I am my own worst enemy, my own worst critic, I am the reason I feel so insanely overwhelmed most of the time.
I can say that I feel pressurised by my parents to do well, to be a success, to be something incredible – but deep down I know that I am the one pushing myself into unrealistic goals and lifestyles. I want everything, I want to be the best, the prettiest, the one people talk about and say, it’s hard to believe she’s just 25 isn’t it? I’m the one who makes life that much harder for myself, not anyone else.
People always comment on my blog and tell me how together and successful and on it I am for my age, and that means a lot, because in my head, life has always been a race.
I know it’s not, I know it’s not about being the first to get married, to have a baby, to have your own business, to have a book published, to have a senior job title, to have a home, but I’ve always been competitive (avid Monopoly cheater over here), and when I don’t live up to my own expectations it pulls me right down, down into the depths of self-pity and sadness.
Growing up it wasn’t like I exactly went without – I had summers spent in Poland and Italy where we had family, I got new clothes from Tammy Girl (albeit ones mostly from the sales) and I even went to private school for a couple of years, but it still felt like other people had more. Because that’s the thing with life isn’t it? No matter how much you have, you will always be left craving more rather than appreciate the wonderful things you’re lucky enough to have.
I wanted exotic holidays with long haul flights, I wanted more clothes, I wanted expensive hairdresser appointments and manicures – I wanted money.And because I want everything I could possibly ever have at 25, I push myself, I set myself heavy to-do lists, I picture these ideal dream scenarios in my head and then when things don’t live up to it – wait, no, when I don’t live up to it, I beat myself up about it. I convince myself that I’ve failed.
Take today for example, I had planned to wake up, film a video, write a blog post, plan two more blog posts, paint the bedside table, book a doctor’s appointment, go to the gym and do all the ironing. Pretty much in that order too. And, because I got a bit sucked into looking at Golden Globes pictures and trying on new clothes (a task which was mega handy for outfit of the week posts), I’m a bit behind on my list, and I feel horrible.Like mega horrible. Y’know that sort of horrible where one teeny thing goes wrong and you just think FUCK THIS, TODAY IS A WRITE OFF AND I MUST LAY ON THE SOFA AND DO NOTHING FOREVERMORE BECAUSE OF IT? Yeah, that.Except I’m not on the sofa listening to Taylor Swift on my phone anymore, I’m up at my desk drinking peppermint tea and writing this post, which just FYI isn’t the planned post for today, but it’s the only thing I could will myself of the sofa to write.
I know I’ll feel better for having taken my pyjamas off and written a post, the same way you usually feel better after a work-out, but it’s the actual getting off the sofa and moving on with my life that is the hardest bit.I like control. Scrap that, I love control. It’s a large chunk of the reason for my teenage eating disorder, and the reason I used to love digging my nails into my skin, especially my thighs, when things were going wrong – so I could feel something, so I could regain control over something, over anything. And when things slide out of my control, either because something else comes in the way, or because I’m struggling to motivate myself to live up to the expectations I’ve set myself (because I just love a daily to-do list that’s longer than a normal person’s weekly list), I get so filled up with anger at myself. I take it out on me, I think I’m weak, a failure, unsuccessful, that I’ll never have any of the nice things I’ve pictured in my head because I’ve let myself down.
I’m definitely rambling now. I’m just writing this exact words and sentences that are forming in my mind and hoping they sort of make sense.Because being a full-time blogger means motivating yourself every single day, I find myself getting more and more annoyed at myself. Annoyed because it’s so easy to watch 90210 or Gossip Girl instead of taking photos, annoyed because sometimes it takes longer to do a post than I expected, and annoyed because I can’t be perfect. I can’t be a model human being all the time.
I don’t have to work five days a week at 9-5, that’s the joy of what I do, but if i’m not doing work between those hours I feel like i’m not trying hard enough to make myself a success, to make myself money. I discount the hours I put in at the weekend, I discount all the times I’ve missed whole story lines in something I’m watching because my mind is busy putting outfits together or coming up with list ideas, and I discount how committed and obsessed with this blog I am.
I use any excuse to punish myself, to tell myself that I am not good enough, that I need to try harder. I spend so long trying to convince myself that I’m shit, that I forget to notice how hard I work, how all the good things that come to me are from my own determination and strength.
And I think that’s something we’re all guilty of – forgetting to notice how incredible we are. Every little thing from new shoes, to a holiday, to a sweet text or email from someone, are all because we’ve worked hard for those things. We’ve made them happen, nobody else.We all need to cut ourselves some slack for falling down, for feeling tired, for wanting rest, for wanting carbs, for wanting time out because we spend so much energy and time trying to do our best all the bloody time. We need to stop hating on ourselves for needing some down time, some time to be unproductive.
As for me? I need to remember that taking photos of myself in the garden and checking Twitter actually counts as work these days, and just because I’m not at my desk for 39.5 hours a week doesn’t mean I’m lazy or lame, it just means I’m doing what’s best for me.