Because after the grant goes in, she goes to a magical town in the mountains where church bells ring all day, where twilight catches the painted walls and bricks and turns them soft and mysterious, where locals in feathered costumes dance down the cobblestone streets, where the sunset tastes like mezcal and jicama tacos.
It’s relieving to think I don’t have to care about everything. That I, Erin, don’t have to have an opinion and honestly it won’t really matter. I don’t care enough to be informed about everything, meaning I’m not informed enough to have an opinion, meaning I’m not opinionated enough to express my views to anyone.
I want to understand why my brain is wired in such a way that feeling appreciation, gratitude, pride, celebration is so fleeting. But, I don’t want to turn that understanding into another way I can criticize myself.
What it feels like to not feel like doing the things I want to do.
The perfectionist wants to skip over that emotional detour. To enter into fix-it mode, to say, “Pull yourself together, now is the time to help, to be extra productive!” This vulnerability is not a detour. It is a necessary pit stop along the way.
What if she’s the one who can see the authentic me, and I cannot? What if I can be vulnerable and open and real and all those things and still be seen as having my shit together? Like those aren’t diametrically opposed views? That being vulnerable doesn’t have to equal “hot mess.” That perhaps it’s _my_ definition of “put together” that needs to change, not hers.
If the bars I set for myself turn into expectations, then no wonder I can’t celebrate clearing them. And even if I set the bar really high for myself (which I know I do), then anything less becomes a failure. It means I define failure as anything less than the absolute best. It means I define success as doing what is expected of me. There is no room for celebration in that equation.
A lesson in balance: creating the conditions for success but then detaching from the outcome.
On stopping long enough to savor the moment.
Stagnation, it seems, isn’t good for much of anything. So, when it comes to giving ourselves a break, are we stagnating or keeping the blood moving?