Finish thesis and get my master’s degree? Check!
Feel proud and accomplished and over the moon? In theory, yes.
But I don’t.
The problem with perfectionism is you’re never truly done. Every time you finish a goal, it feels unreal. Even if you’ve spent years working toward it. ESPECIALLY then.
I feel a little like I’m 21 all over again. I’m mature enough not to run away to Europe and quit my job on a whim this time — but I’m still stuck in a melodramatic, narcissistic headspin about what happens next. Grad school was an idealistic, maybe-someday, kind of goal that I jumped into after very casually considering it. Those who knew me probably weren’t surprised. I’m an all-or-nothing kind of lady with a knack for emotional, illogical decision-making. I prefer big challenges to slow-and-steady end results.
But I’ve decided my next lofty goal is to change that. Live smaller. Stop feeling bored. Run every other day. Blog every few days. Grocery shop every week. Keep traveling every month. Enjoy Seattle all the time. Be a grown-up. Appreciate what I already have.
And if something falls into my lap, consider it. Try not to dive headfirst into it. Think about the implications. Wonder about the possibilities. Make a pros and cons list. Above all else, remember that checking things off an intangible life resume is not the same as actually experiencing these things.
Or, more likely, I’ll decide to run a marathon while power-racing through Trader Joe’s on that first grown-up shopping trip next week. Because finishing 26.2 miles in five hours is a whole lot quicker than sitting down and learning how to stop competing with myself.
* Title inspired by Jimmy Eat World, “Stop.”