Figuring it out

Heads up: This blog post is very 2007, OG-blogger-esque. If you kids wondered what blog posts were like back then, this is a good representation. If you know, you know.

Writing my intentions this year feels like a distant memory. How the fuck are we in August already?

A flower in my parents' garden
A flower in my parents’ garden

I like to set intentions each year. I’ve enjoyed doing this to help keep me grounded and focused throughout the 12 months that laid ahead.

2021 was all about taking stock, serenity and being content with what I have now, not trying to change anything else because, at the time, I was about to launch myself into a new job at a new company. One change at a time, right?

I’m laughing writing that because so many things have changed for me. As someone born curious, it was a challenge for me to set that intention for myself because, as I explained in this post, I follow things to the end of the Earth when it perks my interest.

(Sometimes I actually think this led me to my career in tech — I just became curious about the internet and coding one day, and boom, suddenly, I’m 25 years old doing internet things. ๐Ÿ˜‚ )

It turned out my 2021 cards had a different path for me together – instead of “serenity” and “taking stock“, it was more jumping head first into things, curiosity spiralling, and as a result, lots of change.

Dealing with change in the year that we’ve all had has been interesting.

Traditionally, I would say that I deal with a good amount of change well. Although I’ve liked structure and routine, flexibility and spontaneity have grown on me too. When something changes, I’m usually light and breezy about it all.

Big changes? Maybe not so much, but I’ve improved over time. For instance, the last time I had a significant life change was when I moved out of my parent’s home for the first time. It took a while getting used to not being home, but now I’m fine and spend months apart with no problem.

So when January 2021 came around, with my upcoming fresh start at the new job, I was excited. New colleagues, new systems, new codebase, new tools. Awesome. This will be a breeze ๐Ÿ‘Œ๐Ÿผ

I guess underestimated how well I’d adapt to the new change; I actually ended up picking bad habits like throwing away my work-life balance to “prove myself” as capable to my new team.

By doing this, I became more of a perfectionist.

The related feelings to perfectionism is a tough one to shake off.

I started to cultivate more of the “all-or-nothing” attitude, which flared up the feelings of anxietyโ€ฆ Heck, TMI, my cycle went wack, and I didn’t have 3 of my periods. The last time my cycle was so offbeat was pre-2016 when I couldn’t care less about taking care of myself. Incredibly huge warning signs that just screamed ๐Ÿ†˜

Perfectionism haunts me. From work to home life, I’ve always wanted to hit expectations. No, actually, I wanted to go above and beyond everyone’s expectations. Be perfecter than perfect. Is that even possible? Is that even reasonable? No, absolutely not.

But my brain, wired the way that it is, believes it so much that when I’m not taking care of myself or being mindful, that is where it defaults to. It fucking sucks.

“All-or-nothing” burns me too.

“I have to finish this today”

When I tell myself that I have toโ€ฆ I actually have to. Otherwise, my brain would literally NOT stop at all. Nothing is ever 0 or 1, black or white; there’s a lot of a grey area. I forget this. Operating in a militant way at times makes me forget how much grey there truly is.

Don’t get me wrong – life is good right now. I’m actually thrilled with how everything is going! But when I lose my balance, my mind is clouded, and I forget to fill my days with things that make my short life worthwhile.

Therapy has helped me massively – it’s actually strange how much you can’t notice when you’re in it, diving into the everyday chaos of life. My therapist has talked me through behaviours that she’s seen in me that aligns with the perfectionists and competitive type of people.

She reminded me to take a step back, look at my days and think of adding more things that make me truly happy. Not things that will propel me to the next level professionally. Just things that would make me happy.

I hadn’t realised how much of a tough task that is.

Everyone has blindspots.

I thought as someone who is quite in tune with myself (as in, I reflect every day!) I didn’t know I would have many blindspots.

It turns out they’re appropriately named.

I had no idea where I was going with this post, if I’m being honest. But writing it out helped me release some of the chaos that is going on in my brain recently.

A wise friend said to me recently that even though change can be a positive thing, it’s also similar to grief i.e. something that you need to process.

If you’re feeling similar, I hope this post makes you feel better knowing that yet another person has shown that they do not have their shit together, and that’s fine.

We’re all just trying to figure it out.

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