June 7, 2005

Imperfect at Being Perfect

One of the things I've struggled with over the years has been a crippling state of perfectionism. Most people who meet me think that I'm really laid-back and easy going, but inside, I rip myself apart. If you came to our house you wouldn't think that I'm a perfectionist. The house is messy sometimes, I don't go crazy about dust or laundry....but inside, when its something that pertains to me specifically, I am incredibly hard on myself.

I'm a little concerned about how this might play out as we get closer to the wedding. My coping mechanism has been to "shut off" or "avoid failure" and that comes out as procrastination. It's something that I've been dealing with ever since I was a little kid. When I was in Kindergarten, I was one of the only kids in the class who was reading at a pretty high level, practically fourth grade level. Now in elementary school, all subjects hinge on your reading. If you are a poor reader, things are difficult, but if you are a really good reader, everything is deathly boring. To compensate for the fact that everything was easy, I decided it had to be perfect in exchange.

Both of my sisters also had the same problem, but their's didn't manifest itself as perfectionism and procrastination like it did with me. Maybe being older, I am just too hard on myself because I always had to be responsible. Whatever the reason, this is still a huge problem in my life.

For right now, with over a year to go before our wedding, I don't really have any anxiety. However, if we don't start getting some things planned soon, I'm going to feel like a total failure. That's how perfectionism works in people....there are arbitrary benchmarks that only you understand that must be met....if you don't meet them, you suck.

Derek is not a procrastinator, at least not to the measure that I am sometimes. I'm sort of counting on him to help keep things on track, but because its wedding planning and not something fun like "road-trip with the guys planning", I'm afraid that I'll have to do most of the work and self-motivation on my own.

Posted by tsch0020 at June 7, 2005 2:05 PM