About Me

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Lapsed anthropologist-turned-burlesque performer and post-modern punk housewife/homesteader living in the beautiful Pacific Northwest with a hunky husband, gorgeous daughter, adorable corgi, fluffy rabbit, and three clucking fabulous chickens.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Comparison is the Thief of Joy

It seems to be a common theme, currently. We all feel we just aren't "x" enough. Right now, I'm feeling not smart/thin/crafty/energetic enough, and my chronic fatigue/vitamin D deficiency/hypothyroidism tripple-whammy certainly isn't doing me any favors.

Also not doing me any favors? Pinterest. Just heaps and heaps of pictures of people who are better at being the person I want to be than I am. Don't get me wrong, I love Pinterest. It's an amazing resource for inspiration. But everyone's online lives are so perfect, so incredible, so edited. In that vein, here are some of my failures:

The seedlings we started in the basement in early April? They're still there. Some have been transplanted into 4" pots, but their now threatening to burst out of those, too. The raised bed garden construction has been halted due to lack of funds, which is a direct result of my upcoming wedding.

Speaking of that, who had to turn nearly complete control of said wedding over to her mother to avoid a nervous breakdown/burnout? This blogger. My mother has taken the theme and run with it, and I am super super grateful, but a little bummed at not handmaking every detail of my big day. And I still have a whole heap of projects on my own plate, which are in no danger of getting finished anytime soon. I already resorted to purchasing my wedding dress, reception dress, and petticoat, instead of sewing them myself as I always said I'd have done. And I might, horror of horrors, have to purchase the cake.

Despite actually trying to lose the 60 extra pounds I've been carrying around these past few years, I've only managed to take off 10 and keep it off. I go to the gym, I eat well, it's just not working. And being obese plus having chronic fatigue syndrome? People pretty much just assume you're a lazy glutton, never mind that I'm getting up at 5:30am to go to the gym and then study, and eat a vegetarian, whole-food diet. My body just refuses to work the way it's supposed to. It takes all I have to just get dressed in the morning, forget make up or doing anything with my hair, which pretty much leaves me feeling like a shlub.

I'm going to fail Anatomy and Physiology 2. There's just no way around it. I have a big test tomorrow, that I've studied hours for and will continue to study, but with everything that is going on, I just can't seem to retain any information. This is the first time in my life I have ever felt like this, and a huge disappointment in myself. If there's ever been one thing I've always been rock solid in, it's my academic performance. I'm so embarrassed I can't even look my professor in the eye.

So of course I feel bad about myself, because I think I should be able to keep on top of all of these things. I want to be the awesome urban homesteading wife who kicks ass at school and looks polished and pretty all the time and makes creative and delicious meals every day. I feel like I don't measure up to my idols over at Apron Stringz or Northwest Edible Life, even though they've both done posts about the disparity between what we aspire to and what we actually achieve. It's a lifelong struggle, I think, to disentangle our feelings of self-worth from what we perceive everyone else is doing better than us. I'm just trying to keep things in perspective.

If I fail my class, I'll have to pay back the government for it, and I'll pay out of pocket to take it again in the fall. It will suck, but it will not be the end of the world. Likewise I just have to let go of any self-imposed deadlines for losing the weight, and just keep at it, even if it means only losing a pound a month. Baby steps. And I have to stop looking at everything like it's a contest. It's okay if someone else has perfect hair everyday, or a much nicer garden, or makes their own bread all the time. That doesn't devalue my pot of mint, or my once-a-week awesome homemade meal, or managing to pull together something that looks like a thought-out ensemble once in a while.


  1. Just remember that what everyone posts on the web is only what they want you to see! Their lives are not as perfect as they seem. Let go of any desires for perfectionism and relax and enjoy your beautiful (NOT perfect) wedding. No matter your weight and anything else, you are going to be one stunning bride. Does Ponyo get to be a flower girl? We passed through Spokane this morning and although we couldn't stop, we sent good vibes our way.

    1. I wish Ponyo could be there! No dogs allowed. :( And I found such a cute leash for her, too! She'll just have to stay home and keep the bunny company.

  2. There are no such things as perfect lives, but blogs allow you to show the photoshoped bright side of your life.
    It took me a while to realize that, and that's the reason why if I wear heels in a picture I put in my blog, I'll always explain that in real life I cannot wear them for more than 30min. And so on.
    I guess we're only humans in our real life ^^ But in blogs we cheat and show the "instagram" side of life. And that's just me, but if I had to do all the things you enumerate in your post, I'll go nuts and don't enjoy making stuff anymore. Too much stress!!
    Congrats on your wedding!

    1. That's what I meant by everyone's online lives being so edited. This was my attempt at not editing my online life, letting my weaknesses and foibles show.
      And thank you! We're super excited for the wedding, it's going to be so much fun!!!

  3. I have felt the same way these last 6 months with my weight and my home. it kills me to hear people tell me that I look great or my house is so cute, when I know I can do better. that being said.....i think you are super adorable and I love your home. I wish mine looked as put together. You will be a gorgeous bride and I can't wait to see you & "mr bear" get married!


    1. Oh Kelly, the only reason the house looks so presentable when company comes over is because Mr. Bear is so good at keeping on top of housework. If it were just me, I'd be living under a constant pile of rhinestones, tulle, and dishes...

  4. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.


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