Maybe it is just because I had such a horrible commute, where 5 miles can take me 1/2 hour minimum, but I have been having lots of personal realizations while driving. Last week I realized that I am having a problem turning perceived threats into real threats because I do not trust my judgement.
Later in the week I realized the reason I do not trust myself:
I do not trust myself because I was conditioned to not feel my feelings. I was always told a young lady does not get angry or sad or too happy or… And I was also told girls that go to college read these types of books and do these types of things. So when I got mad I would cry instead. If I got too happy and too much energy I would work.
Once you are well conditioned to ignore your emotions this it leaves an underlying sense of anxiety at every change of circumstance or decision that would normally involve you using your emotions. Eventually you even re-pattern from this, you stop trying to access your emotions for daily tasks, you just do as your told or what a responsible person would. Different people react to this differently. Some people abuse drugs and alcohol. It also leads to bad food choices because we try to choose to what makes us happiest out of the choices that we can control and do not involve too many emotions. I was a classic over achiever which leads too…
I use measurements to define myself. My weight, my height, my degree, grades, internships, research grants, how many medals you have, how many scholarships you have, how many solos you have, being first chair, how many vinyasas you can do, how advanced your practice is, how many miles you can run, how many times you work out, how often you work out…. Recognizing this is helpful, it is harder to rely on it when you realize it does not really matter and those things are not really important to you. After you start realizing this you can start getting into what your real emotions are and stop with the measurements. You can find out what really makes you happy and who you really are.
You might have done so many good things, Realized your dream for travel, sold everything to realize your passion, lived week to week in different arrangements to save money and avoid a lease, and a myriad of other incredibly gutsy, emotion and passion driven actions…but there is always more. Also, these old habits really do die hard. You restart doing it before you even realize it.
Right now everyone around me is moving on in the “right” direction. People are getting married, having kids, getting advanced degrees, advancing in yoga and even getting certified in yoga training, losing weight, etc. All these things I have either struggled with, do not want, or are not the right time to be in my life at this moment. I need to let this go before my travels turn into how many cities I saw, how many continents I have been to, how little/much I spent, how much more jet lagged I am, how many frequent flier miles I have, how good my pictures are, how often I blog…. you get the picture.
“Do not give up what you want the most for what you want in the moment.” is a quote off of a magnet from my friend S’s ‘fridge. I cannot give into buying a ticket and just leaving when it is not what I want most. What I want most is to be able to travel without having to worry about a job (if one does not show itself up right away) for at least a year.
I also cannot be around the type of people I was before who think people who can live their dream are “lucky”. I also cannot give up my health for crash diets or over-use or injury. I need my feet and stomach for travel. I also cannot be around people who focus too much on measurable things instead of qualitative things that are not necessarily measurable with numbers. This is so hard for me as an engineer. I like numbers, people I know like numbers. And people in yoga seem super obsessed with weight and place too many chips on their physical appearances. Maybe since so many people in my family have died, become disabled, or got cancer this year, I can see how fleeting that really is.