(This month’s writing prompt is Promise to Yourself: Write about a promise you want to make to yourself and keep.)
I’ve always put a lot of effort into being perfect. I spent more time studying than being with friends because I wanted perfect grades; after getting let go from my job at 10am I worked for four more hours so that my boss and co-workers wouldn’t have to finish out my tasks; I’ve spent my whole life trying to take others’ advice to “be positive” or “fake it till you make it.”
It’s hard for me to accept that imperfection is part of being human. Getting into therapy helped, but I think I’ll always be a little bit crazy and too Type-A for my own good.
I’m not making many promises these days — I save them for the big stuff like fidelity and honesty — but here are some things I want to try in 2017 and beyond.
I will try to be myself, anxiety and all
In the last year I’ve been more open about my anxiety than ever before. It was a little scary at first, because I wasn’t sure how people would react. But so far the response I’ve gotten most is, “Me too!” Which is both great (yay, I’m not alone!) and sad (why are we all so fucked up?).
I have good days and bad days, but usually I’m able to use my anxiety to my advantage. Being open about my challenges and who I am makes me feel happier and healthier.
I will try not to let my anxiety control me
Accepting and talking about the fact that I have generalized anxiety disorder is not the same as giving into it, or letting it dictate what I can and can’t do.
Thanks to Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, I have the tools to manage my anxiety. I recognize that these feelings are part of me, but I don’t let them stop me from trying new things.
“Between safety and adventure, I choose adventure.”
I will try to think more about others
While I don’t believe I’ve meandered into narcissist territory, I think I’ve got a noticeable selfish streak — possibly because I’m an enormous control freak (and an only child on top of that).
I want to be more aware of and empathetic toward those around me. I need to think beyond myself and my needs, and try to help others. I want to be a kinder person. That’s something the world really needs right now.
What would you like to try to do better in the next year? Let’s chat in the comments!