Monday, July 15, 2013

Good at being small

In yoga, my body is naturally flexible at being small. I can put my feet behind my head, forward bend until my forehead touches my shins, I can twist into a little ball of arms and legs, and can flatten my chest to the floor sitting crossed legged. However, it's a struggle to be big and expressive. Poses where my legs need to stretch away from my body just aren't where my body wants to go naturally. And that's cool, because in yoga I get to work on it every day.

But today, I couldn't help but notice, I make myself small off the mat as well.

When my family is together, you'll find me sitting in the middle of them all listening. I'm quiet as they share stories about their lives, facts and statistics about the latest Patagonia coat (my brothers are really into outdoorsy stuff), and I smile as they tell jokes. It's part of our family dynamic and I've always enjoyed my quiet role. But the truth is sometimes it's because when I try to share no one hears me. I'll get talked over or interrupted. I've never been assertive enough to make my big ole family stop and listen, and that's always been ok because when I'm with them, I love hearing them talk. Other times, I want to shake everyone and shout I'm here! Listen to me!

I've had a pretty wretched month self-esteem wise. Getting out of bed now only happens after I give myself a stern talking to, and I can't figure what I'm supposed to be doing. I read on someone's blog "life isn't supposed to be easy" and I commented how I needed to hear that (was that your blog - let me know I'll link!). But I've had a lot of time to reflect and I agree life should be hard. But the way life is supposed to be hard is survival: in finding a shelter for yourself every day, finding food to sustain and nourish you, hard in that physical labour that one needs to achieve those goals. Life isn't supposed to be hard in the rejection that is unemployment, evolution could never have predicted that.

Unemployment is a devastating lesson in rejection. A lot of it comes from the employers who don't see me as their perfect candidates (the nerve), but a lot of it comes from me too. Every rejection reinforces my own self-doubt and my own anxiety over my performance as a human being. It's not pretty.

This is where in the past I'd usually make some statement of how things are going to change, how I'm going to be the change. And I will be. I just don't know what that looks like. I've been looking into yoga teaching training course, trying to decide if spending the thousands of dollars will be worth it for me - is this something I can see myself enjoying? Is teaching yoga a wise career move? Am I ready to exchange this dream to pursue something else? I don't have any answers. If there was a career in being little though, I'd have a six figure salary for sure (I originally wrote three figure salary which goes to show you how little I am to myself).

30 comments:

  1. I wish I could relate to being small. I'm larger than life, physically as well as in terms of my character but it doesn't stop me relating to your self esteem issues. I am supposed to be looking for a job too and I have decided to wait til September to start properly and the excuse is that I want to spend some much-needed time with my family but really I know that it's because I'm dreading the whole rejection thing and I'm frankly quite frightened about pursuing my dream. But you are a great person - I can tell that from reading your blog - and there is a job out there for you. I guess the only way to handle the thanks but no thanks letters is to shout "your loss, YOUR LOSS" !! I will be doing that, but I can tell already it will be easier said than done. If your dream is yoga then pursue it. All the reasons for not doing it are your defence in case it doesn't work out but it WILL work out if it's what you really want. Stay strong, keep your chin up...or use it to touch your toes !

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  2. I can certainly relate to being small in the midst of a group. I am the shy, quiet and invisible one. Even though i've lived here for years, some people still think i've only just moved into this supposedly small town. As far as jobs and rejections go, i certainly know where you're coming from as i've been there. I can't say i have much of an advise on how to handle the rejection. But if you want to invest in some sort of course to do, i'll probably start by saying do something that you'll be happy with if money was not an issue (and if you never make a profit from it). I say that simply because it is through passion that you'll push through which will lead you to an income in the future. You can also look into residual income options instead of mainstream employment; it's probably the option i seem to drum about more than anything else simply because it is a different sort of rejection i guess :) Shoot me an email if you want to know more :)

    xo Stephanie

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  3. I wish I had words of wisdom for the rejection bit -- I went through that very thing last year+. And I'm fairly certain I was not a role model. :)

    As for moving forward, teaching yoga seems like a great option. But I don't see it as an exchange with your current dream. A detour, perhaps. Maybe not even that. Dreams are funny things, they can come true in the most unlikely of ways . . .

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  4. I am pretty shy when I'm around a big group of people so I can totally understand. As far as the job situation, I think if becoming a yoga instructor is something you're passionate about and would enjoy doing, it is definitely worth pursuing!

    -Sharon
    The Tiny Heart

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  5. I wish there was something I could say that would make a difference..
    Right now I think you should follow your heart.. teaching yoga may just be the thing you need to get out of your funk and while it may be something to distract you till you find what you really want to do or it may be just the thing you were always meant to do. The world works in mysterious ways.

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  6. holy cow, you are flexible.

    Here's what I have to say: If teaching yoga would make you happy, go for it. If you could wake up every morning and think to yourself, "Hey, I'm excited that I get to go to work today! I love teaching yoga. I love teaching other people how to appreciate their amazing bodies. I love sharing the peace, calm, and serenity that yoga brings to my life," then do it! The thing that matters the most in life is being happy with who we are and what we do. No point in being miserable at work when we spend so much time there. If teaching yoga would be a rewarding experience for you, then by all means, spend the money!

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  7. As a woman, we're told to be small, literally in terms of our clothing size, but also in other ways--to be soft, to be passive, to not speak up too much. Strangely I am often aware of this when I fly next to a man who has no problem spreading his legs as much as he'd like (even into my space) and hogging the armrest. It's pretty much assumed that I will cross my legs and fold my hands together in my lap. I'm 5'9" and have NEVER been small, and yet I find myself enjoying the times when I feel "dainty," like when my husband picks me up and carries me around. I want to be strong but I also want to be viewed as feminine and that often means being smaller than I really am, physically and figuratively.

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  8. Great post - and I often feel "small" myself, as well (although I for sure cannot pull off those yoga moves!). As for considering becoming a yoga instructor - I think that if it truly makes you happy, you should go for it. I know that sounds extraordinarily cliche, but I think doing something like that for yourself will also help rejuvenate you and push you to enjoy life. Even if it's not what you end up doing in the long run, it can still be a great thing to have on the side, so I think it for sure would be "worth it."

    I've also had to deal with rejection plenty of times, especially in the past two years. Something that's helped me out very much is thinking about a rejection in terms of "well, what makes me so entitled to getting the position, anyway?" It's less negative than it seems - it's a strategy that pushes me to work harder and work differently than how I was previously, and it's really helped me!

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  9. You can make your own picket fence and if it's a fence with a yoga mat and studio then that's how your awesome life is supposed to be. Follow your instincts :) you can do it.

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  10. sometimes you have to go off the beaten path to figure out what's best for you. IMO, everything happens for a reason so who knows...maybe yoga instruction is your calling!

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  11. I've been thinking about how I am when I interview and I realize that I tend to be very modest. I don't talk myself up at all and it an interview that's what you're supposed to do. It just always seems cocky to me, ya know?

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  12. There is something to be said out of someone who practices being flexible and it speaks volumes for what type of person they are and how they live their life. Don't forget to breathe. And I know it's so much easier to just type out but do not stress too much about the job. You will find one - very few people can get through life without ever having one. Believe in yourself and don't let anyone smother that spark.

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  13. Sigh. I'm literally very very small in stature, and great at making myself even smaller. I'm such an introvert and I love quiet (and staying quiet). Funny, I married my complete opposite!

    I don't plan on writing about this on my blog for now, but I've got a teaching job now...part-time for the summer, then probably full-time come September. I'm already sick with stress because I know how much I hate teaching. But I've been looking for 8 months now for anything different, and there just isn't anything. So I'm sucking it up and trying to make this teaching thing work -- but I already know the horrible cycle of dragging myself to a job I don't want to be doing is starting again :(

    P.S. I think if you HAVE the money to take a yoga training course, you should do it. Life is too short to be miserable and full of self-doubt (I know, I know, pot calling the kettle black...)

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  14. Honestly, I'd give Yoga a chance. You do it so well..it might open doors in so many new ways. Maybe you should be writing for a yoga magazine too. Keep those options open.

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  15. How you are with your family is how I am with a lot of my friends. I get talked over and interrupted a lot, which makes me get wayyy more introverted than I ever intended on being..

    - Val @ KnotTiedDown.com

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  16. Side topic- studies have shown that both men and women are more likely to interrupt women than they are to interrupt men. It's not something we do consciously, but it is a thing. Sometimes as a female, you need an extra bit of confidence just to get through that initial interruption that the men don't necessarily have to deal with :)

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  17. holy crap! Behind your head? I'm a little nauseous just thinking about it :)

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  18. I hope you find your way soon.

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  19. I was unemployed for 4 months before and it was the worst year of my life. I really hope you find a job soon. I did, so you will too. Don't give up. Be brave little one. Make a wish for each sad little tear. (Sorry for singing!)

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  20. This is so beautifully written. You sound a lot like me! The comparison between yoga poses and personality- brilliant. I never thought about it but I happen to be very much the same way.
    Unemployment is hard, so hard. I was laid off before I became a stay at home mom. It was a long time before I accepted the new title, and I know many people don't have the luxury of adapting to a brand new lifestyle in the absence of work. The problem for me has been letting go of my perfectionist/workaholic tendencies. I still hold on to it. Sometimes the break is there specifically to teach you how to adapt and how to let go. I wish you the best!

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  21. Oh how I can relate to you right now, aside from the fact that I am a loud mouth normally.. I too have made myself small as of late, small. I'm going to wish for you all the things that will bless your life, and make it richer and fuller all in due time. Tomorrow would be cool, but I can't promise you or myself that:)

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  22. Oh gosh this post was so well written and straight from the heart and I think that shows how "big" you can really be, having the guts to put that real emotion out there. I wish I had the right words to say to you, to make it easier, or help you make a decision but I think the best thing I can say is I hear you.

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  23. It's hard to know when to let go of one dream in order to chase a new one. I hope that you find your ways!

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  24. Life really can be hard at times. Especially when you are trying to find your path. I believe that things will fall into place soon. The yoga training/ teaching may be your path. I think you should go for it. You never know what will come of it!

    XO lourdes

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  25. Ugggh!! I'm so sorry that you are still not finding work. You are not alone. There are so many people struggling with the same thing right now. It's hard not to feel terrible when being employed tends to define us. I really hope something comes your way soon. Yoga instructor sounds awesome if it's something you love. But like you say you have to weigh out the pros and cons.

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  26. I'm good at being small to, even in yoga. My brain, however, thinks I'm a giant ... sometimes. I had to learn how to talk louder, and stretch further away from my inner core and reach for the world around me. It isn't easy. I also understand what it is to feel like a three figure salary person in the job world. Sometimes I'm only two figures ... so that does make for a discouraging self-worth protrait.

    GO. Do. The. Yoga. Do one thing every day that scares you (E. Roosevelt)

    I went to culinary school because it scared the hoo-ha out of me. And, though I'm not exactly working my dream job, just accomplishing that schooling made me bigger inside.

    Not "is IT worth it". More; "Am I worth it" ... and the answer is YES. Sometimes when you have nothing left to lose you realize just how much you have to gain.
    So, NOW, before you give it a second thought, or re-think it - GO SIGN UP.
    (And you aren't alone. It's not just you. Lots of people all over are struggling to find even a crappy job. Now is the perfect time to chase your dream - not when you're too busy working to remember you had one.

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  27. "But the truth is sometimes it's because when I try to share no one hears me."

    Awwww.

    Hugs!

    I'm sorry to hear that. I'm sorry to hear you're hurting because of unemployment and rejection; that sucks donkey's balls and THEN some. I can only imagine. You deserve to get an awesome job because you ARE awesome, no duh.

    The great job will come, as you know...as frustrating and shitty as your situation is, it will change. Be kind to yourself and try not to stress.

    And if your family doesn't hear you, MAKE THEM LISTEN. In a nice way, of course...but make sure they hear you and listen to you.

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  28. Beautifully written! I wish you didn't feel small in situations where you don't want to, of course, and though I'm not sure what to actually say this time (for some odd reason -- I have no problem talking!), I had to comment after reading this post several times because you've expressed yourself so beautifully (there I go using the same word again, but it's SO true). ♥

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  29. You may feel small but that's not what I see here. I see a strong but quiet force.

    I know the unemployment market is evil and rejection is a bitter pill, but don't let that slice away your worth or confidence.

    If yoga is your passion and you think you'd like it, I'd say go for it!

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  30. Hi Deidre! Just read this post and I think so many of us can relate with these BIG feelings about being small. I am sorry to hear this has been a trying time for you. Life really isn't easy, and getting to the good stuff does mean working at it every day, in your best way. The important thing is you move ahead, baby steps, a bit off plan, what have you, just move. It's like with yoga, the more you move your body the more your muscles and flexibility will support you. Make some plans and execute them, a bit at a time. Pursuing things will open your mind to what reflects your values most closely. Whether they work out or not, it will give you a better sense of where you want to go. Go big, girl! You can do this!

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