24/8/16today my boyfriend told me i’m too good at making excuses. he didn’t mean it as an insult, but i took it as one. and now, hours later, as i dip in & out of the clouds, in a blue pleather seat, alone and thousands of feet above the ground, i realise he’s right.
in my head, they’re not excuses. they’re rationales. they’re logical explanations as to why i can’t do something. but, as i stand myself mercilessly in the interrogation spotlight, it is obvious to me that i have been making excuses all my life. excuses that will buy me some time, that mean i’ll never do anything until i’m forced to - and never a second before i’m ready.
i am full to the brim with reasons ‘not to’. i can logic my way out of any brave step in the right direction. i am my own worst enemy. and i always have been.
and the closer i creep towards making GRLCLB into something that really actually matters, the more i realise its potential, the more interest it receives, the busier i get - the more excuses i inadvertently make. because i’m terrified to fail. and now, more than ever, it feels like the failure would not just be mine to bear - but rather would be resonated through all who have believed in me.
tomorrow i am exhibiting at a feminist fashion event in london. i am hugely excited - and honoured to have been asked - but, infuriatingly, the more i care about something, the more i procrastinate. the more something matters to me, the more i am frozen by the fear of doing it wrong, ruining it, failing. i find reasons why i have to put off getting the necessary things done - which obviously just fuels a vicious cycle of stress and fear. fear of failing = procrastination. procrastination = stress of everything being last-minute. stress of everything being last-minute = convinced you’re not cut out for this. being convinced you’re not cut out for this = renewed fear of failing.
over and over and over.
i even put off finishing this piece because i lost faith in it in the time it took for my battery to die on the plane and then to get home to a newly-charged macbook.
my fear of failing has influenced more of my life so far than i’d like to admit. i don’t want to look stupid, i don’t want to let people down, perhaps most of all i don’t want anyone’s pity.
i kept GRLCLB a secret until it was no longer possible to. i downplay everything i do. i’m a pessimist. i try not to get excited about potential successes or opportunities. but i’m learning that there’s magic in not always striving to be one step ahead - that i can learn more by saying ‘i don’t know’ and having something explained to me than by surreptitiously googling it so as not to appear clueless. i’m learning about clothes manufacture, about fashion, about the industry, about social awareness, about business - and i’m doing so by living it. by surrounding myself with people who know better than me. by putting myself out there. by allowing myself to be vulnerable in order to allow myself to try.
i’m used to late nights, i’m used to last-minute panic, and i’m sure it’s an experience i’ll never forget the feeling of. anyone else who’s like this will feel this resonate in their soul: i’m a procrastinator, but i’m also a perfectionist. i put unnecessary pressure on myself to create faultless things in an impossible timescale, and i never ever learn. i already know that i won’t be sleeping tonight. i have resigned myself to a lot of all-nighters over the years. tonight i have to make bunting, finish sewing my select collection, bake vegan brownies, make 40 friendship bracelets, handwrite and illustrate a series of cards to accompany the displayed shirts, wrap the 20 bundles i’ve compiled for the event’s VIP guests, iron all the shirts, bag everything up, and wash my hair for the first time in almost a week.
NO REST FOR THE BLESSED, LONG LIFE FOR THE WICKED. HWFG.