Facets of Faith: a sense of self satisfaction

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Aden McClune

Staff reporter Faith Brocke expresses her emotions and experiences in her column, Facets of Faith.

Faith Brocke, Staff Reporter

I won’t lie, I am a serial procrastinator. Rain or shine, I’m putting myself through the wringer, and that’s because of a self-instilled pressure I’ve been carrying around with me for a good fifteen years now.

Perfectionism is my self induced flaw, and it ruins everything.

As we speak, I have an English presentation sitting pretty and untouched because I tried to reword a single slide 3-4 times. I do this a lot, especially when I’m writing something–reword, rework, rephrase. It’s a sick process that annoys the life out of anyone who expects punctuality. It thrust me even more personally, because I need deadlines as motivation, but I need extended amounts of time to phrase things correctly.

So it goes without saying that this causes me grief more often than necessary.

I have projects upon projects for different platforms, purposes and people, all undone and on the brink of completion, that I don’t feel have reached their zenith. 

I always feel like I can do better, even if what I’ve produced is better than anything I’ve ever done before.

And the worst part is that I don’t realize when I’m doing it.

In sixth grade, I played the viola. I was second chair, and I hardly ever tried. At the end of the year, I was asked to compose and perform a piece for the class. It wasn’t graded or a placement test, just in the spirit of good fun since the year was at its denouement. 

I was given three weeks to do it.

In the end, not only did I fail to produce it, I broke down in front of my teacher because I didn’t like how short and simple it was. I wanted to keep adding things–staccato, a short rest where I put on a little show and put rosin on my bow before picking it up again.

It was overzealous at best, and a flaming trash fire at worst. I cried during our last practice of the year because I was pushing myself past my limits in an unrealistic way.

Of course my perfectionism doesn’t always rear its ugly head in an overcomplicated, obvious way, but it is still there. 

In July, my friend commissioned me to write for him, and I was over the moon. I mean, getting paid to write–that is quite literally the dream.

As we speak, it’s still unfinished, despite the fact that four months have passed. It’s missing a little bit of everything, and it’s driving me up a wall. The dialogue and banter flows well up until the actual climax, where it feels stiff and forced. It shouldn’t be painful for me to read every quote. Sure, ten thousand words is a lot, but that doesn’t mean it’s enough. The resolution is predictable and at some point I can’t tell if there’s too many conflicts or not enough.

So needless to say, this will remain unfinished for a while.

I won’t pretend that perfectionism helps me out every now and then, but I’m working on getting to a point where I don’t grimace every time I produce something, working for self satisfaction instead of the prospect of impressing others or showing off.