Since puberty, I have lived in a perpetual state of hating myself for: general laziness, lack of gorgeousness, and horrible housekeeping, among other things. But it all comes down to laziness. (That applies to looks too, because every woman knows she could be beautiful if she just worked hard enough at it. All the magazines say so.)
I tell myself, “You really should declutter, LaVonne. Start getting rid of everything in preparation for the big Road Trip.” Then I look around at all the WORK that entails and decide to think about it tomorrow.
I’m gung-ho about starting up a simple exercise regime: walking around the neighborhood every day. Then my knee starts hurting or my shoes aren’t ideal, and I decide I should take up bicycling instead – as soon as I can afford a bike.
I announce proudly that I AM GOING TO WRITE EVERY DAY. Then I don’t. Or I fizzle halfway through a blog post. Or I write the equivalent of several pages of “All work and no play makes Jill a dull girl,” over and over, and call them Morning Pages.
We all do this, of course. I know I’m not the only one. Yet I am convinced that I am far worse than most people. For years, I thought it was funny to call myself a world-class procrastinator, but underneath the jokes was the ugly truth: self-hate. I could go into the whole thing about our celebrity-crazed, perfectionist, self-hating culture but I won’t. It’s not news.
What may be news, however, is the little epiphany I had last night: As long as you have dreams, you will ALWAYS feel like you’re falling short. It’s the nature of the donkey-and-carrot beast. Once you achieve a goal, you set your sights on another one… and you never stop to truly enjoy the fruits of that achievement. But the simple act of TRYING, even though we never quite reach the goal, actually creates incremental progress that adds up exponentially.
Look back at all you’ve accomplished. How can you hate yourself now?