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24 November 2008 @ 11:49 pm
FINALLY CAUGHT UP, GOOD FREAKIN' LORD  
The hoops are jumped through, and the perfectionism monster is happy. Remind me never ever to get three weeks behind on LJ again. Now I just have comments to go through, but I think I'm letting most of them go...which is not easy for me. Does anyone else ever feel like you have to reply to every comment that comes in, just so that no one thinks you're rude and ignoring them? I'm beginning to realize just how often perfectionism has caused me to stop doing something because I couldn't do it 100% right.

And that makes me marvel at how my 7th-grade math teacher, who was a total hardass but very dedicated, managed to pick up on the perfectionism back then. I was supposed to have been some sort of minor math prodigy when I was a kid. I went to a math/science/computer science magnet program in junior high (as well as high school...LOL NERD), and when I started out in junior high, I was ahead of all but two of the other kids in the program, so they put all three of us 7th graders in 8th-grade magnet geometry class. Anyway, this was junior high, when kids start to become all self-aware and shit, and what happened to me was that I sort of rebelled against the whole "YAY MATH" thing, replacing it with "YAY BOYS" and "YAY SOCIAL LIFE" and "YAY TRYING TO BE A COOL NERD INSTEAD OF THE NERDIEST NERD." Add that to the fact that I've always been somewhat disorganized, as well as a major procrastinator, and the result was that my math grades began to fall. First quarter I got an A, second quarter I got a B, third quarter a C, and fourth quarter my one and only D! Part of it was that I turned out to suck at anything involving visualization of objects in space (ummm...hello GEOMETRY); I was great with theory and proofs and stuff, which was also why I had rocked algebra back in 6th grade, but once we started getting into three-dimensional geometry, I just couldn't grasp it. I also stopped giving a shit, as stated previously.

The point I'm getting to here is that the math teacher noticed this progression at some point, and she set up a time to talk privately with me about what was going on. During this private talk, she basically told me that my main problem is perfectionism, and she gave me a book on perfectionism to read. I think it must have been geared towards young adults, because I remember it having comic strips and stuff. It's probably in a box in my parents' basement. The funny thing is, back then, I was like, "What the hell? I'm not a perfectionist! It's quite the opposite: I just don't give a crap anymore!" And in some ways, I still think I was right. I was becoming a teenager; my priorities had changed. But I also now marvel at the fact that the teacher had picked this up way back then from behavior that I hadn't thought was perfectionistic at all. She's the only person ever to have called me out on the perfectionism, and that still haunts me today.

Of course, I went on to disappoint her further by quitting the math team so I could join the school musical -- a decision I SOOOO don't regret. I had never enjoyed being a math team nerd. The meets were both stressful and boring, and while I enjoy puzzles and riddles, the ones we did during math team practice were just brainbreaky. The musical was much more fun, and it set the tone for my social activities in high school and beyond. But the teacher was incredibly disappointed; in fact, a couple of people I knew on the math team told me that at the last practice, the teacher handed out trophies to the people that were there and then announced bitterly, "Abbie's not getting a trophy, because SHE QUIT!" MATH TEAM IS SRS BSNS, PPL!!!

Anyway, perfectionism is a bitch, but I don't regret all the backreading, because y'all write fun shit.

In other news, during the time that LJ went down last night (probably for all of 10 minutes, but I was still all, "GODAMMIT, I'M CATCHING UP ON MY FLIST ON MY IPHONE AND NOW YOU DECIDE TO BE ROBUST, YOU PIECE OF SHIT???"), I was nursing Meghan and had nothing else to do and was dying for some form of human communication aside from breast suckling, so I joined Twitter. If any of y'all are on there, feel free to add me. I'm miss_sophia.

...y'know, every time I start an entry, I'm all, "This is going to be a short entry, because I barely have anything to say." And then I end up with a post full of ramblings. Which isn't a bad thing. I'm just sayin'.

ETA: It was only a matter of time before I joined Twitter anyway, what with my mom and other good friends on it already. And this entry on why we should care about Twitter (written by flourish) had pushed me even closer to the edge. But yeah, yay, a new timesuck.... :P
 
 
Current Mood: accomplishedaccomplished
 
 
 
author_by_night: harry/ginny clings by katieayauthor_by_night on November 25th, 2008 12:58 pm (UTC)
Perfectionists miss out on being happy.

I know someone who was, for a long time, what I call a social perfectionist. Everyone had to be happy and 187% satisfied. But in trying to accommodate every person she happened to stumble across, she actually hurt a lot of feelings.
Miss Sophia: Gryffindor Braverymiss_sophia on November 25th, 2008 01:46 pm (UTC)
It's like that old morality tale about a father, his son, and their donkey: If you try to please everybody, you end up pleasing nobody.

I do think, though, that perfectionism manifests in different ways. I have perfectionism issues, but I'm also a diehard optimist, so I'm far from unhappy. I suppose it's sort of a strange combination, perfectionism and optimism. I think the major downside for me is that I end up guilt tripping myself about a lot of things. I think, for me, that it's about overcommitting myself and then being annoyed that I haven't given the full extent of effort on everything I want to do; in other words, I know I can do better, but I just haven't had the time or energy to do so. But as far as making everyone happy goes, if I tried my best, then my attitude is "To hell with you if you're not satisfied!" That probably helps a lot. :P