So I already threw the piece away because I was so angry with it, but for the first time in a bit, I came across something I 100% cannot do: work with markers. Like, as a concept, it’s simple, but for whatever reason, I find the medium completely impossible. I spent well over three hours inking this drawing of a woman lounging in a power pose, and then it took all but ten minutes for me to ruin it beyond salvaging. My sister was very kind, saying I could save it, but I just sadly looked at what I had done and told her to put it back into the trash.

But here’s the thing. After only a few minutes of gnashing my teeth because I wasn’t amazing at something I have rarely worked with, I actually came to terms with not having something come out on the other side. It was almost a bit relieving to put something in the waste bin and start over, both with a new piece and also with a newfound determination to at least experiment a bit with markers before throwing out my whole stash (which I would never do, I am a hoarder of art supplies, but the thought is still there). Of course I wish that I would have saved a copy of the line drawing before trying out something different from what I’m used to, and the knowledge that the piece would have been perfect as a watercolor causes quite a bit of regret. But I can’t change any of that now: my drawing is still fucked up beyond repair.

And that’s … okay?

Maybe nursing school has broken me as a perfectionist – I have never been happier for a C in anything – or maybe I’m just getting older and realizing that I can’t beat myself up for not being the best at everything I touch, regardless of experience level. I know now, more than I ever did as a child, that practice is what actually brings about mastery, and that it’s perfectly fine to struggle with something. I just can’t give up and move onto the next thing that provides dopamine to my wee brain.

Not only that, but perfection – or what I view as ultimately complacency – is kind of boring to me, something I forget more often than I’m willing to admit, since I do like my comfort zones, as well. I love to learn and grow and evolve and better myself, fully recognizing that I am a constant work in progress. I only know but a little and can never know everything, or even a small fraction of all that there is to know, but that doesn’t mean I can just stop learning, stop grasping at concepts that may or may not elude me at the time. My pride keeps me from integrating this completely, but hey, I’m only 38 years old. I’ve got the time. Hopefully?

Now I just need to transfer this new mindset to my body dysmorphia and anorexia, and I’ll be all set.

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