My writing attempts completely halted at the start of the year. What happened? I was under some pretty intense stress. Our family dog had a long history of mental health issues and they had reached crisis point. Then I was grieving her loss. It wasn’t a great combo with parenting a baby-toddler and a preschooler.
When my mental health is taking a beating all my bad mental habits and scripts come out to play. The most prominent of which is that I’m not good enough. Nothing I do is good enough, because any thing short of perfect is not good enough.
And so to cope I double down on things that come easily to me (performing well at my day job, cooking for my family), and avoid stuff that pushes me out of my comfort zone (writing or sharing in any shape or form). I think of this mode as functioning perfectionism.
After a while, I started to feel better mentally. I was thinking I should come back to writing. But I’d got so practiced in the scripts I’d be running for months - “the posts will be shit, so why bother”, “anything you could have to say has already been said” - it was hard to shake it off and start again.
Then my bossfriend Chris started posting on his blog on almost a daily basis. Some posts are quite short and appear to be about whatever random thought comes to his mind. The coolest thing about it is that even though I have worked with Chris for over 6 years, I am still learning things about him via his blog.
What is anyone learning about me? Nothing, while I hide in my functioning perfectionist hole. Safe from being wrong. Safe from being found out that I’m anything less than amazing at everything.
In another post I wrote
I don’t want to look back on my life in 5 years and find the only things I have to show for my time are 5,000 changed nappies and 30,000 lines of code. I want a record of what I’m thinking and feeling.
This still stands.
Also, from Chris:
This one is for all my homies that don’t have big thoughts all the time
This one is for all you who go to work, do a good job, then go home and forget about it.
This one is for all y’all who are too busy doing stuff to blog about it
You’ve got a brain. Lemme hear that thing go. Write some words at a URL.
I honestly don’t think this note is very good. Fuck it, I’ll publish anyway.