Self-kindness is my one little word for this year. I have many words to describe myself, and not many of them are positive. I'm a perfectionist, which leads to a lot of thoughts of failure and inadequacy and whatnot because perfection can never be reached. I mean, you can get pretty darn close sometimes, but truly reach it all the time in everything? Nah. Not gonna happen. And let me tell you, boy do I try.
Everything I do is with intent and intensity. I'm a ball of energy. I won awards in art (like money and name in the paper). I was the lead in community theater when I was 13. In high school, I was called by the casting directors for a Lifetime movie. Without knowing me and only going on word of mouth, they said the lead role was between me and another girl who was trained in opera (you can find her now here), and they wanted me to audition. I decided against the audition because I wanted to do something big. Like save lives. Impact people. Be a biomedical engineer. So off to Georgia Tech I went.
And out of Georgia Tech I ran. I wanted life. A full life! With balance and quality of life. #2 happiest school in the nation? To Clemson I went with all that energy redirected. I was going strong and pushing. Perhaps ignite was my word. I was dying (no lie) and still insisted on staying active in my sorority (VP), school (ok grades to me, great to most), and friendships (the best). Grad school in biostatistics was next. So what gives when you are doing it all? Something gives. Something always gives.
Me. I give. That's what gives. It's been a vicious cycle since I can remember. I push. I try. I love. I care. I give. A lot. And quite frankly, if I keep going at this pace, I will leave this earth way earlier than I'd like. At 21, I made some very big decisions that the doctor said, had I not made, I would have been dead by 29. So, this birthday was kind-of a big deal for me. And since I have this second lease on life, I need to be kind to me. Kind to my body. To my self. To my unrelenting inner voice that says, "you can do better." Because dear voice in my head, yes, I can. I can always do better. There is always something to fix. But the graph of health and happiness vs. perfectionism and intensity looks something like this,
showing us that sometimes it's wiser to just let it be.
My one little word for this year is self-kindness. Let's see how I fare.