So. I’m a perfectionist. I don’t know if it’s always been there. I think so, probably. I’ve never liked when people wrote on my things, or–as I saw it–destroyed my things by writing on them or doodling on them. It gave me a stomachache when I worked really hard on something and someone else did one little thing and changed it. So, yeah, probably always been there. I remember once, someone doodled on the back of my calculator in high school and I was like unbelievably, angry. Weird, I know.
Teaching does make it obvious. Sometimes, sometimes though, toward the end of the year that perfection disappears. *Shrug* Shit happens. This year. I’m afraid going in. This sounds really silly out loud, but, saying it any way. For the first time in my teaching career the school I’m teaching at will have another actual certified English teacher, like with an English education degree. The previous years, they’ve taken the Praxis to become certified but have their education degrees in other fields. I’m afraid all of my shortcomings are going to become obvious. I’m afraid my administration and coworkers are going to see the fraud I’ve always been.
Or more accurately, like I always feel like I am.
I’m afraid this is going to push my perfectionism to a point that makes it hard to come back from.
Motherhood also tries my perfectionism. I’m afraid people see my toddler being a typical toddler and think that he’s naughty, or that I’m a bad mom. I had a minor melt-down after he threw a plate of food at my brother-and sister-in-law’s house a couple weekends ago. My SIL found me crying in her bathroom, trying to clean up my toddler, and told me that I have to relax, because I’m a good mom, and my kid is great–smart, polite, usually well-behaved.
And she’s right, of course. I love my child, I try my damnest to do what’s right for him. And if that doesn’t make me a good mom, fuck it, I don’t want to be.
But. The little voice in my head. The same one that’s freaking out about a certified ELA teacher instead of being excited. It tells me I’m not enough and that some one is going to see it. That people are going to see me how I see me. And let me tell you, that’s not likable or admirable.
But. That’s fucked up. I mean. I am good at my job. I love my students, and for the most part, I do well by them. I am a good mom. My toddler usually uses his manners, is clean, healthy, and doesn’t get away with everything he tries. I’m successful. I’m not a fuck up. I mean, I have my moments, but don’t we all?
So. As a reminder, I have to breathe in deeply, remind myself that perfect isn’t real, and even if it was, it’d be fucking boring. Breathe out and accept that I have flaws. Breathe in acceptance, out fear. In. And out.