This is Zoe, my daughter. She is a ballerina. Enjoys reading. Swimming. Long walks on the beach… oops, that’s me.
Zoe is quiet, reserved, and painfully shy, except when she’s on the stage dancing.
What I did not realize about this girl, is that she is fiercely competitive.
The other day, a friend of hers came over for the afternoon. The little girl started browsing through Zoe’s books.
Then she asked, “How many books have you read this summer?”
Zoe replied, “Five or six.”
The girl said, “I’ve read 36.”
Zoe said, “Oh” in that quiet way she has of seeming utterly uninterested.
Later on that day, we go the library. Zoe takes out 13 books. I don’t say anything or even react because I do that too. I go to the library and gravitate towards all the pretty, shiny book covers. By the time I walk out, I have to look around the stack in my arms to avoid tripping over the curb. So I figure Zoe has inherited my habit of bitting off more than she can chew.
Well, turns out that Zoe has inherited more than that.
Two days after we went to the library, Zoe has read 11 of the 13 books.
geeky little friend comes back, Zoe promptly shows her the library books she had checked out. The friend looks through them, and pauses when she sees the length of two of them.
“You’re going to read this?” the girl says.
“I have read it,” Zoe replies.
“Oh, well, I don’t read books that are that long.”
Although Zoe would never admit it, I could tell by her subsequent swagger as she walked out of the house with the little girl, that she now felt superior.
That my friends, was an ass-kicking at a 10 year old, quiet girl, painfully shy level.
And I couldn’t have been prouder!
Because I am ruled by my ego!
And then this brings me to the book I’m still trying to plow through “Eat Pray Love” in which the author describes her meditation process, explaining how difficult it is to attain this specific level of… I don’t even know what I would call it. Some kind of higher self where you see this blue light in the middle of your brain, which is supposed to be God.
She goes on to describe how ego prevents the higher self from coming forth. So I’m thinking that this makes perfect sense, because if I’m dwelling on how pretty I am, how can my higher self possibly present itself… because my higher self is probably looking at me too thinking how pretty I am. Right?
So as I’m reading this, I’m like, “I need to get beyond my ego. I need to discover my higher self. And I want to see that blue light. Anyway, how hard can it be to ditch my ego. I could meditate. I could reach that higher level. I could see that blue light faster than the author did. Just because she wrote a book about her journey does not mean she’s better than me. I can feel my higher self coming forth already!”
Then as I’m thinking this, I’m also thinking, “Dumbass. You are so ruled by your ego. Always trying to outdo everyone. What makes you think you can meditate better than someone who has been doing it for years.”
Then as I’m thinking of ways to be the best meditator in the fucken land, I also get to thinking about how I haven’t weight trained in a few days, and my arms are probably starting to look flabby. And if I start getting all saggy, how difficult will it be to get back into shape?
And then my ego rears its very adorable head with the perfectly straightened hair, and says, “You’re a fucken loser. Put that book away and go do some goddamn pushups.”
And so I did.