When I was a child, I learned not to make mistakes.
Now, perfectionism is a pretty complex concept. By no means am I saying i fully grasped it; my four-year-old brain didn’t quite understand what it was learning. All I knew was, “If I do things just right, grown-ups will be happy.”
Unfortunately, that’s a lesson I can’t quite shake.
I always thought perfectionism was a good thing, a motivator to make me bring my best self and do my best work. But perfectionism has a cost. If I make a mistake–if I don’t get it right on the first try every time–the criticism starts, and it doesn’t let up.
My therapist and I talked about inner-child work recently. (Apparently shit that happened to you as a kid can fuck you up as an adult–surprise, surprise.) Yesterday she asked me to find a picture of me as a child and imagine the picture was real, that I was talking to my four-year-old self. How would I respond to her if she told me she felt like she wasn’t good enough?
Would I reinforce her doubts, break her heart further?
Or would I wipe her tears, pull her into my arms, and tell her she’s spectacular–just as she is?
I’ve gone with the former for most of my life, mistakenly believing shame and criticism were effective motivators. Effective in the short term? Absolutely. But the long term damage isn’t worth it.
And four-year-old me deserves the support she didn’t feel she had.
Another day, another influential album. 🙂
Second on the list is…
Artist: Kelly Clarkson
Anybody else reallyyyyyyyy into American Idol back in the day? I know I was a huge fan of the ORIGINAL series (I’ve got opinions on the recent revival of the show–that’s for another post) that brought us the legend known as Kelly Clarkson.
I must admit, I wasn’t even rooting for Kelly to win the inaugural season of AI. I was a teenage girl back then, which meant I was squarely on #TeamJustinGuarini. (What can I say? He was cute, and I had raging teen girl hormones controlling my thoughts.) But Kelly definitely deserved to win. Homegurl can SANG. I enjoyed her debut album (Thankful) that came out as a result of her winning the show.
But her sophomore album Breakaway…that album was special. It was the soundtrack for my high school years, even though it didn’t come out until I was a senior.
For a long time, I didn’t know that the feelings of desolation I had were actually signs of depression. Breakaway helped me get through the pain I experienced (especially breaking up with my first boyfriend). One song in particular called “Hear Me” was my heartsong. I felt like I was in a crowd, screaming for help, and no one noticed.
I’m cryin’ out
I’m ready now
Turn my world upside down
I’m lost inside the crowd
It’s getting loud
I need you to see
I’m screaming for you to please
(If you haven’t checked our Part 1 of this series, please do!)
Winter in Wisconsin is in full swing, y’all. And ya girl is NOT FEELING IT.
Something Everything about the blistering cold, the gray skies, and the seemingly unending snowfall just makes me depressed. Being cooped up inside doesn’t help my anxiety either. The days are so short it feels like you never see the sun. The wind chill is so cold that it burns your skin. Now how much sense does that make–weather so cold it feels hot?!?
We got four inches of snow on Saturday, and another inch on Monday. More snow is predicted for tonight, and even more next week. My snow shovel and I have been best friends the past couple of days. #truestory I shoveled my driveway as my cardio warmup before my personal training session on Monday. There’s a silver lining to this cloud after all! 🙂
But, in all honestly, I know this rough patch won’t last. Where there is cold, eventually there will be warmth. Gray skies will be blue again. And summer will be here and make me forget all about these snowy days. Here is a snapshot from a hike at Devil’s Lake last summer–I cannot wait until I see green trees and feel the warm sun again!
The Crash is The Crash because it hits you. Hard.
The Crash laughs at you for thinking everything would be okay. “When has it ever been okay? When have you ever been okay?”
The Crash wakes you up exhausted after a full night’s sleep. Keeps you up at night. Turns your stomach. Takes your breath.
The Crash begs you to stay inside. “You’re too weak to make it through the day. You can’t even get out of this bed.”
Sometimes, The Crash wins. You stay. Cry. Dry your tears. Cry. Just…cry.
Sometimes, you can’t (won’t) stay. You get up because you have to, need to.
The Crash vows to destroy your day anyway.
The Crash ruins your makeup before you finish putting it on, keeps a gleeful tally of how many times you cover the tracks of tears on your cheeks.
The Crash brings you to tears anywhere: walking into work, in the produce section of the grocery store, on a treadmill at the gym. The Crash hopes no one notices and smirks when they don’t. “When has anyone ever noticed you?”
The Crash mocks the brave face you put on. Chuckles when you say, text, think, “I’m fine.” “You just keep on wearing that fake smile, girl. You may fool them, but you won’t fool me.”
You work through it. You always do. But…
The Crash always happens again.