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perfecting_self

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Feb. 22nd, 2007 | 12:59 am
posted by: orange_peacock in perfecting_self

Howdy! I'm not really sure how to start getting involved in this community, so I'll just dive in and see what happens. I'm pretty dissatisfied with my current life, just now rebounding from some pretty serious setbacks, and I am looking to improve it in all areas. My health, both physical and mental, is in need of a tune-up, possibly even a gutting and rebuilding. I'm in college, and I'd like to ditch the apathetic drifter mode for something more satisfying. Basically, just make myself "be all I can be," to steal a phrase from the Army.

I suppose the main areas I want to focus on are:
  • Organization - I can barely find my desktop! Better organization will help me accomplish the things I want to do.
  • Improved physical health - I would like to work towards eating better. I am anemic and have other health issues which I can help by eating better. I would also like to find a form of exercise I ENJOY and can stick with. I'm not much for exercise for fitness's sake - thinness has never been a sufficient justification for doing physical things I find tedious or painful. I'm considering joining a local hiking club, since I love being outdoors and exploring. I also know that I need to lose weight, but I'd rather work on eating to feel better and exercising to have fun before I try either of those with the purpose of losing weight.
  • Improved mental health - I have a biologically based mental illness, and while it has certainly demolished parts of my life, I would prefer to focus on what I can do better in the future. I finally have what I feel is a competent psychopharmacologist. She has advised me not to get therapy, so I am trying to focus on what coping skills I can learn and practice on my own, and on improving my self-esteem and mental resilience. Plus, I just need to learn to loosen up and be happy! I've always been more somber than necessary.
  • Improved social health - I am very shy, and have also lost nearly all of my close relationships from my last serious episode with my illness. I would like to learn how to be amongst my fellow humans again, and repair the most important of my lost relationships. I would also like to find a peer group in which I feel comfortable. Not really sure how to go about this one.
  • Improved academic performance - I know from past performance that I am relatively intelligent, and I would like to cultivate my mind and stretch it as far as possible. My goal for this semester is a 4.0, something I have yet to attain in college. I have a longer-term goal of graduating with honors. I think I can do it. I plan to make more of an effort to attend class, even when my illness is making it difficult, do all of my assigned readings, turn everything in on time without fail, and attempt to become registered with my school's disability services office in case they have any way to help me be the best I can be.
  • Improved cultural literacy - The most interesting, urbane, and perfect people I can think of have always had a great deal of knowledge about everything - the arts, politics, history, and so forth. To that end, I would like to try to attend more of the free arts performances held in my school's concert hall, or even go to the Kennedy Center's free performances. I would also like to somehow brush up on the years of Western Civ and American history which never sank into my skull properly. I want to cultivate a taste in fine art, ballet, opera, jazz, and classical music. I want to be fluent in the "great books" and be able to hold my own when discussing basic philosophical theories. It is terribly gauche, but I foresee a progression of "Idiot's Guide"-esque books in my future.
  • Become more graceful and better acquainted with etiquette - I grew up in an environment where proper etiquette was only taught to the very wealthy, and as I plan to make something of myself in the world, I want to be able to handle myself with style whether I am having cocktails Friday night with my (imaginary, future) coworkers or dining with the Queen of England.
  • Gain a better handle on what I want to do in life and what I need to do to get there - This may become a series of categories, actually. I usually think I know what I want to do with my life, but get very hopeless and make few plans to get there. I know that I need a job, and to get one, I'll need to go to graduate school and get internships, but have made few motions in that direction. I recently got a potential reporting job with the school newspaper, which is a start. I now need to aggressively market myself for summer and fall internships at organizations with serious clout, and focus on preparing for the GRE, so that I can take it and ace it as soon as possible. I also need to focus on finding scholarships and researching graduate programs, because I need to secure a position in the best school it is financially possible for me to attend. Add to that my intentions to marry my significant other around the time of his commission next spring/summer, and you've got a very busy girl!
  • Figure out who the heck I am - You might say I've got a bit of an identity crisis going on, but I know very little about my current self. I want to figure out what I believe in, and what I feel strongly enough about to fight for. I want to know what my interests are and what my hobbies are. I want to know realistically what my strengths and weaknesses are. I want to be aware of my own moral code and when I am or am not behaving in alignment with that code.
  • Perfect my appearance - I have saved this for absolute last, because while all the others are unranked, I feel that this particular concern should not be the most important. Yes, I need to lose weight, get a better haircut, improve my skin, improve my fashion sense and wear makeup more often, but I would rather work on the things that are unchanging before delving into an area so driven by the whims of the moment. Besides, if I am happy, confident, well-versed in the opera, capable of dining with the Queen, headed into a high-power career, in control, and healthy, who will care if I'm not wearing lipstick? Still, it's part of perfection, and perfecting oneself is what this game's all about.
I apologize for the length of all that, but it is nice to sort of begin to brainstorm about my goals. Hopefully you won't mind when I start breaking them down into even GREATER detail, one-by-one, in later posts!

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from: lucyknows
date: Jul. 9th, 2007 10:25 pm (UTC)
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Wow. That's quite a list of things to work on. It's been awhile since you posted here. Any current projects you're working on or you'd like to pick up again? This looks like it could be a good place to get ideas or bounce things off of other people.

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