Monday Thoughts: Be Like Water, Be Myself

August 18, 2008 at 5:18 pm (Productivity, School)

photo by Hypergurl via Flickr

photo by Hypergurl via Flickr

Mondays are always terrible for me. It’s always an uphill battle to maintain the great habits I developed the week previous– even if I maintain it through Sunday, Mondays are the days where I want to sleep in and do nothing. Haha.

Towards the end of the summer, I was starting to become more socially withdrawn. I try and let myself “go with the flow” as much as I can but traces of social anxiety gets me paranoid becuase it’s usually the first signs of an upcoming period of total lethargy. I hate getting into what I call my “slacker periods.” Last week, however, my schedule was pretty busy with people. I hung out with Matt and Molly at Caribou coffee and then again last night, where they, Shef, and I (Is that grammatically correct?) watched the Roast of Bob Saget. Hilarious stuff, though i felt the last few comedians weren’t too great. It was funny, though, because I’ve been watching episodes of Full House nonstop for the past two weeks. Oh, Mr. Tanner …

On Thursday and Friday, I hung out with Tiara pretty much all day and then went to a get-together of her ex-coworkers’ friends Friday night. It enjoy immersing myself into a group of entirely new faces because though I am shy at first, I eventually enjoy the refreshment of meeting new faces. I wish I got to do it more often.

I think the biggest thing I learned last week was to truly just be myself. Not for other people, but for myself. One of my favorite bloggers, Gretchen Rubin, has a mantra: “Be Gretchen.” At first, I brushed it off; I mean, how many times do we hear the advice, “Be yourself”? It gets stale. It becomes meaningless.

Last week, I found myself getting so frustrated with myself. The week prior, I wrote and read everyday. Last week, I didn’t feel like doing nay of that and I wasn’t sure why, exactly. Instead, I was more focused on working out. I’ve been wanting to write in my journal a lot more to express all my thoughts and improve my writing but I just wasn’t into it last week. I beat myself up.

I then stepped back and asked myself, “Why is this so important to me at the moment? Why is this worth beating myself up about it?”

I find that if you fight against a current, it just burns you out. So what if I’m not in a necessarily creative mood? Or if I’m not in aliterary mood? I want to do things because I enjoy them, not because I feel I should be doing them. I started to enjoy reading Thoreau because I felt an affinity with his perpective on living, not because it made me “seem smarter.”  I started to enjoy exercising because I genuinely liked the burst of energy it gave me, not because I felt the need to be skinnier. I started to enjoy astronomy because it made me love the world more, not because it made me “more intellectual.” I enjoy meeting people when it it gives me energy and love, not when I feel that I need to be outgoing. The list goes on.

“Don’t get set into one form, adapt it and build your own, and let it grow, be like water. Be water, my friend. Empty your mind, be formless, shapeless — like water. Now you put water in a cup, it becomes the cup; You put water into a bottle it becomes the bottle; You put it in a teapot it becomes the teapot. Water can flow or it can crash.

-Bruce Lee

Sometimes, I wonder if I don’t alalow myself to be dynamic enough. Once I start a habit, I beat myself up if I don’t keep with it. Surely, there are habits I want to instill into my life pernamently, but is it productive to be so self-deprecative when I let them slip? I had my fair share of all that back in high school.beating myself up only makes me procrastinate and mope about it.

Today marks my first day of the Fall semester. I have made myself a goal to get to know my professors more instead of blending into the anonymous mass of the class. Last semester, I began slacking off too much. I regret it so much. Especially after watching Randy Pausch’s “Time Management” lecture. If time is money, then I’ve wasted a fortune. I look back and regret Ididn’t work harder in high school. I don’t want that to happen when I graduate college.

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