During the break I give myself between studying psychology and working on my creative projects, I was reflecting on how much freedom I’m currently blessed with. My last post was about how perfectionism was haunting me and helping me again, and that felt good to share because it’s a matter of health that isn’t paid much attention to. It can be a very terrifying form of entrapment, especially because it’s an illusion. But today? There’s just freedom. I can breathe between my studies and my work without rushing to satisfy someone else’s schedule. I can alter my calendar and make plans for my study sessions without forcing myself to cram information or blow something off and hope luck will be on my side. There’s flexibility now and adaptability married with my responsibilities. I know the starving artist life doesn’t appeal to many and is often ridiculed if you’re not rich and famous. Who cares? I wish everyone could live a life without the starving and with more of the mindfulness and calm that comes with the artist mentality. The idealist, INFP that I am wishes more people could live the life they want and abandon the life others try to push upon them. We are capable of so much awesomeness when we aren’t forced to ignore the beauty around us. We’re capable of even more when we’re gifted with clarity, seeing what is and isn’t working for us. That’s a practice we have to chose to adopt, I suppose. Not everyone is as privileged as I am in this moment, so I’ll do my best to never complain about it.

In this breath, I am so humbled and light.

For what it’s worth, I hope you are well. It will get better.

purple petaled flower on white surface

The Relief of Simplicity and Being AntiPerfection— [Just Me]

Wow, I talk about perfectionism a lot don’t I? Lol, well that’s because it haunts the f**k out of me. I’m a very ambitious, but sensitive person. I have big ideas that turn into elaborate, yet overwhelming strategies, and have issues altering those strategies only because I get stuck in a strong spell of the […]

Under The Scorpio Moon by Leliel [Poetry]

My New Gods by Leliel – [Poetry]

A while ago I ran into a Tumblr post about “grind culture” describing how there are people who are perfectionistic in regards to how they should be working, studying, living, and that reminded me of my fellow fans of the dark academia aesthetic and the studyblr tag. Here is the post:

I talk about perfectionism a bit whether I’m blogging or writing an article and it’s because it’s something that empowers me and haunts me. Although I’m so incredibly excited to be working on my psychology degree and in love with the course material so far, I had a meltdown over a quiz that I failed. I cried and panicked for nearly an hour and had to spend another hour calming myself down. In hindsight, I felt ridiculous, but more than anything I felt powerless. The perfectionism in me has developed into something that makes my mood swings and anxiety incredibly difficult to control. Therapy helped, but the feeling of shame took more time to work through.

I go through this as a writer too. What I was really worried about after my meltdown was my inability to handle something as small as a failed quiz leading to my inability to brace for subjective opinions about my work and career path. It was all revolving around a small failure that was hypothetically turning into a gargantuan failure. So after meditating on this, I came to the quick conclusion that first off, I was so tired of being this mean to myself; I truly do love myself so being unnecessarily harsh feels like a regression in my pursuit for better emotional and mental health. Then, I decided to challenge my view on what a “failure” is. At my core, I believed failure means shame and punishment. To challenge this core belief, I switched from calling my failures into mistakes. Failure can have a crassness to it, but “mistake” reminded me of the classic term “learn from your mistakes”. After that, I could look back at the quiz as a lesson about my mistakes.

What I learned was incredibly helpful. I took notice my anxiety levels while studying and doing any exercise, quiz, or whatever that “tests” me. I learned that instead of expecting perfectionism, I could strive for excellence, which to me requires an open and teachable mind that enjoys the process of self-improvement (You know, the whole “it’s the journey, not the destination” thing). I balance this out by thinking about my health logically. For excellence to happen, my brain needs rest, my body needs care, and my soul needs joyful reminders of my ambitions and aspirations. Although I did make sure to follow a schedule so the workload each day wasn’t more stressful than it already was, I didn’t take myself to the rigidity of grind culture I used partake in a long time ago in a elementary charter school far, far away almost until grad school. Knowing my personality, I’m already in that frame of mind where I want and will do my best. There’s absolutely no need for me to make my perfectionism into a monster, when its brought me so far and polished my work ethic. The most important lesson from that silly quiz was… don’t take the quiz if you’re panicking about the time limit more than the material. Lol.

Anyway, I just wanted to share that. Now that I have a decent routine with my psych classes, I can return to my writing routine. I am so glad my structure has returned and is solid enough to try new things.

Have a good one.

Learning to be more mindful about the areas in my life that need rest is still a fairly new experience. Do you still have that “daily grind” mentality, where you must work hard whenever your workdays are and ignore yourself anytime your mind, body, or spirit is screaming “I NEED A BREAK!!” ? It’s important to have discipline in life, but I think too many of us think discipline means working hard without recognizing what you need. The labor laws of our society shouldn’t dictate how much rest we deserve; we should be deciding that.

Then again, some of us feel guilty when we’re resting for too long. I get antsy and restless every time I don’t write on my blog, give myself a break from the novel, or take a step back from an article. To me, that means I’m lacking mindfulness when it comes to rest. My brain needs time to rest so I can write again. My soul needs peace so I’ll be inspired to write. My body needs rest even if I am sitting at my desk or in my bed a good part of the day. All of our needs in the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual sense deserve a moment of rejuvenation. I know some of us may give ourselves a day or two of rest and still feel like we didn’t get enough. All the more reason to see the day you scheduled as the rest day as a practice. It takes time to learn what exactly you need to help give your mind, body, and soul an energetic reset.

These sources can help you get started:

  • If you’re an empath or hypersensitive person, read this article to learn about grounding techniques that help prevent breakdowns.
  • If you’d like help thinking about how you can cleanse your living space and empower yourself, read this article.
  • If you struggle to see what you have in life that could possibly make your situation better when there’s so much you don’t have, read this article.

I know that hearing about mindfulness and staying in the present can be bombarding from time to time, so let me just get something off my chest.

Remaining in the present isn’t some forced positivity bullshit. Just now, before writing this, I was about to make myself do work I didn’t want to do. In that moment I was feeling grumpy and tired because I was just out seeing a movie with family and my introverted ass was already drained from going out yesterday AND I’m going to have to go out again later tonight. So right when I get home I start adulting and after taking care of what I knew needed to be done, I almost pushed myself into doing something extra, which was leading to another extra thing…and another.

I took a beat to recognize how I really felt: I’m reaching mental and emotional exhaustion and with the energy I have left, I want to do something I enjoy. When I do something I enjoy, and do it alone, I become recharged. So I took a selfie that I liked and shut down all the other extra things I was about to drain myself with. What I love to do is have a quiet moment to myself to express myself, whether it be through my amateur photography, blogging, or standing outside and just enjoying Lammas, which is exactly what I’m going to do next.

Just to let all the cynics out there know, being mindful or being in the present moment fucking works. It prevents you from wasting your time on things that can wait.

It may not look it, but I’m actually really relaxed…