20 February 2012

Training Tool, or After the Honeymoon

I'm now wondering whether women who take their husband's name when they marry don't feel this, too.  After the initial rush, after the newness has faded a bit, once it's clear that this is it, do they get the "wow, there's no getting around this now" feeling, too?

I went to the pharmacy the other day.  "Prescription for Geiman," I said.  When the pharmacist looked it up, she asked, "For Shodhin?"

My new use-this-or-we-won't-take-$0.20-off grocery store card doesn't prompt the register to print my name on the receipt yet.  "What's your name?" the clerk asked.  "Shodhin," I replied.

I received an email from an undergraduate research conference telling me that a student who had submitted a paper had listed me as the faculty sponsor: "Shodhin Geiman, you have been identified as the Faculty Sponsor for a submission to the __________ Conference listed below."

The name is now all over the medical records, the retail logs, my work as an academic. I would be lying if I said I didn't feel moments of "OMG what have I done?"  I would also be lying if I said I didn't feel moments of "OK, enough with the 'Shodhin' already."  Still, as much as I am now perceiving the utter thoroughness of this change, I'm not complaining at all.

It's teaching me that, even though I thought I was in this hook, line and sinker, there really have been times when I was happy enough to live the old life, or – perhaps better – to not live fully the new one.  It's schooling me further in that surrender of ego I know to be the condition of anything good and noble and true.  It's reminding me that my practice of the Dharma admits of no time off.  It's telling me that, as far as the priesting goes, it's all or nothing. 

And that's what I've wanted all along.  I want my ass kicked.  I want the universe to say, "OK, Bozo, you think this is important?  Game on!"  I want the reminder to catch myself, to step it up, to go past self-imposed limitations and boundaries. 

There's not much room for an alter-ego in a world of ego-attrition, is there?

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