How can I break this thought pattern?
March 31, 2012 9:40 PM Subscribe
I haven't been able to use certain items or do certain things until I feel my life has "started." How can I break this thought pattern?
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (54 answers total) 78 users marked this as a favorite
Almost ten years ago, I received some very cute stickers that are to be used for marking certain events, such as date night, test, etc on a calendar. I was just in middle school, and that's the first memory I have of waiting to use something until some vague notion of life has been achieved.
When I was in high school, I received as a gift an expensive polo shirt. I still have never worn it. I have clothes, makeup, a watch, shoes, etc, etc, etc, that I can't bring myself to use because of several reasons.
First, I have this idea that I'll use those items when I'm at a certain place in my life. Sometimes, I reach that place. For instance, I had a pair of sandals that I didn't want to use until I moved. I was very unhappy where I was living, and I just wanted to "save" them for when I lived somewhere nicer. Now I live someplace lovely, and I use the sandals. But there's still so much I'm not using.
Second, I put off using them because I like having nice things. I don't have a ton of money, and when I receive something nice or buy something especially nice, I don't want to ruin it by using it. I love that "new thing" feeling.
Third, I continue to buy things in hopes of using them when I become the person I want to be. I have quite a bit of makeup that I don't use, because I don't feel ready yet. I have pictures on my fridge of women who inspire me, of styles I admire, of an aesthetic that I want to live.
And yet, every day, I wear the same old clothes, my hair, while clean and brushed, still looks unkempt, and I am clearly anything but made up. I don't want to dress up everyday and use up all of my nice things at once, but what I would like to do is improve my baseline. I want my everyday appearance to be slightly nicer, I want to maybe once a week wear one of my lovely dresses or use some of my nice jewelry. I want to use those stickers on my calendar.
I'm pretty sure I know why I am this way. I grew up being told I was a perfectionist. I realize I have some obsessive tendencies. I guess that I am asking for practical tips on how to coax myself into finally living my life and to stop waiting for whatever it is I'm waiting for. Maybe I need permission from strangers on the internet to wear my nice dress tomorrow? How ridiculous and self-indulgent. But I'd still like to get out of this pattern of thinking that I've held for a long time.
So, how can I do that?