Yes Woman

I am surprised to find out how long it is taking me to “recover” from being a full-time-teacher/full-time-graduate-student.  That was intense…and in the experience of it, I didn’t realize how much different my life was.

It’s important, I think, to know what gives you energy.  Everyone spends time both alone and with other people.  Some people get their energy from the alone time, others from interacting with others.  I am SUCH an extrovert.  I get energy from being around other people.  The more time I spend alone, the more discontent I feel.  Then the discontent becomes a sort of melancholy.  The melancholy makes me believe I need to be alone, to rest, to hide in a hole until I feel better.  But of course, hiding in my hole just adds to the melancholy.

I loved my graduate program.  LOVED it.  I am SUCH a different and better teacher for what I learned.  But it did take its toll on my personal life.  A lot of time was spent reading, writing, doing projects, organizing research, etc.  All of those things, except the occasional project, take place when one is alone.  Hours upon hours–valuable hours, to be sure–but all spent alone.

I learned to say no.  I didn’t play ultimate frisbee, one of my FAVORITE summertime things, for those two summers.  I said no to social events and opportunities.  And it’s true — when you keep saying no, people stop asking.

So now, I’ve spent several months saying YES!!!  In the movie Yes Man, Jim Carey’s character says yes to everything, believing that even if it seems bad it will lead to something good.  Being a “yes woman” is my default state, although certainly not as ridiculously exaggerated as the movie!  I love to go and do and talk and experience, and I hate missing out.  So now, once again, I always say yes if I can.

The good news is, once you start saying yes to opportunities, the opportunities themselves seem to multiply.  That melancholy, that feeling that I “need” down time, disappears.  I don’t really need down time.  When I’m going and doing and spending time with people, the magical energy source is refilled over and over again.

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