"The unexamined life is not worth living" Socrates

- - scatterings of ideas sent to my younger self, a sensitive girl who was fooled into believing she was a boy because of anatomy - -

Sunday, 28 December 2014

Never Good Enough

Lately my sweetie has been reminding me more than usual of how laid back I've become in so many ways. There is no doubt I was very much a perfectionist up to the past few years. These days, when I do something well, it is not a race, or a competition. Perhaps the differences are subtle, but they are real and noticeable. 

It is not my intention here to highly analyze OCD behaviours in general; just mine. It might seem that way, and of course, those who know about such things either from observation, or personal experience may be tempted to chime in here. Please, as always, do add your thoughts. I love learning... but perhaps that is part of my obsession?
While on the subject of caveats, this post might sound a bit like bragging, and I want to be really clear that part of my problem over the years has been my lack of pleasure at being thought good at anything. It is hard to take pride in one's defence mechanism. 

How is it that obsessions become connected with pleasure centres? Maybe they couldn't be obsessions otherwise. I have always found great pleasure trying to be as good as possible at everything. "Always" is not quite accurate actually; I can pin the full development of my obsession to the same time, my late teens, when I became determined to demonstrate myself as a real man. Hatred of self can be a powerful motivation. 
I have had people ask me "Is there anything you aren't good at?" The answer varied, but in truth, "There are things I've never tried." was the best one for most of my life. These days, the answer is one of encouragement to others. Pointing out that they do complicated things well too and never give thought to how complex those things are.

Finally, inner peace found through a process of self-discovery over the past four years, and yes, chemical intervention too, has permitted me a glimpse of another me who might have had a full life being so much more than 'good as possible at everything'; a person finding pleasure in things beyond her control. A person happy to simply be herself helping and encouraging those around her. 


  1. A person happy to simply be herself.........seems to be a good way to start the new year. All the very best for 2015 and beyond.

    1. It has occurred to me from time to time that becoming that other me on a full-time basis would be more than a little beneficial.

      Best wishes to you too Tom!

  2. Hi Halle,
    Just about everyone has a compulsion to do something excessively and suffers some form of withdrawal symptoms when that choice or behaviours are curtailed, so congratulations on becoming more laid back so to speak.
    Maybe today in our culture we have simply too many choices and possible rewards which can be reinforced or even triggered by the brain releasing dopamine, which can become an addictive pleasurable experience.
    Hence, given the abundance of multimedia choices I think there is the propensity to become addicted to different media forms in anticipation of receiving good news (in behaviours demonstrated by an excessive checking of news, emails, stock prices , sports results etc.) or in the anticipation of achieving a superior result by aiming at perfection. Hence we can almost inadvertently develop obsessions. In other words we lose our reverence for life and fall out of kilter with the natural life cycles / seasons.
    Best wishes

    1. Lindsay, there may be some advantages to transsexualism, even if I wouldn't wish it on anyone.
      I love your suggestion that we need to have a reverence for life to help us keep in sync with the natural rhythm of the seasons.
      My very best to you and yours this coming year.

  3. 'A person happy to simply be herself helping and encouraging those around her.'
    Remember that item I related to you a short time ago?
    'Be yourself, everyone else has been taken'. If everyone could just be themselves and accept everyone else as such what a wonderful world it could be. May it be so for you from this day forth.

    Shirley Anne x

    1. It may well be that wisdom that sent me firmly down this path Shirley.
      It has taken so much energy over the years convincing myself and others I'm someone else.
      All my best to you and yours.

  4. There are many things I do not start because I know that the result will fall short of the perfection I would like. It was not so long ago that I discovered that this is as much an indicator of perfectionist as actual perfect results!

    These last few years with hormone changes have seen a real change in my attitude to projects and I am far more relaxed. I like your last sentence...

    1. Some time in the future we may see a report on what new activities I find to try, and whether my need for that perfect result has really gone, or is just lying in wait.