Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Possible Epiphany

Oh my holy shit!

So I've spent yesterday and today mostly trawling through two of my very awesome friends' Tumblrs. It feels like I'm wasting time, I've berated myself in the past for wasting my time thus - on my fave social justice blogs instead of what I should be doing.
Then I have the words to explain to a student why it's wrong to say certain things, or I gain the self-belief that I tell my oldest brother that actually, no, I don't appreciate "fat" jokes, or I show empathy in a staff meeting about a student suffering with a mental illness I've never experienced and the other staff look at me like I'm a space alien. So… "wasting", when it makes me kinder about others' difficulties and about my own? When it makes me more respectful of others' boundaries and of my own? Nah.

But anyways. I was shuffling through Vorvayne's Tumblr and hit across one thing that related procrastination to perfectionism, so I was all "gosh, it must be so much harder for the perfectionists than for me!" because procrastination is something I struggle with deeply.
Then I went through a bunch more pages of… you know, Benedict Cumberbatch, feminism, cuts from Supernatural and Game of Thrones, more Benedict Cumberbatch, pictures of pretty ladies, Who, kittens… you know, cool shit.
Then I went and had a shower on the basis of "better late than never". And when I was in the shower I thought about how I put off marking because it's such a time-suck. Because I could never, ever find the time to mark the way I want to. Because the way I want to mark is about 10 minutes per student per week… and I have around 150 students and I don't have 25 hours a week to mark, I have 6.
And I thought about how whenever I cook I sincerely want others eating the food how I could've made it better than it is. Is it undercooked at all? Too sweet? Do you prefer your curries more or less spicy than this? TELL ME WHAT'S WRONG WITH IT SO I CAN DO BETTER NEXT TIME! And they're all like, "nom". And so am I. But I wanna do it better next time.
And I thought about how badly I hate housework. I'm not good at it. I'm not good at keeping things tidy. And I keep feeling like, if I could ever get things *properly* tidy then it'd be easier to keep that way. But I've never seen "properly". And so I don't have a set-point of "this is good enough" versus "no, this needs some work", because I've never found it "good enough" for more than 5 minutes and so it always needs work so… fuck it.
And I thought about all the things I've tried to write and then given up on, even though I know that I have a plot, an idea, and characters worth sharing, because I read it back and my voice sounds so fucking sophomoric. And I know that the only way to get better is (a) write more and (b) be critical of my own writing. But then I read it again and think "yep, that's shit. Top tip next time: write better!"
And I thought about the fact that, as much as I utterly dread lesson observations, I always welcome feedback afterwards. The last serious observation I had, a teacher was very hesitant and tentative about telling me that my classroom manner is slightly cold. I was all like "tell me more things I'm doing wrong! Stop worrying about my feelings I NEED TO KNOW".

And I thought, for literally the first time in my life:
"Holy shit.
...am I a perfectionist?"

And this is a brand-new thought so I may well not be at fucking all, but the fact that it's never *occurred* to me before… :-o

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