Thursday, December 20, 2012

Goal for the holidays: try to relax

Hot yoga has been really awesome. I really love the strengthening aspects of it, and the heat.. sweet sweet heat (plus the asana sequence of course) warm me up internally and externally in this perpetually snowy weather. When a pose is held, the pose actively makes me tense up everything, so that in rest poses, I relax and let the blood circulation rush to areas where I normally permanently hold tension all day long. In a yoga class when I lie on the floor I can really feel that it is one of the few moments when I am relaxing as opposed to most of the other moments during the day. I'm lucky that the studio happens to have an American teacher with amazingly well enunciated crystal-clear instructions that kicks me in the butt and gets me through the two hours trying my best. The other day the tram was delayed 20 minutes due to too much snow and I went to a class with Swedish instructions instead. I didn't understand a thing, but it didn't matter. The teacher had a voice meant for gentle hatha or restorative yoga. I couldn't hold still for most of the challenging balancing poses. I guess manner is everything for a Bikram teacher, Japanese ham sandwich or not (I'm pretty sure that phrase got taken out of the Swedish instructions). In the moments of savasana in class, I felt pretty close to total relaxation. But I still miss my yoga studio back home in Vancouver dearly, as it is a really special, heart-warming space with lots of compassion and care.

One of day of "work" and it'll be holiday time for moi! Was still really uptight the second last day of work because every day I don't feel like I get enough accomplished (most of the time I'm just figuring out how I should do things rather than actually doing things). As I mentioned in the title: I need to try to actively make myself relax over the holidays before I die of cortisol overload!




Friday, December 14, 2012

Still not mindfully settled

Back to Europe, just in time for the Nobel prize buzz. It was very exciting seeing newly minted Nobel laureates who have dedicated their life to science to humbly describe what they did to deserve this prize. In addition, a public discussion forum was held, with something like 50 prominent scientists, many of whom were past Nobel prize winners, to discuss about the future of genomics. It was a very exciting event. Sadly though, in a lecture hall packed with people (mostly young, bright-eyed students), I knew not a single soul in the room; not my boss, not my colleagues. I found out later that my Swedish coworkers no longer get excited about Nobel prizes. Maybe they got used to it since this happens every single year. They are also not all that enthusiastic about their (science) jobs either, which seriously dampened my uplifted spirits for the rest of the week.

I've only been working at my new job for a little over two months, but it feels like I've been at this for a long, long time. I still feel like I am completely under-qualified and shouldn't have been hired for this job. It feels like I've learned a lot over the past 2 months, but I don't learn nearly fast enough to master my tasks. The coldness and darkness gets to me. I do notice the gorgeousness of the city every single day on the way to and from work (parts of the city looks like a fantasy white Christmas land), but I am also hit hard by a severe sense of loneliness that I don't have anyone close who shares my sentiment. It feels like the people here appreciate the job, health, and human rights securities provided by their government, but they are sorely  lacking in feeling a sense of passion about anything in life.

I am also having trouble dealing with culture differences and socially awkward scientist colleagues and  roommate. I am feeling totally out of place and insecure at the moment. Too many people around me also feel insecure. We can't really read each other's intentions because our background cultures are so different. It's probably just a culture misunderstanding, but I feel like some people I have to interact with every day just seem overly polite about the most casual things and totally rude at other times. If it's one person then I can dismiss him/her off, but I feel this way about 3-4 people around me, which makes me start to doubt myself, whether I'm the one who's acting all socially inappropriate and being impolite. I'm just completely off my center and unsure about every thing I know. It's like I made a huge mistake coming here. But I don't think I will feel any better getting the same kind of job anywhere else in the world.

Hopefully I will be able to ground myself over the Christmas vacation. It's pretty sad that I feel the desperate need to take a break only 2 months into my job, but the perk for coming to work in Europe is that I get an obscene amount of vacation days. I should put them to good use and try to save myself from feeling completely lost and confused.

p.s. I signed up for a hot yoga class, because I needed to heat myself up from the persistent coldness that's with me at all times. Boy did it feel good. Will slowly find my way back to Ashtanga when I get the chance and find the right studio.