04 September 2015

Working Out an Old Muscle, and Some Things I Learned Recently

So I finally had business cards made. Feeling very official.

Enough of my pals have approached me asking about the crickets (and cicadas) on my blog to push me into stretching out my old writing muscle. Also, I had business cards made which link to my blog, so I should probably have things on said blog when people navigate to it, right? Right.

It's funny how in my head I can become if I don't write, and then the guilt and stress around not writing becomes compounded and conflated with the in-my-head thing that's already happening. I tell myself "Just finish that article, just go to that opening, you should also be painting, and what about free time, and that other project you signed on for?" and it all becomes so much that I can hardly focus or give the proper amount of energy or effort all of my wonderful obligations. Meditation and yoga are on my docket of habits to explore to help with the brain clutter and thought confetti (TM), and learning to say no to some wonderful opportunities is also on my to-do list. If I clear out some room, and say no to some things, I'll have space to say yes to others.

Case in point, I was offered the opportunity to continue working at my beloved Gallery 400 this semester in a different role. I thought about it, then declined. A job, a paying job, in the arts, at an institution I love. I declined a job at this wonderful place because I was holding out for something else. A little tiny zygote of any idea, that fermented a little bit over the summer, and is taking shape this week. No contracts have been signed, some higher ups are meeting today to discuss, but if all goes well I will have another job in the arts working with a completely different community, continuing my love of public programming! More on that as soon after the ink has dried.

But what I learned from this experience was immensely important. For starters, it's okay to decline opportunities. Though I would have enjoyed working at my beloved gallery this year, I wanted to stretch my wings and try working in an area even more aligned with what I'm studying and hoping to turn into a career. Additionally, I learned that sometimes you just have to be patient. I sent countless emails, bit many a nail, and had only a few minor freak outs over not knowing what my employment situation would be for this semester. But I waited, I set a meeting the first week of school. And then another meeting. Things are coming together. And finally, I learned that it's important to be true to yourself. To follow your instinct. To know when an inkling of an idea is good enough to fight for it. To fight for yourself, to fight for the people who might also benefit from the creation of a new position, and to fight for those who will no doubt benefit from your labor.

To review, the following things are vital and I'm still learning about how to implement them:

  • It's okay to say no to opportunities, to drinks, to on-campus programs, and off-campus programs, etc. Especially if you have a game plan for what comes after the no is said.
  • Being patient is hard very hard, but crucial. Sometimes, it's the best you can do. Time is your friend. Patience is a virtue, yada yada.
  • Trust your instinct. Follow your gut, or in my case, my Guttman.
  • Yoga is actually really calming for me. More yoga. please.

On a final note, I'm working on a big project this year, which I'd mentioned previously here. It is also very much in a zygote fermentation stage, in utero if you will. And rather than keep the world in the dark about it, I thought it could be a fun (added) project to blog about the experience as it's happening. Maybe a play-by-play of my discoveries, challenges, productive meetings, etc. I'll be working out my writing and research muscles, so bear with me!

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