Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Feeling Like Myself

Michael Gerber always made fun me when I said I wasn't feeling like myself.  He would ask who exactly I was feeling like.  And today I think I might have an answer to that question.  I'm feeling like my 24 year old self, not my usual self-posessed and increasingly confident (and competent) almost 28 year old self. 

Despite my New Year's Resolution to become a more balanced human, life has gotten in the way.  In less than two months I've looked for a new apartment, moved into said apartment, ran a half marathon, started a new semester of school (and a new relationship) and taken two mid-terms. And perhaps this is balance.  I'm changing.  I'm growing.  I'm learning.  But also slipping into bad habits that I thought I threw away a few years ago.  Self doubt, lack of discipline, etc.  Things that don't make me feel so great. 

And I'm not being mindful.  Again, I feel like I'm not steering my own ship and that's never good.  I went back to school and moved out on my own so that I could better control my life, but I fear I am still a sail in the wind.  Part of the problem is that I haven't been running.  Running helps me to feel in control and it's cathartic.  After a good run, I feel competent and inspired (and tired - but in a good way). 

Another issue is that work hasn't been spectacular the last few weeks.  I feel absolutely overrun when I put my nose to the grind for eight hours, come home to either class, unpacking or entertaining and have little time to take a breath.  The end result is what one would come to expect.  I'm either in a constant state of motion or completely drained and unable to enjoy myself. 

Balance and mindfulness are still in sight though.  Just because it's been two months and I haven't exactly made any large strides toward those goals doesn't mean I'm going to give up.  I have four months until the year's halfway mark and that's my new goal.  Not to chnage my lifestyle dramatically, but to try to remain focused even when I feel overwhelmed by outside activity.  I need to quit letting school be an excuse to not take care of myself. 

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Mid-Term Update

It's week six of my second semester and I feel like I've just started.  Last night marked an end to a round of midterms and I have some projects and another exam coming up in the next month.  No surprise there; the semester is only 14 weeks long.  I just feel like I could use a bit of breathing room. 

For the first time since August, I really don't want to go to class tonight.  And it's not that I have a better offer or some other amazing way to spend my Tuesday night, but I'm frustrated.  My feet hurt from running around in heels all day and I spent my day off Sunday and yesterday (President's Day) studying for an exam I most certainly did not knock out of the ballpark.  I have blogposts to write, emails to return, grocery shopping to do, a gym membership to use... so much for balance.  How do the days just slip out from underneath me sometimes?

I'm also frustrated because I understand what I'm learning in class, but I'm having an immense amount of trouble taxing tests. Like I'm not able to effectively demonstrate my knowledge of the material.  I study the wrong things.  I need to get over this quite quickly because there are only so many more weeks left in this term.  What I am learning is that graduate school (in particular business school) is not just about learning the material in class.  It's more about taking the concepts home, studying every week and learning it on your own or with a group.  It's about knowing more than just the rough outline, but getting at all the little details in a very short amount of time. 

And I watched one of my classmates break down and leave class after a midterm last night because he didn't get it 100% correct. REALLY??? We're in grad school.  It's important to grasp the material, present it well, perform in a given amount of time and move on.  Just like in life.  I always get so annoyed with those students/coworkers who beg the professor for more time, a higher grade, anything really. 

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Pretty Girls Finish First

There are studies that show that attractive people are more successful in business.  Height, jaw line, and body fat are all subtle factors in one's life success, whether we want to admit it or not.  Obviously this is more true in some careers than others, but I'm in business school and work in real estate.  Commercial real estate.  It looks a whole lot like 'Mad Men' around here.  Attractive men pitching business and closing deals.  Beautiful young women showing space, answering phones and running the office.  Bitter much? 

Naw, I'm not bitter.  I'm smart enough to know that stereotypes exist and that it's all a game.  To win, you have to play by the rules.  Thus, I dress up.  I wear black heels and dress pants, sport full make-up and walk a certain way.  I follow sports so I can keep up with the guys should I ever be stuck with them in the elevator or kitchen.  I even bust out the pencil skirt and slingbacks every once in a while to remind everyone that I mean business.  I am more than my title would suggest.  I still have something to prove. 

But in a way, this shouldn't be news.  It makes total sense that attractive people are going to be more successful.  And this is particularly true for females.  In business. We are naturally drawn to people whom it is pleasant to look at.  We percieve that they are smarter and more competent.  It's called "dressing for success" for a reason.  Especially in service industries where one is constantly chasing after new business and trying to close a deal, beauty and charisma is a real factor. 

And here's the thing.  I'm not a supermodel.  I'm not even a sortamodel.  I'm plain and shy.  I'm low maintenance. Quite frankly, there are a *few* pounds I've been fighting with for the better part of a decade (read: my whole life), despite my forray into distance running.

So this is my logic.  If I know that looking, dressing and acting a certain way is just as much of a factor in my future career (if not life) success as my education and professional experience, shouldn't I be spending as much time shopping, grooming, dieting and going to the gym as I do studying? It's slightly outrageous, an adjustment to my whole way of thinking for sure, but perhaps it's not as vain as it sounds.