Sunday, July 1, 2012

Do You Ever Feel A Little Like Ringo?

Well, I'm getting happier all the time. Which is very nice. – Ringo Starr 

Over the last month, there's been a lot of excitement around my office. Three women are in their third trimesters of pregnancy, this lovely lady got engaged, a comrade of mine left for her dream job, a coworker is transferring to our other office because her boyfriend got into grad school in that city, and we officially hired three incredible talents. There have been choruses of congratulations and excited ooohing and aaahing as people prepare for their new phases in life.

Meanwhile, I started to feel a little like Ringo. Parading in the background, never getting the ladies, writing songs about octopi. And my immediate reaction to all the excitement is to retreat to my self-pity cave, because none of it is happening to me. This retreat starts a cycle of inactivity, isolation, and escapism that doesn't end until some external force boosts my confidence again. 

This past month, however, I was able to recognize the Ringoisms early on, and I decided to do something about it. I channeled the energy I would have spent on listing out reasons why I'm inadequate into celebrating my coworkers and loved ones. I planned parties, organized gifts, rallied, and raved. Usually, my self pity clouds any attempt at genuine happiness. For the first time in a long while, I felt genuinely happy for another person's accomplishments, and let myself revel in their successes. 

This space of compassion fills my limbs with a glow. It feels so much better than the cold I let reign. 


  1. I say go for the nose piercing! It's not like, if you don't like it, you can't take it out after anyway, and it's nowhere particularly special (a friend of mine pierced her clitoris and then it rejected ouch). I'm sure oodles of people loved Ringo, they were just quiet about it, like there are likely plenty of folks who think you're the bees knees, but they're busy being quiet about it too hah.

  2. self-pity is, imho, one of the most useless emotions. it is useful for about 5 minutes lol. like, to get one thinking that something might be missing in one's life. either something specific 'out there', or something within ourselves. and then do something about it.
    after that, it's just a good excuse to not have to live life. don't ya think?

  3. Man, you are such an eloquent writer, Nicole. it's just an honor to be able to follow your thought process. I've definitely struggled with this myself and often see other folks, especially women struggle with it. I think that the place you've discovered is exactly where we need to be at in our relationship to the successes AS WELL as sorrows of others. Compassion, love, gratitude. Remembering that the feelings one externalizes are just about oneself.
    Thanks for sharing,
    ps. I want to organize a Seattle-Skagit-area meet-up maybe this fall. Whaddya think? I'd love meet you.

  4. I feel a little Ringo frequently, actually. I need John to bring me flowers and tell me that he want me in the band sometimes too.