the pink? - but I firmly believe that knowing this is the first step on the road to recovery!

P.S. This was me in my underwear, I guess. Seeing that I'm contemplating getting into a bathing suit to take Squirt to the swimming pool some day, I might as well get some stretching done ;-)

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