About Putting on Pants
I’ve touched on the good and bad of the perfectionist mentality in the past, but it’s not a theme that seems to go away. My perspective is one of a writer/musician/sociopath/narcissist, but perfectionism is an idea that seeps into every aspect of life. See there, if I tailor my ramblings for the freaks out there trying to drop some earth-shattering novel or poem or electronic dance music track, I lose a whole constituency. If I’m not making myself clear, the following applies to anyone doing their best at a thing, be it a job or a passion or hobby. How’s that for inclusive?
Really what we’re talking about is editing. That’s all the world is, a bunch of editors going around editing, calling themselves humans. You need to lose a few pounds. So you need to edit your weight. Money problems? That bank account could use some polishing up. The job isn’t really taking off the way you want. Sounds like your attitude and performance might need another draft.
I could do this forever and never get it right. My point will get lost along the way or I’ll diverge when I should’ve stayed intractably on course. Goes for anything you do, from now until they call your number. Nothing’s ever just right and never will be. Never can be.
This sounds kind of horrible if we stop there, and that’s one way to feel. You know, break out a bottle of cheap Canadian whisky and rebel against the whole idea of getting better at anything. There’s a certain logic to that mindset, especially if you’re a postmodern deconstructionalist nihilist fatalist pessimist relativist windbag.
On the other hand…
Maybe it all starts by putting on some pants. Think about when you just wake up. Your breath is bad, hair’s messed up, and your mind is still stuck in that dream you were having about riding a wakeboard with Genghis Khan at the helm of a speedboat made out of cheese. No? Well, not everybody has that dream, but you get my drift.
Whatever. You shake out some cobwebs, and put on some pants. Right there, huge improvement. You ain’t perfect, but the whole pants thing will save you and the world from having to look at things nobody’s been all that proud of since the Garden of Eden. You’ve already made your first edit of the day. It all goes from there. Make a list. Knock out a few things here and there, and the whole show is little better than it was the day before. Sure, life ain’t as good as it could be, but it’s better than the unedited version.
I like studying art and making art because it helps me think about everything else. For instance, when I see a masterpiece like the Mona Lisa, I think back to the day Leonardo decided it was done. Maybe he made that last brushstroke and kissed the ends of his fingers, saying, “Masterpiece!” but I doubt it.
I’m guessing it went more like this. Somebody said hey pal, paint a picture of this really sad depressing lady, and he said I guess. He was probably ready to punch through the canvas fifty times a day, and he had airplanes to invent or whatever, but he had to perfect the depression lady before any of that fun stuff could happen.
So Leo’s painting, day after day. No matter how perfectly depressing the thing gets, there’s always more to do. Finally, someone says we need that painting by Thursday, lunch at the latest. He looks at his calendar and sees it’s Monday. For the next three days, perfection is all that’s on his mind. Painting. Shading. Coloring. Perspective. But what happened first, at the beginning of those three days? Pants. Or pantaloons. Either way. Just go for it. And for God’s sake, cover yourself. They ate the apple, remember? No getting around that one. Wait a minute, maybe that’s all we’re talking about here………..
Folks, what I’m trying to say is… I’m not sure, really. I know it’s something, and I know it’s not perfect, but that’s all I’ve got. We’ll catch up later. I’ve got more editing to do. Cheers and see you after.