I’m A Perfectionist (Apparently)

This one is going to be short, because I just want to check in before the craziness that is this coming month.

I would like to begin by saying that I fought this idea the idea that I might be a perfectionist, for a very long time. To me, it seemed like that a perfectionist was a person who had their shit a bit more together than I do. You know the type. The kind who meets deadlines, with perfectly immaculate hair and clothing, the kind who never misses an appointment or is late for a meeting. They may or may not hold others to the same standard to which they hold themselves. They find themselves in leadership positions because they can’t handle of someone else’s protocol. Not to mention the state of their home. (Perfect, obviously.)

Conversely, I’ve always had very little control over my environment or myself. It’s always bothered me somewhat acutely that I couldn’t have things the way I wanted them, but that’s just kind of how it goes when you don’t have the time or the money to fix it. My hair is always a mess, my clothes don’t match, I have terrible skin, and, though I try to be 15-30 minutes early for most things, it’s not always possible, and I am occasionally exactly on time or even 5-10 minutes late. In my mind, a perfectionist would never allow themselves to be less than perfect, and if such a thing were to happen…well, I guess I never got that far.

Perfectionists

Anyway, I existed in that way pretty much for my whole life. It wasn’t until a few years ago, when I started dating my current partner, Patrick, that I was presented with the idea that I might be the dreaded P-word. He called me it in passing, as though it were the most obvious thing in the world.

“What do you mean, ‘Perfectionist’?” I asked him.

“I mean,” he started. “Haven’t you ever noticed?”

He then listed off some reasons.

  • When faced with the inability to do something perfectly, I don’t do it at all. I’d rather never start something than turn out a shoddy product.
  • I get unreasonably panicked if there is a chance of being even 1 minute late for something.
  • I somehow have both a “fuck ’em all” attitude and care immensely what others think of me.
  • I tend to focus more on the details than on the big picture.
  • And I cant’t emphasize this enough: I just straight-up won’t do something if I think I can’t do it well.

This behavior has changed somewhat since I’m come to recognize it for what it is. That took much longer than I would have thought, though. Patrick directed my attention to it years ago, but it wasn’t until maybe a few months ago that I accepted it to be the truth. As Jason Pargin (AKA David Wong from Cracked) said in one of the last episodes of the Cracked Podcast, “Most people don’t come quietly to the truth. They have to be dragged away from their own beliefs kicking and screaming.”

But now that I do know, how am I supposed to deal with it? Being that I perform, I definitely have the “opportunity” (as I saw on The Office once, “an opportunity is the name you give to something you don’t really want to do.”) to address my need for perfection every time it comes up. Some days, it’s enough to start from the outside (“Today, I’m just not going to get the hang of this, and that’s ok. I’ll try again tomorrow.”) but some days I have to work a little harder.

Performing is wonderful, and it is something I love. But sometimes I get so wrapped up in the “right way” to do things and all the logistics involved that it leeches all the fun out of it. What’s the point of performing or producing or writing if it’s no fun? And that’s why I need to keep an eye on it. I need to kill my insecurities, or be killed by them.

And just in time, too. I’ve got too much shit to do.

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Thanks for reading! Here’s a quick rundown of what I’ve been up to:

  • The Xena Quest is coming along really well. I just finished Season 1 of Xena and Season 2 of Hercules, I’m almost through with reading¬†The Art of War, I’ve almost reached my inverted incline plank goal of 60 seconds (my best time is 55 seconds!) and when I do, I can move on to steeper inclines (or just go full vertical, whichever is easier). I have been running irregularly thanks to my bestest friend and her gym membership, but I hope to get on a more regular schedule soon. And last but not least, I plan on doing the Mudderella run this year. It’s not official yet, since I haven’t paid the registration fee, but I have the makings of a team and a training schedule. Not too shabby.
  • I have some events coming up soon, and they are all incredibly exciting! Take a look in the sidebar for more information. I hope to see you there!
  • I’m officially a work study at The Dance Complex in Cambridge. If you’re a student there (or want to be), be on the lookout for your resident studio cleaner!
  • This next part is a little NSFW. I’ve already had a profile on FetLife¬†for a few years now, but I drifted away from it for personal reasons. I recently decided to come back to it, and I’m looking to build a nice, supportive community for myself there. So if you’re on there, feel free to give me an add at fiddleronthmoon. No funny business, though.
  • More vague than I’d like, but there you go. Several of my productions are coming along nicely behind the scenes, but there’s not enough to go into right now.
  • I’m going to start creating a monthly newsletter outlining my plans for the next two months. Be sure to subscribe, and keep an eye out for that.

 

What have you been up to lately? And what gets under your skin?

 

A presto,

JW

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