Erin Anastasia – “Homework Habits of a Perfectionist” (Spoken Word Poetry)


Ask my parents.
they’ll tell you, my favorite phrase growing up
was, “I can do it all by myself.” One day, I sat spinning the top of my Flinstones
vitamin bottle wondering, how many spins until this thing
opens my mom, insisting that she help,
No, I told her, I can do it all by myself, And I’ve been doing this all by myself
this, college thing, in case you were wondering
I’m getting out of here with a fantastic GPA
and a pretty impressive resume, I don’t know about you,
but for me, college, is great. Except for, you know,
my tendency to sometimes, a lot of the time, procrastinate
Hey Facebook, hey old yearbook is that picture frame hanging quite right?
oh what’s that? you want me to count the stars?
sure, just give me a long enough essay to write. Maybe one that’s worth twenty percent of
my grade one with potential to ruin my GPA
when I need a 3.7, no I need a 3.8 if I even want to put it on my resume
’cause I want something more than that 9-5, commuter drive
making just enough to eat, maybe this week I’ll survive. So I know, I know, It’s just an essay.
But it’s also just my life and I don’t want to write it wrong
so I guess I’m not getting any sleep tonight. And I get it, I’m a perfectionist
trust me, I’ve googled enough shit on it to write a fucking Bible on it
but nothing on those self-help sites seemed to help
and there was that one week I resorted to punishing myself
painting red tally marks on my bicep for every night of the week I failed myself
but how can I tell anyone this? that it took me three whole hours to write
a goddamned sentence how pathetic.
I’m too old for this self-harm bullshit so, how do I fix this? how do I fix this?
How do I sleep? ‘cause I’ve gotten something like ten
hours of it this week and when I’m driving late at night the snakes
turn into lines I mean the lines turn into snakes
sometimes I hallucinate and everything starts spinning in circles
like the tops of bottles of vitamins and I’ll start
running in circles or walking in circles or
crawling in circles or just lying on the ground
treating my iPod shuffle like a magic eight ball
maybe The Front Bottoms will tell me what to do
when I don’t know what to do. I don’t know what to do.
Last night, my forearms started to look a lot like canvases
and I don’t own too many long sleeved shirts so before I go out and buy more long sleeved
shirts I thought I’d try something else
So this is me, finally, admitting,
that maybe, I can’t, do this,
all by, myself.

100 thoughts on “Erin Anastasia – “Homework Habits of a Perfectionist” (Spoken Word Poetry)

  1. As a high school someone who's been diagnosed as bipolar (a couple times) MAN this hits home. Lovely – just lovely. Thanks for being you.

  2. Is this true because it struck a chord with me. Whether it's from experience or just words, thanks for speaking up for everyone like this. The feeling that comes out from your poetry is overwhelming.

  3. I'm a huge worry person and perfectionist a majority of the time so I know what it can be like to want a good grade and wind up failing, and you feel like a failure. I'm a freshman at college and I'm getting a little stressed about the upcoming essays I have due soon but what gets me through is knowing I can do it because I love writing and sharing my points of views of things.

    I hope to do spoken word one day to share my stories

  4. wow holy shit i don't even have words to explain how much i love your poetry honestly

  5. wow holy shit i don't even have words to explain how much i love your poetry honestly

  6. I've listened to this poem now countless times. I've never related to any piece of writing as much as I do this, I cried the first time I heard it, I was so moved. You're gonna be okay Hun, keep going, and everyone I'm sure is extremely proud of you for having the bravery to ask for help because that takes a huge amount of strength. Keep writing, I'll keep listening
    Thank you for making this.

  7. So thankful I stumbled across your channel it moved me so much that it has me in tears never would I had thought that I would relate but the words struck a chord in me ! I subscribed

  8. As a 16 year old I can't believe how much I can connect with this. My behaviour has even lead to having a semi-permanently skewed sleep schedule. Thank you for putting everything I constantly feel so eloquently into a poem =)

  9. Such a beautiful and relatable poem. Would you mind if I used it for my school's upcoming poetry slam?

  10. This is the most beautiful poem. I connect so deeply to every single thing you said and I've never been able to put it to words my self. Absolutely incredible. I plan to share this if I can't find a better way to explain to someone my anxiety, perfectionist habits, and self harm.

  11. you know how you get a lump in your throat I guess how you can only react when people speak your truth and the most hurt pieces of you. I'm struggling because my family don't get it and friends can't understand it…it's as if I have to work twice as hard to get only half of where I need to be and it hurts. I know I don't know you  but I am so proud of you… for standing up for your truth and standing up for me.

  12. I just… wow.
    This hit so hard home…. I remember one night, a few months ago, we had to write an essay, and I couldn't write that essay, so I just decided that if I couldn't write that essay there was no point in going to school or living at all.
    I skipped a day of class, my mother by my side, ate nothing, drank four L of tea, and wrote that essay with tears in my eyes.
    I got a perfect score.

  13. i am so happy i found your channel.. your poetry is amazing. this hits me hard. absolutely beautiful.

  14. Yes! thank you. there is something very powerful about admitting weakness. also a side note. I loved how you quoted the front bottoms and it somehow made me like your work more, which i thought would be impossible.

  15. Wow. This is pretty much the story of my life. It's scary how much I relate to this. I'm putting off a bio paper right now because of this same reason. I bombed my last math test and I've been on edge all week.

  16. This poem hit me hard when I first heard it. I keep going back to it as I feel like I can finally emotionally relate to something. Whilst I'm not in Uni yet, I'm in my GCSE year which is terrifying :/ (I live in the UK). I used this to explain how I feel to a teacher the other day and I guess it finally clicked with him. Thank-you so much for verbalising this feeling <3 xxx

  17. The worst part of perfectionism is the shame and sense of failure that comes along with being unable to fulfill goals. The worst part is thinking and knowing you could do better, but for sanity's sake, you can't. I have always been a procrastinator, but in the last year, the presence of perfectionism has dwindled in my life. I don't worry about the simple worksheets I used to spend an hour on. I still overthink my hobbies and projects, but thankfully, I've learned to take a step back and assess the importance of each action. When I take a step back, I realize that I shouldn't shame myself if every stroke in a painting isn't pretty, because the bigger picture will be beautiful.

    Thank you for this poem.

  18. this was my whole middle school life/ half of freshman year of high school. wow I'm crying because I relate so damn hard. Thank you. x

  19. I just saw this poem today and I feel like I couldn't have found it a better day. This poem is talking about my life at this moment.

  20. this hits so close to home because just a few nights ago i found myself staring blankly at the screen of my laptop where i had only written a sentence for my essay due the next day and i knew i was crying but i couldn't bring myself to do anything about it and i was listening to the front bottoms and hoping that maybe i could disappear inside the music and maybe if i closed my eyes the essay would go away and i wouldn't be drowning in work i didn't know how to finish and wow this poem really hits home

  21. this was absolutely incredible. the unapologetic rawness is so rare to find and although a trigger warning may have been nice this was so so great x it hit me so very hard

  22. I'm literally am writing an essay right now. I'm four paragraphs and five hours in. I found this at the perfect timing because I had a sever crying panic attack Wednesday because of the other essay that was due but i was having trouble writing it because of this essay and the five notebook pages due and the two note summaries due and the makeup work due and a fordable due and more worksheets due finals due and i should probably get bake to work. got another two hours ahead of me to write four more sentences.

  23. This just expressed everything I have been feeling for months, punishing myself for every time I can't study or don't study 'hard enough' or don't get stuff done.. wow. I never thought someone else could be going through the same stuff as me .

  24. I had to stop the video because wasn't about to turn on the waterworks in a public space with makeup on so I sat there trying to fan my eyes and oh jeez this is really powerful

  25. That was so powerful ohmygod this is exactly how I feel. I can't finish my homework in a reasonable amount of time and then I have a panic attack because of the deadline and I never get enough sleep because I have to check for spelling mistakes at least 10 times before moving on to the next paragraph and ugh. Sometimes the anxiety is so overwhelming I have to release all the tension in very very unhealthy ways; I'm glad someone out there understands. Thank you so much for this poem Erin.

  26. Okay I procrastinate the shit out of everything so I was feeling connected to this and then she mentioned The Front Bottoms (my fav band ever) and I literally died like are you me?

  27. "Running in circles or walking in circles or crawling in circles or lying on the ground" The Front Bottoms reference or just a coincident?

  28. I always find myself coming back to this poem because it's true. I'm a high schooler and it takes me three hours a day for 4 days to write the outline of a five paragraph essay I have to write in 42 minutes.

  29. This is breathtaking. I know this because this is me entirely. It is so hard being a procrastinating perfectionist T-T

  30. every word resonates with me. every little thing that you mention. (even front bottoms hhaha)

    and golly, what a coincidence, it's 5:30 am right now and hey! I have an essay to write
    thank you so much for this <3

  31. This is me. You're not alone. I'm about half way done with my degree, and I still have a 4.0. People ask me for help all the time, and I can't quite explain that I'm sort of making it up as I go along. I'm a good crammer, a good bullshit artist. I know I'm a good student, but if I stopped procrastinating and just did it, I would have all this extra time. But sometimes it does take me two hours to write the perfect sentence. Sometimes, I don't sleep for days. Also, I loved that you mentioned The Front Bottoms. What song were your referring to? Twin Size Mattresses is my favorite. 🙂

  32. my procrastination led me to this video and now i'm crying in my school library

  33. Oh my gosh. Every word, every syllable strikes me to my core as I realize I'm not alone. I live this hell every day.

  34. Wowwwwwwwwww! I can so relate to this poem. I use to get real anxious when I have to study for a test or finish an essay especially since I'm so into spoken word. I want to make this beatifully underated artform we call spoken word something that people won't feel scared to express themselves like the way you did in that poem.

  35. i don't know if you will read this or not but this is my favorite thing to listen to. i listen to it right before school, when i get home, right before bed, when i'm feeling down, etc. it's so relatable and i just love it so much. thank you for doing what you do and thank you for sharing it with the world. you make my days memorable sometimes. your work makes me happy. thank you so much.

  36. im going to excur on the poem o aaptain my captain i want u to do it too if u will👱

  37. This video though! I found it last semester, and I watch it a couple times a week <3
    I feel like it's my brain in words….
    Nobody can understand why/how college can be so hard for someone with a 3.9. But I want to drop out every single day because it is actually killing me. Thank you for putting my thoughts into words <3

  38. It's been almost a full two years since you've written this, and I still cry..

  39. This was way too relatable for comfort. Since I was 7 I had an obsession. I had to be the top of my class and have over 90% in every single test. In S2 in high school I got below 90% (88%) for the first time and I was inconsolable, crying for ages on my friends who got lower than me but took the time to console me anyway. I didn't study for my first round of prelims because I was so scared that if I studied and I didn't get all As I'd look like an idiot so I just didn't study and I got all As but now I'm scared to study for my real exams least I don't get As this time round. I have too much going on and it's tearing me to pieces. I have depression and what feels like every sub-category of anxiety under the sun, my little sister, grandpa and best friends mum who is practically my second mother all have cancer, I struggle with friendships, I might have to move school and the cherry on the top of the cake is that I just don't want to be here anymore. I just don't know what to do right now. Every night I come home and cry and I just can't do this and I am so so so so sorry for this rant but I guess I needed to get it out somewhere.

  40. I'm proud of you both for your GPA and for admitting this to yourself and a community of supporters.

  41. Oh my god I thought I was the only one like this. I'm so scared of graduating for this exact reason.

  42. I can't believe I just found this poem now. It perfectly puts into words how I feel!

  43. A rough draft was due yesterday. The teacher announced to the class a week ago that as long as we turned it in with the minimum page requirement, we'd get full credit. It didn't matter whether or not it was shit quality. We'd get full credit nonetheless. I started the morning it was due. I tortured myself, typing elsewhere during class, trying to get myself to just fill the pages with things that just kinda made sense. "You just need the page count," I kept telling myself. "That is our priority." I watched as time lept 10 minutes for every sentence or so that I typed. It was getting closer to the end. I held onto the damning standards that are my "good enough" 'til I looked at the time. No less than 10 minutes left until class ended. Not even 5 minutes away from a printer (I was elsewhere for better internet connection).

    I arrived too late with a rough draft too short. 4 pages. I had to come up with 4 pages. I had 5 hours in total to get in 4 pages OR anything that is not nothing. A page, which I had more than twice of 30 minutes before the end of class, would've been better. This was one of the rudest awakenings I've received, and for once, I am seriously acknowledging that, yes, this is perfectionism. It isn't poor time management, which older adults never fail to imply is the problem. I never believed them because I fuckin' love planning out the efficient usage of my time when I have to get things done. I just never factored in my extreme hesitancy to simply. just. start. What's funny is how disappointed I feel after every time this happens. I started asking myself why I should feel disappointed when this has happened over and over. This has been a constant of my academic life going as far back as third grade. Why did I expect anything different this time?

    I just needed to get this out of my system. There isn't a couple of people who I can think of that would take perfectionism as the true and legitimate problem that it is.

    Thank you, Erin. Thank you so much for this. I knew that I was never alone in this weird, repetitive cycle of hurt, but it wasn't until I found you reciting my history that I finally felt how true it always was.

  44. I have never related to something so strongly in my life, this brought me to tears in a good way because I can tell you bared your heart and soul and put everything into that poem and I am speechless. I have been there too, perfectionism feels like a silent killer and I truly relate and I tore myself apart for years at school pressurising myself to always do better and not make mistakes and it makes you feel like you're going mad, I was having panic attacks at my locker everyday, trying to hide myself from everyone cause I felt I couldn't complain cause I was considered a good pupil by teachers, but any slight error in my work made me feel worthless and stupid. Thank you for verbalising this all so well and I admire your courage it took to write this. Education systems need to realise that mental health of their students is worth more than the value they place upon school league tables and the perfect grades. Take Care lovely, and thank you again for reminding me I'm not alone xxx

  45. +Erin Anastasia This piece really hit home because it perfectly describes me and how I feel on a daily basis. All of your poems really resound with me and they're really profound.

  46. "Maybe The Front Bottoms will tell me what to do." I thought I was the only one who knew who they were, honestly your poem was great that line just surprised me a lot.

  47. Holy cow, Erin!!! I swear to God…I just…it's just the same. I get it. Same…

  48. Yes I'm commenting twice on this video because it is THAT impactful to me! (Sorry you're gonna have a lot of notifications from me today. I just discovered you and I'm on an Erin binge)!

  49. This hits home…we're all in the same boat laughs and cries bitterly
    Thank you so much for this <3

  50. im shouting behind the screen "YOU CAN!!" when she said the last fucking line :((

  51. "I know it's just an essay, but it's also just my life and I don't wanna write it wrong."

  52. "it took me three whole hours to write a goddamned sentence, how pathetic?"
    This entire piece hit me real hard. This helped me so much more than any self-help video. I had though it was just me…

  53. I am absolutely in love with her poems buh god she’s so gorgeous I’m jelly

  54. Dropped out of high school cuz I wasn't a perfect student in my eyes. Apparently great grades and friends wasn't enough.

  55. I have no words.
    I don't class myself as a perfectionist at all really, because I tend to be lazy with most things. However, procrastination is something I struggle with, because I can hardly ever find motavation to write most of my own college essays. I'm also the sort of person who likes to handle things by themselves. But when I get stressed, my anxiety hits me like a truck and I find myself getting 7-10 hours of a sleep a week. So, this seriously hits a hard spot for me. It was incredible. I don't think I've ever subscribed to a channel faster.

  56. I feel you girl. Not being able to write a draft of my dissertation pushed me to a suicide attempt. I feel you so hard.

  57. This is art. I felt every single word. You have talent keep doing what you’re doing❤️❤️

  58. f**k i need to order your book. Be your own boss, my advice do youtube, screw social media never done it never will.

    Poetry=

    go ahead and see

    while my arms bleed

    draining out to sea.

    When i die
    put my legs in two home depot buckets

    and that's where you bury me-JH19

    Not poetry.

    For real, when i get old and die, if it's legal i want to be dropped of astoria canyon in the pacific ocean and consumed by the sea creatures i kill for myself and killed for society.

    third video i watched subscribing NOW 😉

    want to watch new uploads keep em coming if your healthy enough to do so.

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