Monday, June 23, 2008

Things I Am Learning About Me

It is funny that as time moves forward I learn more about me. Maybe I keep changing and am learning about new things. Or maybe I'm just beginning to understand deeper levels of stuff that I wasn't willing or able to see/accept before. Who knows, who cares. The point is, stuff is bubbling up for me to be aware of so this post is about those things. It will be somewhat of a rambling/novel/stream of conscious thing while I try to work through some of this.

I am a perfectionist. Can you believe it? Maybe you can, but I'm having a hard time admitting to it. Perfectionists, to me, have always been really picky and had to have everything just-so explempified by clean houses and perfect dress. The last two bits there sure as hell aren't me, so I never could see the other parts that are true. I like to go with the flow and let how things fall out dictate my response, that too doesn't sound too perfectionist to me either - at least to what I thought perfectionism was. As I have learned more, my perspective or understanding of what it means to be a perfectionist has changed/broadened. Like anything else, it isn't as simple as just slapping a label on something. While I definitely have perfectionist tendencies, I am not ruled by it (usually). But it seems totally at odds with how I like (or think I like) to live my life. How can I be content to determine what I want to do by letting events fall out and still be picky about what I want to do? It seems like a paradox to me but it works. However, it certainly gets in the way as well. Fear of failure or, more, criticism plays large in my life. Sometimes I think I come across as a know-it-all or someone with an opinion on everything. With work I can get caught up in one little stupid detail that just isn't that important, although I'm getting much better at balancing this aspect of it. Finally, in matters of love, this tendency tends to get me stuck in my head rather than my heart. Of course, there are up-sides. I tend to want to know alot about something before I jump into it, then when I'm ready I jump in head first. This has served me well in some places, just not in matter of the heart. More about that later.

I have learned that I am too much in my own head sometimes. This is something else that surprises me although I've heard it before. How can I just 'go with it' and let things happen but at the same time be too much in my head? I don't know. Maybe I can bounce between being stuck in my head and not depending on the situation? All I know is I love a good debate with people and learning new views, etc. I really dislike people that apply logic to every damn thing and aren't just willing to accept other points of view. Am I being a hypocrite now? Seriously, am I? I don't think I am but I honestly don't know.

Ultimately, I am a survivor. I always knew I was flexible as far as my decisions go (something else that flies in the face of perfectionism...or does it?). I'm willing to change my plans and thinking based on what events play out and I'm ok with it. When something happens that is out-of-the-blue, I am flexible enough to figure out a new path and adjust my thinking. Not to be cliche, but when life hands me lemons, I make lemonade. I always have and I think it is one of the things that really makes me who I am.

The survivor bit I just recently came to and I think it really fits, or at least fits for now. In my mind, it explains how I can have these different aspects that are seemingly at odds. And that fits something I've been saying for a long time: embrace your hypocrisy (or contradiction). We are full of them and it is what makes us so damn fascinating.

1 comment:

Meredith Self said...

From one 'in-denial of perfectionist' to another, oh heeeerrrrroo.

When people have a very structured way of thinking, sometimes they take on a very loose, go-with-the moment attitude for balance.

?? eh ??

But there's something to say for looking for that open perspective that there isn't a right or wrong way. And there are many paths up the mountain. blah, blah.

the whole head/heart thing, whoa. emotions can be outta control, unpredictable. thoughts can be too rigid or based on false beliefs. so where's the guidance that incorporates wise thoughts, wise feelings.

i like to fall back to basics. what do i a way that really nourishes me and doesn't leave me drained. then focus my head and heart on that. seems to bring everything else in alignment.

greatly admire your honest reflection and embrace of various sometimes at odds part of the psyche. very courageous. thanks.