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  • Deni Skeens

Telling Yourself To Back The Fuck Off... Of Yourself

See this little guy?


He's terrifying, right? Or 'maybe' he's not so terrifying at all. Maybe he's more interesting than unnerving, and maybe, just maybe... he's got the cutest damn eyes I've ever seen on a spider.

This guy, he pops out every morning while I enjoy my first round of coffee. He hops around, says hello, often crawls all over my book and then goes back to his hiding spot beneath the side-table.

He's pretty consistent, pretty damn reliable, and shit, maybe he's not a he

. Maybe he's a lady spider, but whatever my eight-legged friend is, he's social as fuck, and dude gives me perspective.

I've said it so many times; I'm one of those hard-headed, stubborn assholes. I'm the kind of person that can listen to what you're saying, can read everything there is to be scraped from the pits of the interwebs and then 'still' be smart enough to go at whatever it is that I'm trying in a blind-swat sort of flailing manner... why? Because I learn the hard way, the doing way, the trial and fucking error way.

It's not a trust thing. It's not an I don't believe you thing. It's an I need to understand how it works, I need to feel it out for myself, I need to experience every single aspect, push every pushable piece and determine for myself what it takes to do something— kind of thing. It's an I don't know unless I do it myself kind of thing. How else can I describe it? How else can I make it my own and in doing so, better, in a sense, for myself at least?

Busy as fuck. It's my shiny-new default response to 'how ya doin'?' 'how's it goin'?'

I am busy as fuck.

I've been tearing ass through the rough draft for Polly's origin story, novella in length, while laying down progress for The Angries follow-up... while working on another project, different story-altogether... while kicking ass on my side of the honey-do list... while hitting the gym and rocking the heavy-bar, counting every goddamn microgram of anything that goes near my lips and simultaneously seeing to days at the pool, bike rides, back-to-school prep and all of the other joys of end-of-summer madness— don't forget the mile a day! Don't you dare forget the mile a day! Fuck yeah, baby!

That seems like a lot to have on one's plate, yeah?

Well, stand ye' the fuck back!

I'm also working on my Wizard World costume, which, yeah, alright it's a load of shit to do.

Anyway, I've done it again, as I always tend to do. I've swamped myself with busy and no sign of relief. But this shit, it makes me happy. Content.

I love being lambasted with hours chalked full of shit that I think is important, and damn it all, it is ALL important. Every last bleeding bit of it fucking matters.

Constant motion, it's my mutha-fuckin' jam.

It's got a hell of a heel, though.

Taking so much on and expecting so much of yourself, you tend to lose sight from time to time. Not literal sight, of course. You lose track of the big picture, the full circle and where you fit in the scheme of the universe sight.

And let me tell you, when that happens you tend to nit-pick every single thing that you're doing. You're acutely hyperfocused, you're zeroed in, and you're staring at yourself, dissecting all of the words you've selected, the choices you've made, the narrative you want to represent. And you are by far, the worst fucking critic in the world— to yourself. You're a monster, demonizing and destructive and fuck everything else, you're cruel.

You can't be rationalized with when you get like this, and you're like this because you're too close to everything. You've somehow lost an understanding of proportions and where you fit because everything that you're working on is the most important thing.

I call this Suckville, population, me.

I do this, fall into this mindset, all the fucking time I do this. I've done this for so long and repeatedly that I know the signs long before I pass them; hell, I created the damn signs.

And there I was, lounging in my little Sucky-town, grinding my teeth over all of the shit I've got to do, all of the things that need a review/polish/re-work/rip-stitch and resewn... and there he was: spider.

I decided, for some dumb reason, to take a pic of him.

I got a real good look.

With that real good look, the 'aha!' moment cracked the back of my head with a 2x4.

I've been looking at all my things to do the same way I was currently looking at little dude. Zoomed in, as far up his ass as I could get before shit got blurry.

I need to back off.

I'm being too hard on myself and expecting everything to be perfect the first time through.

I'm unreasonable, and I'm not letting myself absorb, grow.

By backing off of myself, I can see things more thoroughly, where they fit and where they belong. Giving myself a little breathing room from the things to do, to polish and complete, all these tasks, they aren't so intimidating, and they don't trigger the anxiety known to haunt the perfectionist's mind.

In figuring shit out, how things work, how to do things— blah blah and... and— in understanding process, learning new process and methodology to add to our personal lexicons, we discover more than the ability to complete a task. We discover ourselves.

We see ourselves.

We know what we want, don't want and are willing to do to thrive. We know what it takes to get something done and whether or not we're ready to invest the time + energy to see it through.

And above all of this, a critical component that we tend to either overlook or ignore: Perspective.

It's how I started this rant, and if you remember I offered an absolutely adorable pair of spider-peepers as proof.

How the fuck are cute spider eyes proof of perspective?

Well... you can only see them if you're looking really hard, maybe squinting a bit and looking damn fucking close.


It's all about the mutha-fuckin' perspective

That dude, my eight-legged friend, he's/she's really itty bitty, that is until you zoom in and make him/her seem a lot bigger than he/she is.

... As with anything. And if you're staring at yourself and everything you do under a microscope you're liable to blow shit way the fuck up and out of proportion. When you do that, you can't get shit done. You stand in your own way and halt progress.

You've just given your Muse the finger, and told 'em to fuck off... and no one shoulder ever tell their Muse to fuck off..

So, back the fuck up and off of yourself. Let yourself breathe, let yourself have a little perspective.



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