After starting this blog and hastily publishing my first post* (The hardest kind of charity), I noticed that there appeared to be another entry entitled “Hello World”. This is what it said:
“Welcome to WordPress.com! This is your very first post. Click the Edit link to modify or delete it, or start a new post. If you like, use this post to tell readers why you started this blog and what you plan to do with it.Happy blogging!”
Not meant as an ironic statement, this blunder reveals two things about myself. One, I am new to blogging and two, I usually try to work things out for myself first. When this approach is less-than-successful, I turn to a source that I am a hair-breadth away from worshipping – the magical-elf-operated fount of all knowledge that most people refer to as Google. If you have a pedantic streak (I know I do), you may want to point out to me that Google only indexes the knowledge and then lets you search for it. I will leave the arguing of semantics and search algorithms to another day and point out that when I type in what I want to know, Google gives me the answer. Simples! As Aleksandr the anthropomorphic advertising meerkat would say.**
Google also often leads me astray, encouraging the aforementioned pedantic streak (I once spent an hour looking up the correct length of dash to use in an essay, an em dash if you’re interested) and a tendency towards procrastination. I can’t decide if it’s a low or a high point to Google “procrastination” whilst procrastinating….
So, now you know that I am a pedantic-perfectionist-procrastinator with a penchant for foolish footnotes, boisterous bracket use and (at times) annoying alliteration but does this truly illuminate who I am?***
I think that as human beings we are far too complex to be boiled down into adjectives and this is the crux of my difficulty with any kind of “Bio” or “About” page. Yes, I do procrastinate a lot but not in a team or work environment, only when I’m held accountable to myself. I can be pedantic but more often than not, I decide that the cliched “bigger picture” is more important than niggling over details.
Possibly “perfectionist” comes closest as an accurate description of myself as I struggle immensely to do anything without “doing it properly” (an entirely subjective phrase, I know). I find it easier to not do something at all than to do it half-heartedly. I am a source of loving exasperation to my friends and family because of this. You can give me a chicken to be carved and I will portion it out exactly, divided into neat pieces with a cleanly extracted wishbone. Tell me to cut a butternut into 1cm squares and you will get cubes, even from the curved bit. Table set for a special dinner? I’m on it and I’ve even arranged the napkins into orchids. Ask me to do something that I don’t know how to and I’ll Google it. Hours later, I’ll be able to do it just right. But maybe instead of me Googling how to deseed and slice a tomato properly for 20mins, you wanted me to start actually making the salsa….maybe instead of one perfectly diced onion, you wanted two roughly chopped. I know that sometimes it’s better to complete two things at 70% than one at 100%. I know that often in attempting to reach that soaring height, you lose the will to fly or you fly too high and your wings melt. But, rather than completely railing against my nature, I am trying to take pride in the attempt rather than the end result. I am redefining my ideal of perfection to sit closer to happiness because that’s what I want out of life.
It’s what I want for me and it’s what I want for you.
I want to make you laugh with joy, smile with mirth and snort with glee. I want you to marvel at the richness of the colours of the world. To feel sunshine in your bones. To see the grey sky as a patchwork of variegated light. To look in the mirror and see what your loved ones see. Or even better, to look in the mirror and see what you love.
I’m not promising that I can do any of the above, but I want to. I want to share the world as I find it in the hope that “every joy is doubled, and every sorrow halved”.
*I had to do it right away because I knew that if I didn’t write the post and publish it, I would spend so long “honing” it that it would get completely whittled away or I would immerse myself in making sure that the blog was “perfect” before posting anything. Either that or I would have convinced myself out of starting a blog entirely. I credit the wonderful Anna from a Skin & Blister blog for encouraging me to start in the first place.
**Now say that really quickly 5 times in a row. If you’re challenge-hungry, add some wine/beer/spirits into the mix and re-attempt.
*** I know it sounds like the start of an existentialist crisis here but bear with me. It’s mostly not. EDIT: Alright, it mostly is. Sorry.