Doing Things Half-Ass : a trial run on fixing my perfectionism

– by Ron Swanson, Parks and Recreation


“Never half-ass two things. Whole-ass one thing.”


That’s a lovely sentiment, and for the most part I agree.  It makes sense to pour all your energy into one thing in order to do a good job.  Unfortunately, Ron, I’m going to have to disagree with you on practice, at least in regards to my life.  I work for a living and while I love my job, I have outside interests that I wouldn’t mind doing as a full-time job if possible.  Which means that I am half-assing things in my life.

And boy is that an accurate statement. As much as I can try to do a good job, there are some hardcore people around me that make me look bad. And that’s in my full time job and my writing and painting hobbies. The thing is, I learned as a kid that no matter what I do or how hard I try there will always be someone who is doing it better. I will never be the best at anything. named these awesomer people “Clark” in an article.  They say there will always be people more talented than you and that’s fine. Well, no Cracked it’s not fine with me. It’s fucking devastating to know that no matter how hard I try I am only destined to failure or mediocrity at best. That any struggle is worthless since I’m only ever on a long journey to the middle*. The only way I’ll win is if the standards of success are lowered and the Clarks of the world are busy doing other things.  Yeah, why would anyone feel bad about that?

So since I’ve long realized I’m a perfectionist, I’m going to try half-assing a few things in my life. For example, today I submitted a presentation proposal in my field. They already rejected me once, so this time I sent a half-assed submission. Can’t be too upset if that gets rejected.  Also, NaNo is coming up and there are a few short stories I want to finally take into a 2nd draft for submission.  I’m going to half-ass those edits too. So what? What’s it matter when my best was never good enough?

You said it, Bruce.


* “Youll meet them all again on their long journey to the middle” – Phillip Seymour Hoffman as Lester Bangs in Almost Famous.


You Can’t Sit with Us


I may have mentioned before that I may or may not have been somewhat popular back in school. If I was, it was as one of the crazies and not like Regina George’s crew. Seriously, I was more Janis, though not as awesome. But ok, people still say I’m a bit snobbish and elitist or whatever. And more than one person has called me “mean” (and many other worse things).

What I mean to say is, I know both sides of the coin. I’ve never told someone they couldn’t sit with me, but I’ve been told I’ve been too intimidating sometimes and people are afraid I will bite their head off if they sit with me. I won’t, by the way. Just saying. I’ve also seen cliques back in school I really thought were cool and I wanted to hang with all of them. Mostly I’m thinking of this group of rocker kids in 8th grade that I really admired, but I was just a 7th grader.  I was just starting to get the clothing and so I wasn’t a part of that group.

So I’ve recently been going through similar feelings. I don’t want to get too into it in case those acquaintances happen to wander into this website. I’ve been going to a group event where the tables are a bit disjointed and I always end up alone on a side table since I have my daughter with me and I don’t want to take up so much space at the main table. What happens though is that the folk at the main table start talking amongst themselves and I’m left odd man out.

They aren’t doing it on purpose, and sometimes they try to include me.  But the thing is, because of the noise level, sometimes I miss portions of what they are saying.  Sometimes my daughter wants me to explain something that someone said and by the time I’m done I’ve gotten lost from the conversation.

There’s only so many times I can say “what was that?” or “what did she say?” before I start feeling like the loser trailing after the cool kids.  I tried for a bit, but then I just gave up. Last time I went was the last draw for me and I left early feigning sickness. I’m sure I wasn’t missed. I haven’t been back since, but I’ll be back for the main big event coming up. After that, I don’t know. It was a great way for me to motivate myself into doing stuff, but I ended up spending a lot of the time I was there just trying to fit in. Ultimately, I felt like I was trying too hard and that’s like the opposite of cool.

And so now I’m officially sitting at home and binge watching TV shows and reading fan fiction with all my spare time.  Was “no outside interests” and “no friends” the next step to crazy cat lady land? I want to make sure I have everything ready for the cats when I get them.

buying this picture is the next step. (cat art by Jenny Parks)
buying this picture is the next step.
(cat art by Jenny Parks)

How Does the Story End?

my favorite children’s book of all time – The Monster at The End of this Book

About a week ago my thoughts wandered into “am I happy?” territory.  A few years ago I had blogged that I didn’t think I’d ever be happy. And while I am certainly happier than I was back then, was I now happy? What would it take for me to be able to say to myself “I am happy, not just in this moment, but in general”.  I’m not sure I can get myself to that point and it revolves around the idea that I don’t know how my story ends.

This sounds a bit weird or perhaps overly controlling, but since none of us are psychic then I have no idea what’s going to happen in the future.  Tomorrow, my child could be kidnapped and murdered because life just tends to be random like that. And I know it’s not healthy to think that way, although sometimes people say enjoy today because you might die tomorrow, and so I’m a bit conflicted on what I’m supposed to think.

Regardless, I can’t help but think that way. It’s like I’m looking at my life as if it was a book or a movie where no one has told me the genre and I’m afraid that any minute it’s going to turn into a tear-jerking tragedy. So I’m just going to have to wait until I’m almost dead and that’s the only moment I’ll know what genre my life was in because I’ll know then how my story ends. And I don’t mean that in a completely self-absorbed way either. On my death bed (or however I die) I’ll have known the stories of all my loved ones up to a certain point and sometimes until their ends. And that’s an even more terrifying unknown.

So if my life is a book then who is the author? I’d like to think it’s me, but I can’t control the rest of the characters. Sometimes writing a book is that way, the world and people you create take on a life of their own and the story gets away from you. But overall, the analogy doesn’t really fit unless someone else is doing the writing.

But, if my life is a book and I am the author, then it’s a book I cannot edit. What I do is permanent and cannot be erased.  I cannot go back and make a different choice, or write in a more interesting scene, suddenly give myself 10 years of Karate lessons.  That’s the most sobering thought of all. Think about what you are doing because there is no way to undo it.  Think about what you are not doing because there is no way to reclaim that time.

There are few things I regret more than the time I feel I’ve wasted. If I am the author of my own life then I currently have a blank document open and the blinking cursor is mocking me.

made by vamptastica


*icon made by -vamptastica-

Motivation – the eternal struggle

This book and talking to my two closets friends taught me that I procrastinate because I am a perfectionist. It really should have dawned on me sooner given how much I’ve always hated not being the best and how much I sometimes hate my own body. But I digress…

I was going to write an inspirational blog entry about New Years Resolutions because I usually write one where I list goals and then fail utterly at most if not all. I did not accomplish a single goal last year and it was not a very good feeling.  I resolved then to not make any or perhaps concentrate on just one goal this year, but even that idea makes me sad.

A few years ago when I started my graphic design job I called my best friend in tears because I couldn’t figure out what my next steps in making life goals should be.  Should I try for another Masters degree because the one I had was doing me no good? Should I focus on my writing/art? I was completely lost as what to do with myself. I wanted more out of life but I was lost as to how to get anywhere. He told me to chill out and enjoy what I had.

There is some sense to that.  I didn’t really need another Masters degree and it would have just been another debt to make me feel like I was drowning. So I used the excuse of settling and making the most of my job and decided I could now concentrate on my writing/art.  Instead I spent two years reading porn. I mean, I did some writing, but I wasted a lot of time on just reading to keep escaping my reality and procrastinating instead of accomplishing anything.

So now I passed New Years and my 36th birthday is in about two weeks. I see my future and all I can see is a black hole of monotony with no end or escape.

I’m constantly dieting and not doing a very good job at it. But there are times when some magic switch clicks in my brain and I have no problems putting down the chocolate bar and saying no to the McDonalds meal. Those are the times I can shave off 7 pounds in two weeks.  I wish I knew how to control that magic switch and then apply it to other things in my life.



I got a good deal on my brain

Have you ever heard people say things like “where were you when they were passing out brains?” As a kid hearing stuff like that I got a certain scenario in my head.  Who was passing out brains and where did this happen? I pictured my soul, an amorphous thing with no definition, standing in line in the spiritual plane waiting to get the attributes that are now my life.  I’m an adult now, but this white cafeteria looking space where people wait patiently to be born is still too deeply engrained in my head.

As a child I was raised in Christianity, but that had little to do with my ideas of heaven and hell or anything other than “there must be a space where we hang out waiting to be born that has nothing to do with the judgement of Heaven and Hell”. For some reason I think I was heavily influenced as child by the 1987 movie, Made in Heaven and 1989’s Chances Are.  Here, two guys (one in each movie) die and get reborn to find the girls they fell in love with.  They come back to Earth in less than ideal situations because they were in such a hurry to get back. The best way I can explain how I pictured it though is from a forgotten little movie called, Defending Your Life.

It’s not Heaven, it’s not Hell. It’s like a holding tank when you move on.

So at some point, I thought as a child,  I was in one of these types of places when they were handing out brains.  And I got a decent deal, because I’m smart enough to have gone through school relatively easily. I may not have gotten such a great deal as some other folk, but I didn’t do too bad.  And my body as well, it’s fully functional. So brains and bodies, I might not have gotten a Lexus of deals, but I did all right.

Despite being an agnostic, I still picture this space in my head whenever I feel bad about complaining for my lot in life.  Currently this year I lost my apartment, my car, and my parking spot.  Now this was all temporary (except for the parking spot) and I’ve had to adjust to a new situation that has left me unbalanced and I’m not adjusting very well. And then I think, but I got a bigger apartment for not so much more than what I was paying. And technically I’m saving money by having to move to a different parking space.  And I have a nicer car now despite having to make payments instead of having it paid. It’s not ideal, but I have the job now that I can afford it without counting pennies like I was this time last year.

Things aren’t bad, they might even be better, but I’m just a knot of anxiety and I’m not getting better as soon as I’d hoped.

And then I feel bad for feeling bad and I picture myself in that big white tiled room waiting in line to be handed some brains. I got a good deal.  They even dropped me off in a good spot, a less than ideal situation, but with some really nice people (my family and friends) who’ve helped me along the way into a better situation. I know I got a good deal, but I am so tired of feeling guilt on top of everything else when I’m trying to get through a bad time.