curiosity across disciplines

Permanent for now

In the timeless and arbitrary war of the inks, there are blue pen people and there are black pen people.

For the longest time, I've been a blue pen person.

Black ink just feels a bit boring to me. Blue evokes more creative vibes.

But recently, I switched to black ink for two reasons.

The first was to bribe a "team black ink" friend into subscribing to the blog. She's whatever the waiting-in-line-all-day-wearing-a-printed-screen-tee-for-the-midnight-showing-of-Twilight equivalent of "black ink fangirl" is for pens, which I surmise would be having a "pen blog." And, since she doesn't have one of those, it’s possible that I’m being a tad dramatic.

Anywho, the second reason was in the spirit of using everyday objects as cues for mental habits.

In this case, black pens help me to be less perfectionistic. And to characterize how big of a deal that is, of my proverbial “99 problems,” perfectionism might be 97.64[1][2] of them.

And aside from being a smudge boring (I will die on this hill), black ink reminds me of "permanence."

Not "untouched and pristine forever" permanence, but a vague, general impression of something resolute; something more "decided."

And being "more decided" is decidedly helpful in the protracted conflict that is perfectionism.

With perfectionism, good enough might as well be an assignment from Satan's micromanaging boss. It's always one more pass, one more edit, or one more scrap-it-and-restart out of reach.

In contrast, permanent for now is a veritable anthem for perfectionists everywhere.

Paradoxically, this reframe tricks me into “good enough" without all the baggage of a phrase solely wielded as a dismissive quip by those who have never struggled with perfectionism a day in their lives.

So, whilst black ink is relegated to a decidedly bland existence, it's not without its merits.

Boring can be quite freeing, actually.

  1. Obviously, one does not merely round to the nearest integer. ↩︎

  2. Also, you might be a perfectionist if...you were expecting this to be a proper footnote and not merely more nonsense. ↩︎