for the recovering perfectionist

for the recovering perfectionist

Making a blackout poem is totally different from every other form of creativity I’ve practiced. When I sit down, I have no notion of what the topic will be or where the words will take me. When I made this blackout poem and these words surfaced, I thought, huh! Working on it.

My brand of perfectionism is sneaky. Looking at my kitchen, my car, or my desk, you’d never peg me for one. In fact, I didn’t, for a long time. I’m pretty messy, and I’m okay with that.

But in other areas, especially ones outside my comfort zone, I find myself staying stuck, waiting until I can be certain of hitting some ill-defined ideal. 😳 But if I hit that ideal, chances are high that I’d find some fault or lack in it, and “need” to keep tweaking.

Anyone else?

Most of my perfectionism revolves around words. Writing a book, I can get really stuck waiting until I figure out the perfect words. When I need to have an important conversation, ditto. And after saying something I wish I hadn’t, or saying it the wrong way, I can kick myself for days.

I find this “script for gremlins” by Bethany Bassett helpful to keep on repeat:

“I am as human as they come, and my imperfections help me relate all the better to the imperfect humans around me.”

Bethany Bassett

Originally posted in shorter form on Instagram.