By Vado Porro • February 15, 2011•Writers in Residence
Anyone who has been in the job market these days will tell you: it sucks. If they don’t think it sucks, then they’re lying to you or themselves. With the short days of winter passing, it’s hard not to get downright depressed. In fact, I do. Sometimes I don’t want to get out of bed. I don’t want to write more cover letters, I don’t want to go volunteer because I know it won’t get me a job; I don’t want to go exercise, or even see people who love me and support me (the emotional cheerleading is just too much sometimes.) But something I have found that I do want to do is yoga. Unlike spin class or boot camp, which I know I should go to and drag myself to, yoga is a treat. Unlike taxing conversations with either strangers or family members, yoga is quiet and nobody knows me.
So I started going. And somewhere between downward facing dog and warrior II, I found gratitude. Gratitude for, above all else, my physical health and the present moment. Gratitude that I live with the man I love, in a city we love, and we are creating a life for ourselves that isn’t about money or status. Gratitude that oranges are in season and inexpensive right now; gratitude that spring is just around the corner. That the days are getting longer and I’m taking better care of myself.
I am a genuinely lucky person, not just because I come from a life of privilege which has, in many ways, led to my being well-educated, debt-free, and happily married. I could tell you that I got into law school through my own hard work, which I did; but I also went to law school because my parents pushed me to it and to succeed. I could be angry about that, in this economy, but instead, I choose to be grateful.
I remind myself, as I shift from pose to pose, that today is short and life is long. That I am young, and fortunate, and I may very well not find a job today, or tomorrow, or next month. It could take me awhile to find something, and there is a good chance that I won't even really like that job. And so my career isn’t, and can’t be, what defines me today, or tomorrow, or next month. I am who I am, regardless of where my paychecks come from, when they come at all. I am a lawyer, regardless of whether I’m in court every day or just making myself useful in as many ways as I can. I am also a wife, a hockey player, a long-distance runner. I’m an amateur photographer and a wanna-be writer. I’m a sister and a daughter to very good people. I’m crafty, thoughtful, and smart. I am grateful for all of these things, and my ability to be these things. And above all, I’m grateful that today gives me the chance to try to be better at these things, and strive, like I strive to sink deeper into a twist or let my heart come forward more, to simply do more, be more.
If you have the opportunity, please find a way to find gratitude in your own life. I have been lucky to find free, donation based, and discounted yoga classes all around my city - as well as several other types of exercise and fitness classes. I know how hard this market is, and I also know that we can get up every day and create a life for ourselves that isn't about mourning the life we thought we would get to live once we were done with law school.