Wednesday, January 6, 2010

"We understand how dangerous a mask can be. We all become what we pretend to be.”

The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss

I finished this book last week and was struck by this quote. We all become what we pretend to be. If I pretend to be someone I don’t necessarily want to be (i.e. to impress a boss or a friend or to get ahead at my job or to get my way), this idea suggests that enough pretending may turn me into the very person I don’t want to be. On the other hand, if I pretend to be someone I do want to be (i.e. successful even if I’m not actually there yet or vegetarian even if I like meat), presumably I will eventually become just that. The concept also struck me because I know plenty of people who don’t like what they do for a living. They feel like it’s a way to collect a paycheck, but beyond that, they are really unhappy with their profession. Does this mean that they become unhappy? That the profession becomes a part of them no matter how they try to avoid it? What about success or happiness? Does wearing a mask of happiness over time cause you to be happy? Either way, I think it’s a great point on how important it is to be true to yourself and to always, with others or alone, work towards being the person you want to be.

Today is day 6 of 60 days of yoga – 10% down! The classes don’t seem like vigorous exercise, but I have been sleeping like I’m in a coma. Seriously. After 8 or 9 hours of sleep I can hardly get myself out of bed. I really like doing this project. It’s strange having this activity that I have to do every single day, but it also feels good to challenge myself to keep up with it and to challenge my body in such new ways. I have definitely done yoga before – DVDs, at the gym, at a studio. But I’ve never done it regularly. Another benefit I’ve noticed is that I’m thinking more clearly. Maybe I should say I’m able to focus more. The yoga combined with the new year has made me think about what’s important in my life. It’s starting to put a lot in perspective. I like it.

I began with a quote, and I’ll leave you with a quote from one of my favorite renaissance men:

“The greater danger is not that our hopes are too high and we fail to reach them, it’s that our hopes are too low and we do.”


Jessica O.

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