I am a vessel through which vibrations pass. Are you?
I can feel the music like a mouse beneath an underpass inevitably conscious of the cars above. Heaven, for them, is the tarmac that meets compact oil. Tyres that could crush them without knowing are the angels they will meet.
I haven’t been posting a lot. This doesn’t necessarily mean that I haven’t been writing or drawing – but I haven’t. Been writing or drawing that is.
Don’t get me wrong; I’ve filled a couple (small) sketchbooks this summer, and I’ve written a poem here, jotted down another dozen ideas for the great-big-novel-to-be in the sky there… But none of it has quite felt like it once did. I used to write pages and pages a day. Was under ten thousand words from 2011’s NaNoWriMo (and never quite recovered). Words tumbled from my head non-stop. If I wasn’t writing, I’d be playing the guitar or ukulele. If not that, I’d draw every single day, doodles at least, and I produced something I was proud of 50% of the time. But… All of that seems to have changed.
As I’ve been very down lately, and therefore in a constant battle with motivation, I’ve been trying to work on myself, my work, my goals and my self-confidence. Through various methods. Reach a healthy self-awareness in short. One of these methods has been to soak in the glorious knowledge provided by The School of Life channel on YouTube. It is one of their videos, addressed by a certain Carol Dweck, that I’ll be discussing further.
I don’t think I have ever thought myself a perfectionist. Highly driven, perhaps. Keen to achieve. But to be a perfectionist, I always thought someone had to be close to that state. Able to reach it. I thought that, therefore, impossible of myself. Oddly, I identified with Dweck when she described being a ‘perfect child’.
In my childhood, I was very much a Good Girl. Good grades, good reports, good faith; all-round. Failure was never acceptable, and at a certain point in my mind was impossible- I’d decided at a point that I was going to succeed (in being published at the age of sixteen at the time, plus a plethora of other things), and that was that. High achievement equated to “respect from others as well as high self regard”. Lack of that … Well, you get the idea.
Of course, despite the fact that I did achieve many great things, certain goals of mine were not reached and my reaction to this, I’ve realised, has altered a lot of the way I set goals and targets now, and react to tasks in general. I set such high targets for myself that, when I could not achieve them, for what ever reason, my reaction was that I was a failure in that area. In the artistic respect, my ‘talent’ was disappearing and I was losing my creativity.
When Dweck discusses Perfectionism, she focuses on two different mindsets; that of the Fixed, and that of Growth. In a study by Pam Scott, the subject was asked whether they identified as a perfectionist. I resonated with one of the ways a ‘fixed’ surveyor answered;
“Having built a magnificent dam … of perfection … I am perpetually plugging all the holes. It’s tiring. … It’s about fear of chaos. An anxiety that what is is not good enough. That I am not good enough.“
Best friend in the bunk bed. Partner in
the play pretend.
I didn’t know her as rider, but she
devours deep desires and she spits
them out like rain. Gives me confidence
again. Rides the world,
fucks the blame.
Ruthlessly, she burns so bright and
swings with single-minded might. She’s right
according to her rules and she’s right;
a most intelligent fool. We
jest, jester. I jest. Just her. Mellow
till a frenzy festers and erupts.
Laughter like witches, delirium, full cups-
she makes me proud and angry and
proud and sad and
proud and euphoric and
proud and mad. And she heals me
without taking back. Post-mental-
break, pre-heart attack.
Day after day. Week into
next. And we bark and
we bite, but then we hug, won’t lose sight.
Bound by love but close by labor,
child, you’re my best friend and my savior.
Sonny: Everything will be alright in the end. And, if it is not alright, then it is not the end. Sunaina: Sonny- Sonny: It will succeed. It has to. Sunaina: Because then you can stand up to your family? Sonny: Because then I can stand next to you.
I’d go but
I’m tired. And I’m scared. And my feet can’t find the given path. I’ve heard now, learned, that procrastination develops from the fear of failing in whichever task I stand before, but that hasn’t changed a thing. My body still remains a malleable stone, collecting moss in room, alone. Motivation pushes me to the sit up, but for the stand I lack fuel. I’m
tired, or I’d go.