Fighting Perfectionism

Some of my journals

Why is it, as humans, we feel this need to always be perfect? Never allowing anyone to see our imperfections and flaws. Who taught us that? Where did it come from? For me, it started VERY early. I was 8 years old and my parents took me to a book fair. Vendors sat behind tables stacked with books inside an old school’s gymnasium. I was in heavan. As I walked up and down the aisles picking up books I wanted to read I spied a vendor selling journals, and on display was this very cool Star Wars journal with Yoda on the front cover. I wanted it! I asked for it! I got it! I could not be more thrilled and I was so excited to get it home and start writing. When we arrive back at our house I rushed to my room, pulled out a pencil, and started scribbling. No one has ever told me I have pretty handwriting, so after a few sentences, I realized that my handwriting was terrible and for whatever reason, I decided I had ruined the page. So I tore it out. This started a chain reaction that eventually lead to the destruction of this beautiful journal that I had craved so much. Tearing out the page scared the journal and you could tell a page had been torn out, so I tried fixing it, and with each fix the “issue” in my mind got worse and worse. Eventually, I gave up and the journal found its way into the trash. I was disappointed, upset, and heartbroken that I was not able to write in this journal to these perfecting standards that I had somehow adopted as young as 8 years old. This was my first step, albeit I didn’t know it, toward the idea of fighting perfectionism.

Growing up I was taught that there was a certain order to how you lived. You went to High School, then College, for me I was expected to go on a mission for the Mormon church (that was non-negotiable), then I would return home, get a job, get married, buy a house, have kids, retire and then die. I did almost none of those things.

I did go to High School but never finished college. Didn’t see the point in it. I did go on a mission for the Mormon church but had a false start on the first try, got sent home, and a year later went out again, only to get sent home early 18 months later for medical reasons. Got married to my first wife in 2005 (mistake) and got divorced 9 years later. In between, I could never decide what I wanted to do for my profession. I tried being a paramedic, safety professional, sales and marketing professional, multi-level marketing, gym owner, back to sales, and now photography. Got married again but to a different person (not a mistake), and somehow never managed to own a home inside all that time. My life has been anything but perfect. At least according to how I was raised and the expectations I was supposed to live up to.

Now does that mean I messed up? Sometimes…sure, who doesn’t? Overall… absolutely not! Life is not about living perfectly. We have to fail in order to learn. If we never color outside the lines we will only learn what’s inside the lines. There is a whole universe outside those imaginary lines, and there is absolutely NOTHING wrong with living a life others don’t agree with or even understand.

The bottom line is this…I think the best way to fight perfectionism is by living an imperfect life, because when we learn that living an imperfect life is to live perfectly…all of us will be a lot happier!

A record playing a Queen album

Chapter 6

If you missed Chapter 5 you can read it here.

I wandered through the rest of the day at school in an almost dream like stupor.  Never before in my entire life had a dream felt so real.  Was it a dream?  If it was how did I explain the bite on my leg?

I decided to skip 4rth period for many, many reasons, and instead went to the library.  I spent the hour reading everything I could find on dreams, meanings, interpretations, etc. Some of what I read was really scary.

One author theorized that our dreams could even manifest in reality.  Could that explain the bite on my leg?

When school was over I walked home.  Step by step I took everything in.  Normally I would listen to music.  Daisily drifting along, not really paying attention to my surroundings. Not today.  Today I noticed every rock, every tree, the way Mrs. Waterman pranced around her house in her underwear oblivious to the fact that her blinds were open.  Everything.

When I got home a feeling of both excitement and dread started to creep up from the pit of my stomach.  Twisting and turning my emotions into knots like a pair of headphones that have sat at the bottom of your bag for weeks.

I stood there, in front of my house staring at the front door.  Should I go in?  Of course I should go in.  Why wouldn’t I go in?  It was my house afterall.  But standing there, looking at it, something felt wrong.  Something wasn’t right.

I shook my head, steadied myself and walked up to the front door.  This was silly.  It was just a dream.  A really powerful, confusing, emotionally scary dream, but it was still just a dream!

I had almost gotten myself under control when I looked down at the door handle, and for the first time noticed that the front door to my house was slightly ajar.

I froze, not daring to move.  It wasn’t until my brain and body started screaming for oxygen that I realized I had been holding my breath.

With a gasping breath I somewhat steadied myself and pushed open the front door.

My home was exactly the way I remembered it.  Clean, put together, and all the furniture in the right place.

I walked inside and called out to see if anyone was home.  The house remained unsettlingly quiet.

Carefully I crept into the kitchen looking around.  Was someone suppose to be home? What time would mom be getting back from picking up my sister from ballet?

I sat down at the kitchen table and took a heavy breath.

That is when I noticed the envelope sitting on the table with my name on it.  It was an old envelope weathered and yellow.  My name was written on the front in what could have only been a calligraphy pen of some sort.  Given the droplets of ink it might have even been done with an old ink and quill set.  Picking it up and turning it over I noticed a crimson wax seal.  I could make out the shape of a Y pressed deeply into the wax.

What the hell was this?

I broke the wax seal and pulled out a piece of weathered old parchment.  The handwriting was written in the same beautiful calligraphy as my name on the front of the envelop.

It read “Declan, by the time you read this you will have returned to your own time.  I am sure you are confused, and I am sorry for that.  Events are in motion, and I don’t know why but YOU are at the center of them.

iStock_000012456491SmallIf you are reading this at the time and place I think you are the world is coming close to an almost catastrophic event.  One that will change everything.  You have been given a small glimpse of what is to come.

I am still working out how, but it seems that you may be able to stop it, or at least warn people it’s coming.  However that time has not yet come.  You need to let events unfold naturally, and some of them are going to be very hard for you to get through.  I’m sorry for that.  There is no other way around it.

In a few short hours I believe you will join me here, again.  I am making preparations to show you the things you need to know.  When it happens please follow my instructions this time.  Our time together is very short and very brief.

In the meantime make yourself a sandwich.  Enjoy your time with family.  We will talk soon.


P.S. Sorry about the dog bite, but I had to wake you up before the sun came up.”



I Would Like To Introduce My Sister

10801801_10152597162971032_2722940635550611968_nI would like to take a moment & introduce my sister Jennifer. She will be a contributing author here on Geeks Anonymous, and we are very excited to be starting a new project. For several years my sister and I have discussed and talked about writing a story together.

But, like so many things, there is a catch. We have no idea what the story will be, who the characters are, or how the story will play out and end. Why? Because both Jennifer and myself will be writing in such a way as to befuddle, flummox, and annoy the other person.

Still confused? Good! Our plan is working!

Seriously though, the way this story will work is we will each write one chapter at a time. Starting with Jennifer, and then with me. Once a chapter has been written, regardless of where the story goes, the other sibling must continue the story to the best of his or her ability.

I have a feeling that this story will have a lot of interesting plot twists for our impending characters.

So wish us luck, and I hope you all enjoy!