Secrets are Poison

Secrets are riddled throughout our society. Everyone has secrets. They are the things that you don’t want other people to know, so you bury them deep inside. We put these things in the dark to hide, not wanting to acknowledge them.

Secrets destroy us from the inside out. They weigh on your soul, eat away at you, working slowly like a poison administered over time. They kill relationships. They kill individuals. They break families and societies apart.

How much more healthy would we be, would our relationships be, if we didn’t have secrets? It is scary exposing the grime of our lives to the light, but it dries out and loses its power once it is no longer in the dark, like gross, moldy gunk that shrivels up when left out in the sun.

Maybe what scares us is what we fear that secret will reveal about us, or maybe we want to protect someone else. If people knew the things we go out of our way to conceal from the world, would they look at us the same way? Probably not, but they might not respond the way you expect them to either. There is no real way to know how anyone will respond to anything.

I have kept secrets, and I have been someone’s secret. Neither of these are fun, and I don’t recommend either of them. The aftermath ate me alive. Now, it is not so much of a secret as it is a closely guarded piece of my life that few know. However, those that do know have this information solely out of necessity. They needed to know for my protection, and others (like my therapist) needed to know to help me keep my sanity. There are many people in my life that have no clue. It hasn’t come up, and it hasn’t needed to. It simply doesn’t apply to our relationship. But, in some ways, it still feels like a secret.

Maybe one day I won’t be so afraid to speak the truth, but for now, I am going to work on my own self acceptance before I tell my story to the world.

What’s in a Name?

It took me days to come up with (and settle on) the name of my blog, and it was even more hours of agonizing over a tagline. Deciding on The Indecisive Idealist as my title and “recovering from perfectionism” for my tagline was difficult, but, ultimately, it seemed to be the best fit.

I am a horribly indecisive individual. It is a trait of mine that is well known among my friends and family, and it isn’t well liked. I have improved over the years, but I am still known for being indecisive. Personality tests label me as an INFP, and the description of that personality type is scarily accurate when compared to my personality. INFP’s are known for being idealists, and I am very much so one.

I have always been a perfectionist in one aspect or another. Whether it was following the rules EXACTLY to the letter and tone in which they were given or that the line I was drawing HAD to be straight, there has been an undercurrent of perfectionism running through my life for as long as I can remember. Whatever I did, it needed to be perfect. It couldn’t just be “good enough.” It HAD to be perfect.

This way of thinking bled into my life and my subconscious to the point where I did not realize that was one of the main driving points beyond my reasoning for doing things a certain way or simply not doing something at all.

In college, I started to break away from this toxic way of thinking because it is impossible to do every assignment perfectly. Between sleep, classes, homework, choir, and dealing with the after effects of multiple traumas, I learned to acquiesce to the necessity of “good enough”. I would not have survived otherwise. It would have lead me straight into a nervous breakdown and taken me away from the university I stubbornly stayed at in order to complete my degree in 4 years.

Now out of college, I have discovered a new importance to the words “good enough”. Where I am right now is good enough. The job I currently have is good for now. I was so scared for the longest time, and I held onto ideas of what I felt my life should or should not be. It did not help my search for my next step. In fact, it was a hinderance.

There is no perfect path. There are always going to be decisions that we have to make, and we might make a few mistakes along the way. But our path is not set in stone. We have choices.

In my last post I mentioned my commitment of obedience to what God wants for my life and for my decisions to reflect that. While in some situations that is cut and dry, there are others where that is not the case. There are many avenues in which my life could go, and I believe that there are several different paths that God would bless. I am not stuck on one straight path. God hasn’t got my life written in stone. He has given me the power of free will, the ability to make choices for myself, and opportunities to do so. I always have a choice.

Perfectionism gets in the way. It warps and twists those words of choice into my needing to choose “the right thing”. Perfectionism takes all of those good paths of potential and blessing, and instead, it whispers lies that there must be one perfect direction to choose.  Instead of inspiring, it stifles. Instead of motivating, it paralyzes.

I am learning to live in the good enough. To be clear, this is not settling. It is putting aside unrealistic ideas that may never come to fruition. It is living in the here and now rather than the “perfect” idea I have in my head. It is keeping my dreams, but not allowing them to prevent me from living life today.

I am The Indecisive Idealist, and I am recovering from perfectionism.

What I Consider to be the Beginning

About five years ago, I told God that I wanted to do things his way. I told God that I wanted to obey him – for my choices to reflect his choices for my life. That night my life and the way that I went about it changed. I had no idea what I had just done. There was no way to predict the crazy journey that decision had dumped me on, and I was in no way prepared. Some of the biggest things I have done in my life were because I chose to be obedient. Studying abroad in China for a semester of college was one of those.

I don’t always make the right choices. Sometimes, I have no idea what God wants, especially when he is silent on a topic. I simply have to choose something. Other times, I am willfully disobedient. And as I muddle my way through the consequences, I find myself crawling back to the one I ignored, bruised and beaten, with the words “You were right” on my lips. But he always welcomes me back, no matter how many times I break his heart.

This is an essential piece of who I am and why I am. It is impossible to give you myself in a single blog post or even in a series of blog posts. However, each post is a snapshot. I will be blogging about daily life, mental musings, goals and aspirations, and anything else that brings me to type on my laptop. If that interests you, feel free to jump on in for the ride.