There’s A Crazy Woman Living In My Head

theres-a-crazy-woman-living-in-my-head

By Jillian Stacia

 You might not know this, but there’s a crazy woman living in my head.

The crazy woman wants to control everything. She wants everything in neat little boxes. She wants a to-do list. She wants six calendars that all sync to one device. She wants clean floors and manicured nails and crisp clean lines. The crazy woman wants perfection.

Perfectionism.

We battle with that a lot, don’t we? It’s kind of like a millennial badge of honor at this point. At job interviews, they ask about our biggest flaw, and what do we always say? Oh me? I’m kind of a perfectionist. I just want everything to be right. And we laugh and shrug our shoulders, smiling at our slightly neurotic- but totally adorable and by all means productive- tendencies.

Except, it’s not really funny. It’s not really something we should laugh at and shrug off. Because at the end of the day, it’s driving us fucking crazy.

The thing about perfectionism is that it stems from fear. It is a byproduct of being so goddamn afraid all the time. Perfectionism is the tool we use to manage that fear. We are so afraid of life that we try to control it.

And it works. Until it doesn’t. It keeps the fear at bay, but then it makes us miserable. Because we know it’s out there. We know that at any minute something could happen. But instead of sitting with the fear, examining it, or just simply letting it be, we try to fight it. We keep trying to distract ourselves with our picket white fences and our Pilates classes and our vegan cooking, but it doesn’t work, because we know that it’s all a ruse. It’s all temporary. It can all disappear in a matter of seconds. Something wicked this way comes.

We can’t beat the fear. We can’t cover it up with perfectionism. It doesn’t work, because it doesn’t get to the root of the problem. It’s like spraying perfume when there’s a dead animal under your porch.

So if we can’t beat the fear, maybe we try to change the way we interact with it. Maybe we put down the perfectionism card, and pick up some grace. And some faith. Maybe a little humor, and kindness and some freaking honesty.

Maybe it begins with saying: Hi, I’m so deeply afraid that I don’t have what it takes to cut it in this life. That I’m not smart enough, or pretty enough, or creative enough, or even kind enough. That I’m really just winging it, and shouldn’t I have some better idea of what I’m doing by now? I’m very much afraid that I am falling behind, that I will never get the life I want, that maybe I don’t even know what the life I want is.

Maybe we don’t have to be perfect, maybe we can just be authentic.

Because we need to say those things. We need to say, hey this is hard, and I’m struggling. And then we need to let our people take care of us and then be there for our people when it’s their turn. We need to stop being perfect and start being real. Because the ruse is half of the problem. The charade is the majority of the burden. When you strip away the control and the perfectionism, all you’re left with is fear of failing.

And if we invite in that fear, if we hold it up close and examine it on all sides and talk about it and let it fucking breathe, it’s not really that scary after all. The anticipation of the thing is worse than the thing itself. The fighting is more tedious than the actual defeat.

Life is hard, guys. And to quote Glennon Doyle Melton, “it’s not hard because we’re doing it wrong. It’s just hard.”

Let’s talk about the crazy woman living in our heads. Let’s admit that we are struggling. Let’s drop the perfectionism act and just get real. Let’s ask each other for help. Let’s show the fuck up.

Because we’re not wrong for struggling or being afraid. We’re wrong for trying to control something that cannot be controlled. For trying to be perfect when we need to be graceful and forgiving. For struggling when we need to learn to surrender.


Jillian is part of the Contributing Writer Network at Thirty On Tap. To apply to become a Contributing Writer, please click here.

{featured image via unsplash

8 thoughts on “There’s A Crazy Woman Living In My Head

  1. ofelia ga says:

    Because we’re not wrong for struggling or being afraid. We’re wrong for trying to control something that cannot be controlled. For trying to be perfect when we need to be graceful and forgiving. For struggling when we need to learn to surrender.

    –great words—

    Like

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