Perfectionism and Procrastination

As is a common theme in my life, I am struggling with productivity. I have grand ideas of working hard and persevering through difficulty playing in my head like some great montage showcasing achievements I’ll never make. I think I want to get somewhere, but I rather get lost along the way. I’ve made a habit of never reaching my goals, and I don’t want to beat myself up about it anymore so I convince myself it’s okay to just be a worthless fucking slug of a person. I overwhelm myself with things I think I should be doing, and I do nothing instead. I sleep, I daydream, I tell myself that I just need to do a little something, and it’ll get better. Baby steps. The thing is, it takes so much effort, and energy, and work to crawl out of a hole, but just the slightest nudge can send you back down to the bottom.
(De ja vu…I’ve written this before….I had to check to make sure, and then deleted some posts because it was all the same whiny shit. I won’t check this time, because I remember from the de ja vu…I’ve done it before. I remember, the last time I was doing this, the direction of the post changed dramatically in my mind).

I have a fairly new mantra, “Done is better than perfect” –my apologies to the person I stole that from. I just try to keep reminding myself that it doesn’t all have to be perfect, especially not the first try. But, this is a source of immense stress for me. See, I’ve been noticing that for any project to really come out looking great, you can’t skimp on materials, tools, knowledge, or elbow grease. But what if you don’t have money to just throw away on failed projects? You spend a lot of time and money or you procrastinate like a motherfucker and justify it because it’s not worth your time, money and energy to try something only to fail. I keep trying to convince myself that failure is part of growth and blah blah blah, but I can’t afford to keep failing. So I take a nap and get depressed.

I’ve been particularly bummed out lately by my sewing projects. A few years ago I spent about $80 on fabric that I slowly fucked up and cut down smaller and smaller until I just said fuck it, this ain’t working. $80 and lots of time down the drain. I am currently so close to finishing this cute dress that has just been killing me from the beginning. Step by step I’ve been completing it…running out of thread along the way. Now I’m down to just the hem, and my last couple feet of thread. What if I run out of thread now, so damn close to finishing?! And what if I can’t ever find any more of this specific goldenrod thread? What if I’m just in my head coming up with excuses that prevent me from just hemming the fucking dress already? I mean, it’s not like I’m ever even going to have occasion to wear it! If only I didn’t fucking care so much, I might actually get something done!…
…but, not so fast. See, I look at other people’s stuff and I’m such a hyper-critical bitch about it.
Example: I love photography, because unlike some art forms, there really are rules that you can follow that make or break a photo. Break the rules, the photo looks weird- it’s just the way optics work. So I recently saw all these outdoor wedding photos and the frame is crooked, so the table in the background holding the cake looks like it’s tipping over and the cake is falling. It sucks. From a photography standpoint, I was shocked that they considered that okay. It made me kinda mad because I was like, “I would never think that was acceptable, how can these “professionals” charge people money for this shit?!”…oh yeah, because they’d actually deliver instead of just nit picking over little details until the deadline had been missed.
I had also Googled “having a hard time turning a hem circle dress” to see what tips others might have for this problem of straight grains of a fabric distorting differently across 360°. As it turns out, other people just go with the fucked up crooked hem, and they blog about it like we can’t tell their skirt is all fucked up. But really, if I were to see homegirl on the bus wearing this homemade skirt, would I judge her harshly, or just be like, “wow, she had the balls to make a skirt, know it was a little less than perfect, and rock it anyway. Good for her”! Probably the latter. See, I’m so worried that people are going to treat me the way I used to be treated…constantly judging, telling me I’m not good enough and highlighting my flaws, that I forget that I don’t need to concern myself with their opinions. I thought others were so much better than me, but they all have warped clothes and tilted frames.
I used to think being a professional meant something, but the older I get the more I realize the only “experts” are self-proclaimed and usually undeserving of that recognition. I used to shy away from responsibility because I was afraid of making mistakes, now I’m more like, “oh here, let me get that”…. (You fucking retard).

Well , this post did take a turn, but that’s cool I guess. This is what happens in a free-write, no brainstorming, no direction rant of the mind I suppose. Thanks for reading.


About mindofthemasses

S.G. is a creative scientist that often ponders the state of the world in sad confusion. Befuddled by how far from harmony the human race has come, she tries to make sense of it all with intuition, reason, and above all else an open mind.
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