Sunday, April 15, 2012

Learning Acceptance

This past weekend, I had the honor of attending an Andover/Abbot event at the Cosmos Club in DC. It was very interesting to hear the varying perspectives of women that graduated from the '50s through the present. One thing everyone agreed on was that the educational opportunities, coupled with the friendships formed during those formative years in boarding school, have served them well in life. The importance of pursuing excellence was also a common theme, which of course, has left me wondering how often this blessing may also be a curse...

When you grow up surrounded by over-achievers, all striving to be the best, that becomes all you know, and yet most people are NOT wired that way. When all you want is perfection, and no one teaches you that the majority are just hoping to get by making a decent living at work so they can enjoy their time off the clock, you wind up having a rude awakening when you leave the Ivy League towers and enter the real world. Life is full of imperfections, and those not taught to appreciate that early on, are going to have a hard time adjusting-- both professionally and personally.

The best life lessons are sometimes learned from our mistakes, and not our successes. In the last few years, when all has not turned out according to my plans, what I have managed to glean is that life is full of surprises, and sometimes we may not be able to appreciate right away why we are better off having some plans go awry. Both in my personal and professional life, it has become clear that accepting others the way they are without trying to change them and appreciating what they bring into my world has completely altered the way I view life-- all is not black and white, right or wrong, a success or failure. Enjoying the fluidity of the relationships in my life, things ebb and flow more gracefully. I accept that I was wrong in applying a rigid view of things, and I appreciate the beauty of the new prism by which I have been taught to enjoy those around me.

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