When Cal was ten days old, I accidentally left her at the pediatrician’s office. Something seemed a little off as I crossed the parking lot, but I felt the weight of my purse in the crook of my arm and I was actively sipping on my Blue Raspberry Slurpee, so, I mean, what thing of importance could I possibly have forgotten?
As I unlocked the car door, I saw the infant carrier base in the back seat. FUCK.
I ran. I’ve only been chased by the police once (that I can immediately recall), and I know this is probably not the right time to brag, but I really impressed myself with the speed and agility I exhibited during my short run through the Las Lomas Apartments community and then again as I sprinted back to the pediatrician’s waiting room. I wish my middle school P.E. teachers could have seen me. Slowpoke my ass, motherfuckers.
Cal was right where I had left her. I had set down the carrier to make another appointment and then walked out sans baby. I kneeled beside the carrier and did an ugly cry, dripping big fat tears of shame all over my kid’s face.
A nurse poked her head through the window and said, “Don’t worry, it happens.”
I forgot to use my proper lady language as I replied, “Man, fuck this shit. I suck at being a mom.”
This is my general reaction every time I make a mistake. Man, fuck this shit. I suck at _______.
This is also my general reaction every time I deem something “too hard.”
I am a serial quitter. I am also a serial restarter. These two tendencies are made worse by what happens in between the restarting and the quitting- I self-sabotage.
Self-sabotage is tricky because it uses that Decepticon bullshit, transforming itself from one form to another. First it looks like procrastination. Then it’s shaped like self-medication or self-injury. It’s fear. Doubt. Isolation. Compulsivity. It’s a spiral of bad choices. I stay up too late. I spend too much time reading about the most efficient yet attractive way to organize my scrapbooking embellishments. I make ridiculous demands of myself. I set unrealistic deadlines.
For more than two years, I’ve been working on a book. I started on a Tuesday. I think I promised my agent I would pull something together by, like, Friday. Monday at the latest. She didn’t LOLOL or anything. I give her props for that.
Holler at me, self-sabotage. Ridiculous demands. Unrealistic deadlines.
Earlier this year, I spent two full days perfecting paper airplanes. My planes still fly like shit, but the sharp creases I make using just my thumbnail are baller status. I should have spent that time on my book.
I’ve made a lot of excuses as to why it’s taken so long. Interspersed between the excuses of I don’t know how and Good God, these pages really suck were real-life happenings that delayed the process even longer. I got sad about babies and I also got mad that I still haven’t figured out how to organize my surprisingly large assortment of brads and eyelets.
I’m calling it quits on fucking myself over. For at least a week.
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image via Sara Eshak for Society6