How to Live a Perfect Life

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately (because I do a lot of thinking constantly and this is why I have a lumpy blog and anxiety problems) and, recently, the topic of that contemplation (because I am a narcissist) has been me.

I’ve been going back and forth between thinking I’m Pretty Fucking Awesome for everything single god damn thing I even attempt to do, and believing I’m also somehow the God Damn Worst for being so stupid that I started two consecutive paragraphs with “I’ve been verb-ing.” Or would it be “gerund-ing”? Or I guess if it were a gerund it would just be “gerund” since all gerunds end in -ing?

If only I knew an English teacher who could clear this up for me.

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When I think about me I’m usually not nice about it, and someone recently suggested in a kind but still somehow condescending (because constructive feedback is always a little condescending in the real world, especially when the recipient (me) has low self-esteem) that this is because I’m a perfectionist. I disagreed and attempted to explain that I don’t fit all the characteristics of a perfectionist because I’m messy and scatterbrained, but the suggester just smiled and blinked her condescending-but-kind eyes while audibly thinking “EXACTLY, YOU FUCKING MORON.”

The meanness (can I pull that pun off? Is that a pun? Where are all the English teachers?) isn’t just assessing myself to be below average; it’s often the opposite, which leads to enormous disappointment 100% of the time because expecting my students to all pass a test that statistically only 60% of students pass means I will 100% fail to meet those expectations.

(Side note: One of the half-dozen people I complained to about the aforementioned and afore-blogged-about test scores pointed out that, although my students’ test scores were lower than the other teachers’, they were the same average as last year and, because of the way that averages works, maintaining an average actually means it went up. Is that true? Because it sounds like fucking wizard science concocted to confuse me into feeling better about myself.)

Circling back to the point, though: unrealistic expectations (whether they’re too high or too low) aren’t healthy expectations. Because no matter what, looking in the rear view mirror is going to usually make me feel pretty great about who I am – either because of “how far I’ve come” or “how much I’ve accomplished” or “how much cooler I am as a person than I was before,” hindsight reveals a me who is generally sub-par to the me who I am now, and that makes me feel like a boss.

But when the me I am now looks toward the me I’m about to start being (or just started being, since I wrote that sentence. And now this one. And on and on it could go, because existentialism) I realize I haven’t a fucking clue which foot goes in front of the other, and even if I knew I haven’t the foggiest notion where I’m supposed to direct those feet.

One conclusion to be drawn from this is that everything I’ve accomplished or persevered through is a complete accident and I truly have no fucking idea what I’m doing. This seems like a logical conclusion, clearly connected to the evidence provided above. Those English teachers I was looking for earlier would probably give it a B-, but I’m not sure – you’d have to ask them.

(Also please ask them about the gerund thing, when you find them.)

A more theoretical conclusion would be that the above evidence (my retrospective back-patting and forward-looking, clueless, pants-shitting, to summarize) means absolutely nothing because, if I’m being fair to myself, which Lady Crane (R.I.P.) suggested a person should always be, I’ve done my best which means the outcome isn’t a brick in a wall but rather a… bricklaying tool. Any one of them, because there’s apparently an entire world of tools for laying bricks according to the Google search I just did.

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Thanks for improving my joke, City of Glasgow College!

I think the one I had in the front of my mind was the shovel thingy, which I guess is just a trowel (but a special trowel for cement, not one of those weak-ass gardening trowels) but since I’m sure you’re still paying attention to the metaphor that started this miserable digression at this point I’ll just abort and find a different way to fucking say it.

Good talk. On we go.

Anyway, what I’m trying to convince myself you of is that, in the scheme of my life and at the risk of overdoing (and mixing) the metaphors in this post, the victories are just as meaningless as the future battles I’m ill-prepared for because I shouldn’t be living my life based on what I’ve done, or stressing over what I’m going to have to do. I should just do the things I need to do, as best I can, with what I have in front of me.

Basically I think I just found out I’m a Methodist:

wesley

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