The Fallacy of Starting Over

I am a perfectionist and that’s a disaster. It means that I just catch little glimpses of happiness and rest of the time end up feeling miserable with the constant unease that I could do everything better. I know it’s a disorder, but also it’s part of who I am, and through my 21 years, I somehow learned that I just should live with it.

Our minds, as well as our bodies, have a unique ability to adapt and evolve coping mechanisms. I found my solution when I was quite little, probably in my early teens, but I consciously realised it only recently.

So I had my ritual. Whenever I felt anxious about my life, about the test I failed or quarrel I had with my friend, about the assignment that didn’t go well or some kind of embarrassing situation, I would just stand in front of the mirror and say to myself: “Let’s just start over, everything that happened in the past isn’t important, you are a new person now with a new life”. Then I would breath out and start living my best self, but eventually get tired with it. I would make same old mistakes, end up feeling anxious again — had the same ritual once more and searched for perfect life where everything was ideal… This thing continued for a few years until I finally grew up realising that neither me, nor other people around me, were perfect, that the universe didn’t bother about my personal growth, that life was not a dream factory…

The next stage was acceptance. I accepted that often I would feel bad about myself, about my flaws and insecurities, and that was totally OK, that I don’t have to be happy all the time, or nice to other people all the time, that I even don’t have to look good all the time…

But still, even now at the age of 21, at the end of the long, tiresome days, when I can’t help myself but think that I could do things better, I go to the mirror, breath in, breath out and say it again: “It’s OK, don’t worry about the past, just start over, as if everything began today, withough weight of yesterday on your shoulders, do it again, fail it better…”

And even I fully understand it’s a lie, it’s a mirage and it’s an illusion, it certainly brings some solace. Then I go down the hill and roll my boulder up… again.