Mrs. Owens with the bright red hair and fancy jewelry taught 5th grade science, and when I saw that I got my first B grade in her class I knew true disappointment. I was always a perfectionist in school early on in life. If there’s any sort of sympathy for perfectionist, it’s usually only because they can be so annoying. Perfectionist, though, constantly doubt themselves and have difficulty achieving and accomplishing things. Not because we don’t have the skill, but because we either feel that it won’t be good enough or that we could never accomplish it.
As a child, trying to be the best in school, it manifested itself in avoidance; if I couldn’t cut in a straight line, I just choose not to use scissors as long as was possible. As an adult, it’s become a little more self-deprecating. It’s manifesting as a small voice that pops up when I’m driving and letting my mind wander aimlessly that says ‘you can’t do it’, ‘why do you think you can achieve this?’, or even ‘why do you think this is even slightly a good idea?’…to sum it up it stinks. It is my natural tendency, as a perfectionist, to give into these moments of self-doubt, and it’s taking work and focus to step around these thoughts.
I’m pursuing graduate school again for a career shift. It’s hard to think of what I’ve been doing for the past five and a half years as a ‘career’ because I never planned to be here, but I’ve spent my past several years teaching…and I suppose multiple years makes a career. I’m good at it, but I’ve realized that it’s just not what I want to do and I’m going to have to do more education to be qualified for the career that I do want. While I’m studying for the GRE (again-my scores expired two months ago, blech), writing essays, and trying to round up my references, I’m also trying to stay calm and have faith in myself. Everyone that I’ve talked to about it, refers to it in the affirmative, ‘when’ instead of the ‘ifs’ I’ve been using, this is reassuring and it’s a good statement on the people I have in my life. I should have all my applications out into the universe sometime in mid January, so until then I’ve got to keep pushing through, even though it’d be easier to give up.