Confession: Trying On Clothes

Does anybody else feel guilty when they try on clothes at a store and none of them fit?

This usually happens to me at Target.  I buy a considerable amount of clothing there.  I love their clothing because for what I pay, it’s very fashionable and the quality is excellent.  (Nevermind the fact that there are no other stores nearby with clothing for a professional woman in her mid 20’s…)  However, sometimes with slightly cheaper clothing, the odds of fitting nicely is a little lower. If I go to somewhere like Ann Taylor Loft, most of what I try on is going to be flattering and fit well.  The success rate is probably somewhere around 75%.  I’m guessing at Target it’s closer to 25%.  

So anyways, I’d like to confess: I hate to be the person who tries on the max 6 and gives all 6 back afterwards, so sometimes I’ll take an item or two with me and hang them back up myself.  Am I the only person that socially awkward?

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Lessons Learned While Biking: Lesson One

Background info: I started biking regularly the summer of 2013.  Before that happened, I would only ride my bike when I went home to visit my parents or they wanted to visit me.  Up until this year, I was a complete amateur, so over the first few months of biking on my own I’ve learned some valuable lessons I would like to share.

 

Lesson #1:  It’s okay to swallow a fly.  I mean, don’t do it on purpose, but sometimes it can’t be avoided so just roll with it.

The Problem With Perfection

It feels good watching the words appear upon the page.  For many years, writing has been one of the most cathartic things for me. Whenever I’ve been stressed, a good page or two of journaling later my troubles would be in perspective and feel significantly more manageable.

Years ago a teacher shared that extroverts like things that are tangible, so writing things down allows us to process more fully. Seeing our problems on paper helps us start overcoming them.  Having our thoughts out in the open makes them more real, lets them truly sink in.  I don’t know if this is true, (or relevant exclusively to extroverts) but at the very least it applies to me.

Yet I’m horrible at writing.  It took me nearly a month to get my blog started – a relatively simple task.  Why am I so afraid to write?

Aside from the pesky fear of failure, I think the problem is that I’m a perfectionist when I know somebody is going to read what I’m writing.  This is bad for blogging.  I mean, I don’t think there is anything wrong with revisions.  As a matter of fact, I tend to do my best writing when I just get my thoughts down on paper (say roughly, 75-90% of my writing is done here) and then I come back after an hour, or the next day, make a few edits and call it complete.

I do have a tendency to make these revisions and get to 95%.  And then I step away and come back for another round of revisions.  96%.  After a while I am well into diminishing returns.  96.5%.  96.8%.  97%.  Crap.  All of a sudden it’s been 3 days and I still haven’t posted my update.

At this point I am just reading over the same text again and again without creating any tangible difference. Maybe I’m removing an unnecessary comma (I do have a tendency to use commas when in doubt) or switching out synonyms, but I need to learn to stop after that first revision.

My plan for this blog is to allow one revision before posting, with occasional exceptions, such as times when drastic changes occur in the first revision.  So yes, there will be minor typos.  I’m not writing a book, I’m writing a blog.  I still believe in holding myself to high standards, but I don’t want to torture myself worrying about little mistakes.  As I’ve learned again and again as a marketer: Content is King! and I have to decide if I want to publish 1 flawless blog or 10 almost perfect ones. So for the sake of content, I am going to provide posts at a quality level that allows me to stay sane and keep my readers happy.  No worries.  No (well…minimal) regrets.

The Failed Blog

Admitting failure is a difficult thing to do.  And I’m going to do that very thing right now.  In front of you all.

While I was unemployed, I decided I was going to try doing a blog-a-day.  I had a little extra time on my hands and needed something positive to focus on.  I figured these would be 365 short, easy posts.  It was actually on Tumblr, a relatively streamlined blogging platform.  I even had a plan!  I made a list of about 10 different types of posts I could make regularly that would be short and sweet, such as guilty pleasures, song recommendations or things I should really put on my resume.

Well, within the first week I was already behind.  I created the blog and it took was 9 days between my first and second post.  From the beginning I was trying to write several posts a day just to catch up to where I was.  I also wanted to get a few extra posts written for the future in anticipation of days I would be traveling or simply too busy to write.  Being so far behind often made the thought of sitting down to write a stressful one.  In the end, the whole thing felt forced and artificial.  After 24 posts (over the span of 46 days) I quit.

This blog is different.  I am going to try to write twice a week.  I think that is manageable for me.  And if I get behind, IT’S OKAY.  I have to remind myself of that.  I want to avoid going more than half a month without posting, but I have to allow myself a chance to let life happen.  The reason my 365 blog failed is that it allowed no room for error, and that is the quickest way to turn something that should be enjoyable into a chore.