{how to live: put all your faults to bed}

fun fact about me: I'm a picky person.

I'm also a semi-perfectionist.

And I am very very very hard on myself.

Talk to my parents about this--during the quizzing season, I push myself so hard I get sick. I worry about statistics, I worry about not being a good enough quizzer, I worry about my teammates and my responsibilities as the oldest on the team, I worry about Nationals, I worry about Quiz-Offs, I worry that I'm not focusing on learning God's word enough, and I worry that I might worry too much.

It goes much the same way with school, social events, family affairs, relationships with friends...the whole kit and caboodle. I expect myself to be 110% all. the. freaking. time. No one can do that. It's stupid for anyone to think that they can be on top of everything in their life. I mean, they'd have to be superhuman or something to do that, and I'm pretty sure that, just like me, everyone is aware that it just isn't possible.

And yet they still do it.

actually, your anything.

Recently, while building up the character of Matthew (aka torturing him and making his life so messed up and sad that I'm apparently giving him room to grow and become a beautiful flower), I ran across his expectation for the world to be 110%. Perfection is an obsession when it comes to Matt. Any time anyone slips up, any time something goes wrong, any time he loses control, he pretty much goes nuts. He likes order and continuity and perfection; is that too much to ask? And just like me and every other person in the world, he's hard on himself too, to a point of absurdity. Matt's expectations for the world, for his life, for himself, are unreal and impossible.

And as I was writing, it bothered the heck out of me.

I wanted to sit him down and give him a stern talking-to. I wanted to smack him upside the head and knock some sense into him. I wanted him to realize that all these expectations were destroying all the progress he'd ever made and that it was actually tearing him down. Sometimes, I got mad at him. Yeah, his life sucks, but he's still got so many things to be thankful for. A mom and dad who love each other. A sister who puts up with his eccentricities. Colton Trelawney for a best  friend. He has sooooooooooo much. And he overlooks it all and see the negative.

Sometimes, I write characters and pour way more of myself into them than I originally thought I did.

I'm Matt. My mom is Matt. My friends are Matt. Complete strangers are Matt. Yeah, we're messed up people living messed up lives, and there is so much going on that we can't control, but we have so many blessings that we end up ignoring, because the bad stuff is so much bigger and obvious.

We can't have unrealistic expectations for ourselves, and then self-destruct when we don't meet those goals.

So sometimes it's okay to put your faults to bed, to tell the whispers to be quiet for once, and accept that it is what is right now. That you're going to get better, but it doesn't have to happen all at once. Sometimes it's all right to take three steps forward and two steps back.

tell yourself this all. the freaking. time. instead, ok?

Be patient, hold strong, and things will get better.

Trust me on this.

Things will get better.


  1. Love!

    I'm the same way. I'm such a perfectionist. also, "Sometimes, I write characters and pour way more of myself into them than I originally thought I did." SAME

  2. I definitely needed this. I am always hard on myself all the time. I want to be good at something and don't think I'm good enough and when I try harder, I only feel like I'm failing more. But when I stress out and everything overwhelms me, I can't even focus.

    I love the owl picture by the way. ;)

    And I know what you mean about characters being a reflection of yourself and others sometimes. Every now and then I look at my characters and recognize myself or my family, sometimes my friends. I guess that means there's truth in our writing.


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