So, as some of you know, a girl who I disliked when I was growing up (we were best friends, she dumped me coldly, and then we had a crappy antagonistic relationship after that), went into the exact same field AND exact same sub-field as I did. Only she went straight from her undergrad program to grad school rather than waiting 10 years, and has been successful ever since. She has a great job and she’s already tenured– while I’m just beginning to write my dissertation.
I try to resist comparison (it is the root of suffering, ね), but whenever she pops up in my professional sphere I find myself sliding into a funk. It doesn’t help that lately I feel like a horrible failure at absolutely everything in my life. So, a message from her arrived in my inbox just now and derailed my morning…. because every time she wanders into my peripheral vision, it’s with a new accomplishment under her belt $#($#$!
There might be a way to constructively have a rival- if I could figure out how to make the experience motivate me to work hard, rather than something that sends me into a spiral of self-doubt and panic. J used to say to me when I’d get upset about her: “Well, at least youuuuuu have a handsome husband.”
So yeah, now I don’t. Good for me.
I think I mentioned that I’m doing a 40-day yoga challenge at Big Yoga in Houston. It’s intense. Yoga 6 days a week, 5 of it at their studios, twice daily meditation (this week it’s 20 minutesx2), reading this book, and…. this week will be a juice fast. (Actually my new juicer should arrive today. So excited.)
Anyway, I can tell that the yoga and meditation IS working on my brain, because as I freaked out about this most recent series of accomplishments by the rival, I found myself returning to my breathing and just… sighing it out. I WILL write a stellar dissertation. I WILL just continue to do my best at what I do (my best has been compromised by depression lately). I WILL find a new handsome husband. (Don’t worry, I don’t intend to re-marry anytime soon.)
Inspired by The Happiness Project, I’ve been working on “My 12 Commandments“. They’re basically the key rules by which I try to live my life. I haven’t gotten very far, but I’m sharing with you anyway:
1. Be L. (i.e. be me).
Directly stolen from Gretchen’s list, because it’s so important. Recognizing what I do and don’t like, recognizing when it’s useful to push myself out of my comfort zone (i.e. I am self-limiting out of fear), and when I’m trying to be a person other than who I am. Trivial recent examples: I am never going to be someone who puts on makeup every day, I am never going to think lingerie is a good use of my money. Part of me WANTS to be a perfectly made up girl with matching sexy bra-undies sets, but I’m just not that person.
2. When driving, drive. When walking, walk.
This is a tough one for me. Put down the cellphone, L.
3. Leave early for appointments
I need this commandment, because I tend to leave late to travel to obligations. And even though my instinct screams that leaving early = waste of time = the worst thing ever, I have a better day if I end up early for something than if I end up late for it.
4. A green drink a day…
Corny way of putting it, but… science backs me up here.
Still working on the list. Am thinking about these things slowly and methodically.