At the hands of the fires of perfectionism

2014/11/22 § Leave a comment

While reading a very good and admirably honest autobiography – with the author describing in great detail his most vivid experiences as a young man – I was struck with the realization that I have little about myself recorded at my own hand. Now, I don’t want to be misunderstood: I do not think it a great thing to journal about the smallest occurrences in my life in hopes of being perceived as an intelligent human being. My aim is not to be seen as a “high” thinker by way of a “low” activity. Rather, I am deeply and honestly troubled by the lack of initiative shown by myself for recording the events and occurrences of my life.

There is something else that I’ve come to realize. I’ve always gotten the whole journaling thing wrong. When I’d set to journal about my day and all that had taken place, I seemed predisposed to composing a manuscript, or an essay, or some other form of critical, exhaustive writing. Furthermore, I seemed interested in approaching the task of journaling by way of archiving my day and its subsequent events. It seems I had little time for honesty, emotion, and confusion, all of which seem to be part of the process of journaling, which is the great servant of reflection.

Conversely, when I would set out to compose a paper for school, it was always in my mind to write poetry – of all things! I seemed hellbent on writing my research paper, for all that it was, in the form of a polemic – poetic and rhetorical, always appealing to emotion. It was not uncommon for me to throw in a musical lyric either.

These two examples of writing seem appropriately demonstrative of my particular crisis (for which I seemed ill prepared to do anything about).

I have more-or-less appropriately responded to the issue of paper writing for school, learning to form arguments and craft ideas free of poetical flourish (though it sometimes creeps in). However, I have never truly recovered the issue of journaling, and for this reason, I feel as if I struggle with being honest in the things I write. I certainly do not benefit from a strong daily ethic of writing, which may serve to be a powerful tool for self-reflection and healing.

So to abruptly end a most abruptly begun post, I am going to attempt, at twenty-nine years old, to journal daily, sacrificing no honest thought to the fires of perfectionism. I will have my day.


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