Perfectionism on Unemployment

I’ve already written about my perfectionism. Part of me has already handled the subject. After sitting with that for some time, I’ve found other parts of me are not done with it.

I’m not liking myself very much right now. This is all somewhat predictable because I skipped a few days of exercise and writing, things that bring me a good amount of stability and serenity.

I was mostly triggered yesterday when I was listening to a Personality Hacker podcast episode. The podcast consisted of an interview of a young man (in his mid-to-late 20’s) who spoke very confidently about how he had basically “cracked the code” for career success. He began explaining how his parents made him read during the summers instead of going outside and playing. He then spoke about the current and future working culture and how he anticipates that it will be (if it isn’t already) all about networking. He talked about having conversations and subsequently networking with connections since his years in high school. He’s been involved in start-up companies and connected with people from all different walks of success. With those people, he’s created multiple projects to test out ideas he’s had and had the opportunity to work with them. He suggested people’s pursuit of passions is misdirected, and that passions are fickle. The interviewer then stated, “Lots of our listeners are young people out of college, but maybe you, listening, are not and this is speaking relevantly to you too.” And it made me feel like total shit about myself and my place in life.

I’m 32 years old. I lost my job 8 months ago. I’d looked for work in the meantime, but decided I didn’t really want to go back to a corporate environment. What I really want is to do something creative, and writing is one creative outlet in which I feel some strength. I haven’t started the creative thing yet, but I plan on it. I’ll likely start on it more seriously after my wedding in November, which I’m working on planning some days. I spend many days in my weeks doing domestic things like laundry, cooking and cleaning. The things I enjoy are yoga and walking, but sometimes I feel like doing nothing (side note: domestic things are not listed in the things I enjoy doing, but I like and thrive from the end results). I’m not in the best shape of my life, like I would expect someone unemployed for 8 months to be. I wish I was fitter especially because of my wedding in November.

I’m not perfect. I forget things, like to pick-up the dry cleaning the afternoon that I’m asked to do it. Also, I don’t do things I say I want to do. For example, I wanted to clean the whole apartment yesterday, but resorted to cleaning only the bathrooms because I got sidetracked until later in the afternoon by some wedding planning and phone calls. I settled into that, and then took a phone call and Bill prepared dinner and ate mostly alone while I ate sitting at the table on a phone call.

But I just realized what I might be doing wrong. Aside from laziness, I’m not setting specific measurable goals for myself. Taking another moment for my ego here, since I’ve been on a PIP before, I should know goals should be SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, time bound). The reminder of all that makes me want to puke–not a nervous puke, but a bitter bile puke. And I feel old and bitter. I feel like I can’t do anything right. I feel good at nothing. And I feel afraid. Because if I’m good at nothing, what can my future hold?

But the truth is, I’m good at some things. That’s fine for my ego.

This blog is meant to be about self-care but, lately, what I’ve done to myself and the thoughts I’ve put myself through have not been very compassionate and loving toward myself. Perhaps therein lies the purpose of this lesson–another reminder to be more loving and compassionate with myself when I have to revisit my perfectionism and my growing list of imperfections.

Here is the good: Today I woke up early and made Bill breakfast before he left for work. I also got back on my morning and evening yoga. After morning yoga, I went for a mile jog (not very far, but as far as I can push myself as I tend to get knee pain). I pushed myself to run because I remembered when I first started running I had gotten into it with the mindset, Just one mile, at my own pace. I also listened to a podcast and actually did make it to the market today–then ordered a pizza for dinner. I did drink alcohol with dinner, but I didn’t finish what I had–one beer (if I’d had wine, it could’ve easily turned into 2-3 glasses). I washed two loads of laundry. I also wrote this blog. Or emoted it. Whatever you would call it, I did it–put it out there “into the ether.”

You can probably tell from my tone that I’m not completely convinced of the good in that. I’m sure it’s there and I’ll catch up with it, hopefully sometime soon.


May good things come to you always.

Author: Melissa

Discovering self-care and how it fits (and needs to fit) in my life.

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