The Ides of March
It is well-known that Julius Caesar had a bit of trouble around the Ides of March – ignoring the warning a seer had given him, he went to the Senate and was stabbed 23 times, most notably by his best friend.
That’s what I call a bad day.
For me, so far today, the Ides of March have been different – I conducted my guest lecture at the Technical University (as it turns out, it is my final lecture of the year, as students will now be doing their “practice”), and I did not leave feeling frustrated. Normally, I go and conduct guest lectures and try to get students to participate, through discussion, questions, and other tactics. None of them worked. Today I changed things up a bit in our discussion about leadership and leadership styles, and most students not only participated, but spoke out loud.
This is a major accomplishment for me. Normally, these students do not speak a great deal, and I have likened my guest lectures to the standard pulling teeth – trying to get them to talk has been a challenge. It is not because they are stupid – they aren’t. They are simply unused to this style of instruction, and not only are they given a different style of instruction, but it is by an American. Nevertheless, today was a good day – they participated, spoke, and listened. No one answered their cell phone during class. People seemed genuinely interested in what we were talking about, and had opinions on the topic.
Perhaps this will be a turning point for me. I have not written a lot lately because I’ve been going through some trying things, and as much as people think I share everything in this blog, I don’t. For a while, the proverbial hits kept coming (while I was at my lowest – isn’t that how it goes).
Going through challenging times is not always bad – it seems that the challenges lead to growth and sometimes opportunities. Challenging times, to me, can be dark, not fun, and are sometimes absolutely miserable (note, that is not the same thing as a challenge, and I have never shied away from one of those). When I am able to see the light again, I find myself analyzing, conducting some introspection, trying to learn more about myself, about others, trying to understand dynamics, and so many other things. Because I have a logical mind, I try to find the logic, and in the past, have tried to “solve the problem”. I realize now that it is not always as easy as a problem that can be solved, but I still try to find something to learn out of things that happen.
Of course, this also does not always work in my favor – the other day I was talking to a friend about feelings versus thinking, and I said I realize that these are emotions I am dealing with, but still, I keep trying to find a way to think my way out of things.” That’s who I am. She got a good laugh out of it, because she knows that people and emotions, dynamics and politics, sometimes leave me at a loss – sometimes I just don’t get people, and no amount of thinking will help because thinking is reason and people are, for the most part, not reasonable beings.
Some people would say not to dwell – the past is past, what is done is done, and it is best to look forward. In general, I agree – I tend to be a forward-thinker (most of the time – hey, I’m not perfect). I have times where I am so good at helping to decode people for other people, but then there are times when people are an absolute mystery to me.
Interestingly enough, I have also recently learned that I have not been alone in some of the things I have been experiencing. I don’t know if it is the extended winter, the recent full moon, or any other number of factors, but I have heard/read that others are going through some similar things. While I would not say in my case that misery loves company, it is still nice to know that you are not the only one who sometimes has a hard time maintaining face, keeping the smile on and seeing everything as a positive.
The Ides of March. Dark times for Caesar, but hopefully a source of light for others.