Option B was recommended by my friend and teammate Pei, who understood very well the disappointment I felt when I didn't make as a returning player of a Ultimate team - she was one of the previous two captains of the team. The "being washed out" experience stroke me harder than I thought over a series of factors. I had to accept that being accepted only as a practice player for this season, although I still get to train with other teammates, but I lost my right to play tournaments for this team. Pei and two other teammates reached out comforting me, made me feel I was backed up in a personal level. Her recommendation of this book also helped.
I went though exactly how the book described as five stages of grief - even my experience was much better than losing a life partner:
Anger is one of the five stages of grief famously defined by psychiatrist Elisabeth Kübler--Ross. In the fact of loss, we're supposed to start in denial and move to anger, then to bargaining and depression. Only after we pass through these four stages can we find acceptance. But now experts realise that these are not five stages. They are five states that don't progress in a linear fashion but rise and fall.
Started at my 29, I have been playing Ultimate for five and an half years. Unlike in U.S., where the sport turned into professional, most Ultimate players in China are just amateurs who play for fun. As someone who passed her prime years as an athlete, I played the game for the purpose of exercising, developing friendship and for run. Even though, I always tried to play as good as I could on the field. It is a sport still in development here. Then a few far-sighted decided to make it more competitive by starting a single-gender movement. I have gained more than I thought what I could have gained from this great sport and from the whole community. I have also reach out to those who could benefit from my own experiences by teaching others skills I learnt. After gaining so much from playing this sport and those people I played with/against, I fully agreed and contributed to push things forward. The result is, I was being "washed out".
Much like what I start this article by telling my personal story, the author of Option B started writing the book by citing her personal story - after losing her husband, how she handled the bereavement. Compare to her story, my losing-spot-in-a-sport-team experience could be seen as much less influential as possible, but you may think different if only you could imagine my full commitment and loyalty to the team. Back to the book, I really admire the writer turned her own life experiences in helping others' to make a growth in facing adversities.
I have made a reading list this year. When finished reading Option B, I labeled it as "Psychology & Self-help". It has been a while since the last time I tried to analysis my emotions, if only I did that at all. After a few setbacks in my personal life, I discovered that I have some emotional management issues. This is probably the first time I decided to read a few more books on psychology just to diagnosis myself in a more scientific way -- not saying I have huge emotional problems, just to become better on this.
The book also got me thinking about something else on my mind - the possibilities that beyond healing emotions, make adjustments in facing adversities. While take this opportunity as motivation to push myself more in playing better Ultimate, I also shifted most of my energy into building much more for my life. Just a months ago, I already started wondering if ever I wanted just be a lawyer the rest of my life. Sure, being a lawyer especially a partner with a medium-sized law firm brings me prestige and good money. Yet most of time, i have been struggling on what I do, question my doings are really meaningful and good for the society (especially after I started mainly serving a big financial company in Lujiazhui, Shanghai's wall street). Most importantly, I gradually found out that most my inner thoughts were sometimes limited to what I have been doing since I graduated. After consulting a few western clients in managing their joint ventures and WFOEs in china, delivering pragmatic writings that most welcomed by those clients, I started wondering what if I want to achieve much more for my life rather than being satisfied with where I am right now.
With the above-mentioned thought, I started this blog to keep a journal of my readings and creating writings. I also continued writing working blog articles to share my lawyering experiences for foreign clients on huaronglaw.com, a site that serves the purpose of attracting targeted clients for my firm.
In its last a few chapters, the author of Option B suggested that resilience could be built in groups and communities to help with personal growth. It made me rethinking of how have I been deliberately avoid dealing with people I don't instantly find connected, so I would have more "my time". The fact is, personal growth is not in conflict with socialising in a wide range. Personal growth could even stagnated when you decide to keep an very indifferent attitude towards others. This thought me that even I am trapped in business trips (currently live a two-city life, for fulfilling my work duty), I should always try to find ways to connect with people, reach out, help others, and to be helped. Just as the author well put as below:
I learned that friendship isn't only what you can give, it's what you're able to receive.