Three months of the Ei year have passed by, prompting shock, panic, and reflection.
What have I done with my time? Have I grown? Have I changed? Have I accomplished anything? All questions that ring in my head, like an alarm, or more appropriately, school bells.
A curse of being human is that it’s so hard to measure progress within ourselves. Instead, we are driven to constantly pursue the next, better thing, always adding to that endless to-do list of tasks and goals and ways to be a better human being. Thankfully milestones prompt us to look back and reflect.
On September 4th, I remember waking up with an excitement that I hadn’t had for years—the first day of school! I had butterflies in my stomach as I stood on the bus, en route to meet everyone in person for the first time and kick off the Ei journey. I really didn’t know what to expect, and felt both excited and scared.
So how have I changed, three months later?
I’ve learned a lot about myself – my strengths, but especially my weaknesses, and the fears that hold me back. I’ve gotten back in touch with my values—the most important of which is kindness. Somehow, slowly, magically, the previously disparate parts of my life have realigned themselves to fit with each other, allowing me to live a more authentic life. Things feel less compartmentalized, like my life is in little, sometimes dissonant pieces—instead I feel more whole as a person, living one continuously connected life.
I think this “wholeness” I feel is a result of being able to thoughtfully articulate what I want. Much too often I hear myself saying the words “I don’t know what I want to do.” There’s nothing wrong with not knowing, but the thing is, it’s not true—somewhere inside I do know. There is an inner compass telling me when something feels right, or not. Through the process and mindset inspired by Ei, I’ve been able to work with the elusiveness to find a little more clarity. Doing so has empowered me to say both yes and no to different opportunities, as appropriate.
I feel a greater sense of calm and confidence as I start approaching prospects for my next apprenticeship. I’m hoping to be back on the West Coast, and home in LA, but I’m more dedicated to having a thorough search process than I was for the first term. While my experience thus far has been fruitful, it has also taught me a lot about what I should vet more carefully when securing my next project. With only two terms to go, the time seems more precious—I will continue making the most of every moment.
Things aren’t perfect, but that’s never been the goal. The goal is to grow and learn, and I’d say it’s going well so far.