Change is inevitable, NOT likeable

Spent most of the day working on my class material. It took three hours of meticulous hunting, but I finally found two really good documents to have my little kiddies analyze. Phew. Tomorrow is off to the bookstore.

I just still feel so insecure about everything. Will I fail out of the program? Will I make a complete moron out of myself when I'm teaching? And I feel I suck in comparison to everyone else. They have these pedigreed resumes. I have strange gaps in my record where I had to leave because of the anorexia. It makes me feel strangely inadequate. How am I going to handle this?

I sobbed myself to sleep Tuesday night because I was lonely, I was terrified of being so far from home, not knowing anyone, the horrific anxiety that always seems to strike, the fears of relapse, the fears of weight gain, all of these fears. And, shit- roaches. I've never lived in a place where pest control was a major issue. That freaked me out, when I was beginning to look for housing. "Regular roach control." Or "Roach motel in every unit." Gee, that makes me feel better.

At least my cat will have a playmate.

All this change is hard. Really really hard. The familiar is comfortable. The new? Not so much. I don't know what to expect, and then my mind starts whirring at a gazillion miles and hour.

I worry, mostly, about the food aspect. Will the food I likely have time to cook be "healthy" enough? What if I don't have the perfect diet? Exercising? Will I have time? Should I? Should the gym be completely off limits? How will people judge me if I start eating mac and cheese and sitting on the couch? I don't want to fit that image. I want to be perfect. I want to keep a perfectly clean apartment, have my homework and teaching done perfectly, eat according to the food pyramid (which the Junkfood Science blog has pointed out is complete crap), and so on.

I am terrified of being judged.

I don't know. I can't explain it. To be labeled "unhealthy" or "fat" is like committing one of the Seven Deadly Sins. All of the health information and dieting propaganda is kind of like the Pope telling you that you're going to burn in hell if you don't eat leafy greens several times per day. Though if you did eat too much fiber and still end up condemned to hell, I hope they'd give you Beano first lest hell explode due to your flatulence.

I try so hard, and I still come up short. Normal, rational people would say, "Well since I can't be perfect, I shouldn't blame myself when I'm not." Nope. Not me. Not Carrie the Perfectionist (are you sure I spelled that right?). I have to try anyway, shove that square peg in the round hole.


I wish I didn't care so much about everything. I drive myself nuts about it.

Grey's Anatomy is starting in a minute or two, so I must run.

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Tash said...

Carrie, it sounds like you are your own biggest judge. I'm not sure that people pay that much attention to others in such a massive way. They may pass comment on others but I'm doubting that people are so bothered about you eating one big Mac that they would think "Carrie, the couch potato". I'm not being horrible hun, just telling you that people are generally more bothered and worried about themselves.

Resumes. A pedigree resume doesn't neccessarily show anyone how good a teacher you can be. We are constantly trying to get people to think according to Howard Gardners of multiple intelligence. In the UK the education system still judges our young people (and adults) on their A-C grades. Anything less than a C is effectively a fail. A C is passable but doesn't make you a genius. Lots of young people are unable to fit into our system of ed. It's often very prescriptive, maladaptive and restrictive. It doesn't allow for the non-academics to flourish and show what they can do. Many young people leave school with a low opinion of themselves based on their 'failing' grades.

My point is that we have to look for something deeper. My opinion is that I dont care what people have written on their paper. So what if they have been to Cambridge? I dont care. Can they reach out and touch people in a truly personable way? That's what I care about.

The truth is this: you have to enagage your class and inspire them in order for them to learn effectively and to retain the information for a long time. A resume doesn't neccessarily prove that you can/can't do that. So what if you have gaps in yours. You have self educated, you are intelligent emotionally (and intellectually) and you want things to be 'perfect' for your class.

My only warning would be that you dont pass on your anxiety to your classes, when you eventually teach. You have high standards and that is great but you need to realise that sometimes such expectations projected onto others can be damaging.

However, I said before that you are emotionally intelligent and I truly believe that. So I reckon that your class will be very luck when you finally get them. :o)

mary said...

What age group are you hoping to work with Carrie?
It's great that you are taking your fears and putting them outside you. You've got enough time to sign up for my scribbling outside the lines summer course 101.
There's also making mistakes and learning to say "OOPS" my bloops of grammar here and there on blogger world. [I actually prefer to get it right *to* <<<<<*bloop* but I write so much I've had to learn "oops" myself ] OOPS!
Carrie, you'll be you no matter what rule book you try to follow or how you define perfection.This has always been enough. Yes,there are places for perfection! You better sew that parachute properly and build using a level if you want the water in the toilets to sit right. Know which places require order and where you can be free to explore beyond the boundaries.
Practice being you without thinking about who anyone else appears to be from your standpoint. Trust yourself and you'll receive your reassurance from the students you teach as they'll connect with you and you will feel it. You'll give your best by giving honestly. This is your assignment for the rest of your life. So, you have quirks, we ALL do! Join the human race!

carrie said...


I'm actually quite scared that I will be unable to give people a 'B'. We're only allowed to give at most 1/3 A's. Knowing how traumatic an A- was to me...eeeee! I studied in Scotland for a semester, so I am very familiar with the grading system (they used 1-20 when I was there). Even getting the equivalent of an A- was hard! Well, for someone who was out late carousing all night.

The strange, ironic thing is that I don't judge anyone nearly as harshly as myself. I need to apply the reverse golden rule: do unto yourself as you would do unto others.

And people were surprised when I didn't apply to Harvard or any Ivy League schools. In a rare moment of lucidity, I realized they would destroy me as a person, all of that competitiveness and blood sucking.


I don't remember how to view myself from MY OWN perspective rather than through the lenses of others. I don't even know that I ever did.

Something to work on.

Tash said...

Scotland uses a different grading system to England and Wales. We definately do letters for our grading!

I honestly think you'll be a great teacher. Soften any trauma with sme encouraging words. My best teachers were those who were firm, fair and challenged me.

Yes: do unto yourself as you do to others. You deserve it. :0)

mary said...

Carrie, I think you know more of who you are than you may realize. Sure you strive for perfection and have fears that isolate you and feed your insecurities but the truth is we all have a struggle or two....or more...that we've been handed. I like to think I hand picked my parents, my problems, and all that lay before me in this life of mine. I also tell my kids that they selected us as parents, not the other way around! It's what we do with everything we are handed that makes our life.
Carrie, you are a fighter. Even when recovery feels awful, and you thought you were weakening, you hung in there.
You're an analyzer, wanting to know every detail of what makes an ED tick so you know how to fight it, how to outsmart the very stupid and predictable loser it is. You are not a loser.....but your illness certainly takes the cake! I suspect you analyzed long before your ED. It's part of what makes you tick.
Come on Carrie. You know. On some level you know exactly who you are! It has nothing to do with your job or your earnings or that you like to write. Analyzing and fighting are strengths but you are so much more.
Usually, no matter our problems we really don't want to trade places with anyone else as our's seem custom fitted, even in our moments of misery. It's in learning to let them go in favor of a richer life that's not always easy.
I'm giving you an A for working on honoring yourself but a D for comparing yourself to others.[D is passable but not able to go forward until you have a C or higher :-O hehehe Whatcha gonna do about it?
I think an F would have done you good if it didn't flat out kill you.
Ok, now I'm overtired , over worked, and I'm outta here before you flunk me. Wouldn't do much good cause I've already flunked a class and I'm still standing.

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I'm a science writer, a jewelry design artist, a bookworm, a complete geek, and mom to a wonderful kitty. I am also recovering from a decade-plus battle with anorexia nervosa. I believe that complete recovery is possible, and that the first step along that path is full nutrition.

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