I know, I know. It’s been written about before. I’m positive I’ve scrolled past a million articles about it before from sources all over, and I’m no professional – just someone with her own experiences. It’s surprising, since I never thought it would apply to me. While I’ve never considered myself a perfectionist, and I don’t know that I ever will, there are aspects of perfectionism that I just can’t escape from. I always end up having the same back and forth arguments in my mind: It’s not that I’m picky – I just like how I do things. I’m not distrusting, I just have high standards. I’m not narcissistic, I’m just doing others a favor by doing this on my own.
My last year of school was a big learning experience for me in regards to delegation, leadership, and professionalism. I ended up with too much on my plate and stress that kept me up at night, took my breath away (literally), and made me, you know, kind of hate myself. But it wasn’t my first slow dance with depression – no, I’ve learned to recognize the symptoms for a while now. Not wanting to get out of bed, not eating at all or (more likely) eating too much, a general lack of motivation, and then, of course, just being in a downright pissy mood.
What I didn’t realise is that even when all my usual stresses are taken away, when I have nothing but time, that it wouldn’t change. I suppose I’m just one of the many people who expected their outlook and personal doubts to stay back at home when they moved overseas. Unfortunately that isn’t the case. This shit is just part of us. The same symptoms followed me here, and they waited until the honeymoon period was over, quietly biding their time in the back of my mind.
It has to be a writers dream to be living on a beach. I can sit next to a floor-to-ceiling glass window and stare out at the Caribbean waters, pour myself a coke and lime or an ice cold beer, and have nothing but basic chores to take up my time. So why haven’t I finished a novel by now? I can write over 10,000 words in a day if I put my mind to it – I’m sure anyone can if they want to, even if they’re sacrificing coherency. But the point remains. Why do I only have three posts on my blog? What have I been doing?
It’s embarrassing to pick Terry up after a day at work and hear “What have you been up to?” only to answer “The same” or “Nothing much,” especially considering he’s just finished a fifteen hour workday in a kitchen. He’s a professional chef. I’m a travel graduate with one (1) marketable skill: writing. We all have fast-learner and optimistic on our resumes, but let’s be real; life is about what you can create, and I thank the god I don’t believe in that I can at least make something. So it feels like, if I’m not using it, I’m taking this for granted. This being the beach, the apartment, the support of my family and friends – and most of all, Terry.
I’ve struggled with what to write about. I’ve struggled with what to do. I started a Let’s Play channel for video games, which I’m quite passionate about. I run a fandom Tumblr that garnered over 2,000 followers in just over three months thanks to, funny enough, my writing. I started studying Japanese again. And then, of course, I have this blog, the one I paid for. But in my struggles to wonder what I should be doing, or how I should start, I end up doing nothing. Paralyzed. I clean, I surf the web, I watch shows, write some requests off of the Tumblr blog. Maybe take a nap. The worst part is that it hasn’t been sunny lately, so I haven’t even been able to escape to the beach.
I know. It’s a real sob-story.
I watched a few movies to try and make myself feel more motivated. Spirited Away is one I’ve seen countless times and will always rewatch. Then Jeff, Who Lives Alone, which wasn’t as funny as I was hoping but succeeded in making me cry, so I guess that’s something. The Way Way Back reminded me that I’m stronger now than I was as an awkward teenager. Eddie The Eagle guilt-tripped me about not trying my best even in the threat of failure. And lastly Chef, because it’s just delightful.
None of those did as much as hearing one sentence from my mum. I was telling her some stories from Terry and I adventuring in Nassau this past weekend, and she made me promise to write a little bit every day, so I don’t forget. And then I realised something else – if I’m not writing for everyone else, then I could at least write for myself, to have something to look back on. Whether or not it’s successful isn’t as important. Well, it’s why I made this blog in the first place, but if I’m not doing anything with it anyways, what’s the point? I have to start somewhere. So here we go. Stay tuned.