No Award? Perfect.
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Health and Wellness

No Award? Perfect.

Trust me when I say you don't need a first place ribbon to accept yourself.

No Award? Perfect.
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Someone told me once that I'm a perfectionist and that they wished they could be more like me. My response? "No you don't."

And that's exactly how I feel about it. Perfectionism is hell and if I could make myself less like me, I think in general I'd be much happier.

A lot of my stress, anxiety, and self-doubt comes as a result of my uncontrollable, desperate need to live up to a standard of excellence that I'm the only one holding myself to. That's ridiculous. I know that. Now how the hell do I make it stop?

A year ago I went to WSU for the KSPA Regional Journalism Contest. I was entered in it the previous year, but I ended up getting violently sick the day before and wasn't able to go. So from the very beginning, I knew that this year everyone else had a year of experience to their advantage. That didn't help.

I was sick on contest week this year, too. Drugged with allergy relief medications, half-awake, and not very confident. Not very happy.

But I also have a reporter and columnist for a mother, and I've grown up around journalists, and I've been on different school publications staffs for three years total already, so I suppose in a sense I may have been a little bit too confident. I guess that's the danger in starting to get comfortable, or starting to feel like for the first time in your life, you're actually good at something that you've worked hard for.

I lost the one contest I was entered in. When I say lost, I mean lost by a lot. The other girl in my class earned first place, two other students placed second and third, and my score sheet was marked with a red X on the line that read, "NO AWARD."

That's harsh, and that's (for lack of a better word, and I'm sorry for the profanity) a really shitty way to crush someone's confidence, especially mine, because I already didn't have much as I mentioned.

No award. NO award. No award.

That's all I kept hearing in my head. "No award. No award. No award."

And people kept saying to me. "You did your best," and "We're proud of you," and "This was your first try."

None of those things ever made me feel the tiniest bit better. I'm still disappointed in myself, and that whole holding myself to a standard of excellence thing is just going to ruin me for a while.

But my feeling disappointed and unsatisfied with my writing, ironically, is the inspiration for my writing this post on my blog, and my blog is mine, and there is no first place or last place there.

This is no competition. And for as long as I have this place here, this ability to write about what bothers me, what keeps me awake at night, what makes me jump with joy, what pins me to the ground, what lifts me up, and what makes me the writer I am today, first place or not, I'm winning.

That's pretty close to perfect.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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