At my core, I'm a perfectionist. I think I always have been.
It's funny to label myself in this way because, on the surface level, I always thought of myself as a lazy person. Even when it came to putting away laundry, I remember getting scolded by my mom for finding "creative ways" to not put it away — under the bed, under the blanket, back in the laundry hamper, and my favorite... on top of a bookshelf. This tendency of finding creative shortcuts seeped into other parts of life too — school, relationships, and side projects.
I'l be turning 26 this year and I've learned that the way we see ourselves isn't always how we actually behave and move about in the world.
It wasn't a singular moment that I realized that I had perfectionism lurking around inside of me. Nope. I think it gradually came in the form of many early mornings of giving up. Usually, I'd be pacing around in my room facing the fact that the thing I started on the night before wasn't at the level of quality the work deserved to be at and that it was due in just a few moments. Give up, just turn it in. You started the night before, there's no way you can get it to the quality it should be. There's no way you can do it now, just let it go.
It was easier to blame it on a late start and masked laziness than it was to get real with myself. If I practiced being real and honest with myself earlier, I would've discovered that I actually wanted to be excellent in the work I put out and that I wanted to be excellent badly. Instead, I hid behind procrastination so that I wouldn't have to accept how good I wanted the final products to be... to feel.
This past year, I got tired of cutting myself short. I began thinking about how I could build a habit to reset my mind on a regular basis. Reset my thoughts. Reset my intentions. Reset how I'm doing things. Reset where I direct my energy.
This is why I started Baseline, a monthly personal newsletter integrated with this blog. I didn't create this to be innovative (newsletters are like the books and library to me in the Internet world) or to insistently push my "content."
It's simply a public promise to tend to myself at least once a month. Tend to myself like a gardener takes care of her garden — checking the overall health of all of the garden's occupants. In this case, my emotional, mental, physical, and creative health.
Each issue has a short letter, just a few blog posts from the past month, and one recommendation. I'm think that publishing the newsletter every month will force me to reflect more, reset me on a personal level, and just share more stories.
I have a good feeling about this year. I hope you do too.