This young girl’s deposition in this NYT article broke my heart. I can count on one hand the women I know who DO NOT have a similar memory that has been shared in confidence. I’m not writing to rage against prep school culture. The finest human being I know graduated from Saint Paul’s, so it is not the institution, it is all of us. Most of us females who think we live our lives to earn respect mistake appeasement/approval for respect. Listening to this girl describe how she was trying to be polite, agreeable, and accommodating towards this boy, the school “spirit”, and trying to be a good host to her visiting parents, broke my heart, made my head explode, and reminded me of every woman I know. Even when we practice the yoga, we are trying to show, prove, and believe that we are doing our best. The thing is that we have a hard time believing it is our best if others don’t concur. Why else all those selfies, practice descriptions, and fretting whether we will be stopped at an asana in public before we usually stop? In my case, I always have to frame aspects of my practice to be dedicated to something other than myself. Not just something greater than myself, that is not what I am addressing here, otherwise I would not feel suffering. I mean always thinking about not letting my teacher down, showing this new student that “anyone can do ashtanga” so they come back, remembering that I use $170 of our monthly budget to pant and huff so I’d better mean it, etc, etc. My friend who graduated from St Paul’s is like a brother to me. He moved away and his wife and I are friends but not close. I always initiate reunions and always remember the birthdays. I think he feels like crap every time I wish him a HBD because he remembers that he forgot mine. So this year, I am letting go. I do not love him any less, I just don’t want to feel that I have to keep on doing it to call myself a good friend or a good person.