Perfectionist Problems

There are parts of my life that I like to keep pretty orderly.

Not my laundry, or my car, or my house in general. Some things will only ever be "good enough."

So there are clothes that are clean but still in baskets, bags with "trash" in my car (papers mostly or maybe gum), and dog hair in the hall because I don't sweep as often as I should.

But when it comes to work or school or things that involve other people, I am pretty organized. 

I write down instructions, I hate repeating myself, I don't like to be late or in someone's way. And I like being one of the best. At literally every job I've had since 16, I have constantly been told I'm a great employee.

To be fair...I think it's more that I do what I'm supposed to do, and other people actually suck, versus me being truly awesome.

Either way, I like that. I like being dependable and successful. This probably links way back to elementary/high school when "good grades and reading" were literally the only things I had going for me (and I use the term "going for me" lightly since it could be negative also). That's probably why my personal life and space can be a bit of mess- I finally carved out a place for myself to relax.

Anyway, all this to say...

I gotta chill the fuck out with that shit.

I struggled with it a lot when Babycakes was born (see here & here for a wrap up of that shit-show). And I've gotten a lot better in that area. But maybe I'm compensating with that perfectionist spirit in some other places.

I received the results of my first test, and it was a 93. 

Which by all accounts is pretty dang good. It's an A, and it's well above the minimum grade to stay in the program.

So why was my first thought "Man I thought I did better than that?"

If anyone else had told me they got that grade, I would have been so happy for them!!

Part of it is, there wasn't that much on the test that I struggled with. So I want to know what I did wrong. But regardless, that's a terrible first reaction. That is not being kind to myself.

When I have realizations like this, I always come back to a quote from Amy Poehler in Yes, Please:

Sticking up for ourselves in the same way we would one of our friends is a hard but satisfying thing to do. Sometimes it works.

To be clear, I am not knocking myself for being this way. 

I've done that before too- beat myself up for something, then beat myself up for beating myself up. Those days are gone, okay? I refuse to be my own worst enemy.

I had a thought, and I immediately recognized that it wasn't helpful or fair to myself. And I'm going to work on it. So while I'm sad...I'm also proud. Proud for identifying something and being a good friend to myself.

I am who I am. And I am enough. I won't stop trying to improve, but I can do so with grace- for myself and others.


  1. YAS to all this.
    I got a 78 on my math test that I was almost certain I was going to fail and an 80 on my chem test and with both scores I thought to myself, "I could have done better." I struggled with both a CRAZY amount and just can't seem to let myself off the hook. I was even telling people "I either failed confidently or I passed." It's crazy to me the things I say that I say to make other people believe but I don't believe myself, no matter how hard I try. Everyone else was congratulating me on doing such a good job and I'm all, "A good job would have been at least a low A." I'm with you though, we gotta work on letting ourselves off the hook.

  2. It's all about giving ourselves and others grace when needed.

    I always think it's weird when I write something like this and people are all YOU'RE FINE! Thank you, but I just wanted to write about something within me that I'm working on. LOL

  3. I love that quote from Amy. I am my own worst enemy when it comes to giving myself some grace and being proud of what I have done. I always see myself as a work in progress and like perfection in most things too. For what it's worth, I think a 93 is awesome!