(getting to) know thyself

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From time to time, I find myself pretending to be interviewed on a morning TV show. It’s not (just) because I have issues; this is an actual technique for good mental hygiene and fostering creativity.

Today, I found myself telling the anchor the following, and I thought it would be a fun writing prompt: “I’m so boring that I have orthotics in my slippers.”

First, this is actually a true fact of my life: my slippers do indeed house my orthotics. Second, I am not actually boring, but I am quite self-contained. In case you wondered.

Here’s what I decided to do with my sentence.

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Yawn. Stretch.

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Winter is an appalling time of year. Dark. Cold. Around here, windy.

This year, I have the special treat of studying up for my professional boards. I started hitting the books – and the websites – around the middle of November, and I’ve been at it virtually every day since. This has come perilously close to being a second job.

As I’ve realized about myself, I am terrified of failure. These last months, I’ve poured myself into preparation; if I fail, it will hurt. I will have done my best, and my best will have been Not Good Enough. Gulp.

Part of me wants to say that this will be good for my character – growth, learning, being a better person. Oh, please, hold this bucket while I puke. There’s nothing noble about failing. It just means more work up ahead.

But if that does happen, I will survive.

– NC File

Octobers

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I dread the month of October. On top of the special kind of creeping misery that accompanies a pronounced loss of daylight, it is also the month when some of the worst things that ever happened in my life … happened.

There was the year my ex left me, out of the blue. Or, I should say, out of my blue, for ex surely knew in advance. I know this because I later discovered that virtually every person we jointly knew had been told, and sworn to silence, before I found out.

Seriously, the dogsitter knew I was getting divorced before I did. Ouch.

And, then there was the year my dad died. That, I suppose, needs no explanation.

So my Octobers tend to be fraught.

I hope yours are better.

– NC File

Tuesday, September 9, 2017

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I wrote something this morning that I want to keep track of. I really, really want to go through and start editing it, but I’m not going to for now. OK, that’s not completely true: I did spell check to catch the typos. – NC File

I’m a 5-year-old at heart, I think. I desperately (tend to) want to do things “right.” It’s my go to habit of thought, but so counter-productive!

“If I can’t do it right, I don’t want to do it.” Very unhelpful if you – like me – live in the land of “reality.”

The thing is that you can’t be good at something until you’ve been bad at it. And, on a fundamental level, this¬†disturbs me.

I don’t think it’s just that I dislike being bad at things, and I don’t think it’s entirely due to the fact that this is a spectacular way to avoid being productive (thought it does help in that endeavor, it surely does!).

A part of me is truly afraid to do things wrong: to put forth maximum effort and yet to fail.

To be NOT GOOD ENOUGH.

Is this a cultural fear? Yes, that’s a part of it, I’m sure.

But it’s also a Me fear. It’s deeply ingrained and habitual. The act of avoiding failure feels better to me in some ways than the act of succeeding.

Well, that’s dumb.

True. But dumb = counterproductive in the truest and most literal of senses in this case.

I’ll have to see what I can do about that. Maybe I’ll start a blog where I feel like I can put up all my crummy writing practice without anyone ever knowing it was me.

 

practice

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As I mentioned, I have been reading a number of books about writing.¬† They all pretty much say that I should be writing daily. As I’ve mentioned before, however, I really hate journaling.

Spewing out bits of crap just strikes me as being an inefficient way to improve my writing skills. It may be one of those Kirkegaard-ish things: you’d get it if you’d done it.*

However, the point of this post is that I have – once again – begun a daily writing practice. Once again, the act of writing is more pleasant than the product of said writing.

We’ll see how this goes.

– NC File

*This is a somewhat non-literal interpretation of the one thing I remember Kirkegaard saying: “Life can only be understood backwards, but it must be lived forewards.”

This quote is, of course, a product of the memory of a person who has spent a lifetime avoiding works of philosophy. Thus, it is pure and without the context that would both sully and enrich it. It might also be wrong and completely misworded. That’s the joy of having one’s own blog. One can include quotes from memory and maybe even mangle them, now, can’t one?