Aaaargh! Madcap run for my life, a.k.a. I have Muppet Underwear, Fuck This

20160129_102300.jpgGoogle searches: washing trainers without ruining them forever (that was the intention, anyway)

Mood: aaaaaargh!!

I’ve been writing normal/well-thought-out/structured posts recently, but fuck that shit. Fuck it. Fuck pretending I’m not in a freefall, and that I don’t swear like a sailor when the mood strikes. Fuck respectability politics, fuck staying home all the time, fuck being scared.

My old pal frustration is in town. Let’s rattle some cages. Let’s DO SOMETHING!

Yeah, I had this spiritual post in mind about how I need to go in (listening to myself) and out (PUTTING MY BLOODY ART OUT). Not in the mind for it right now. Because suddenly I’ve been mostly home and wtf. WTF.

It snuck up on me. You know that weird feeling when you quit a job and start staying home? I thought I was doing right by myself, at first. In the first week-two I went out a lot, next to new training regime and challenges. Very fast I got sick and was forced to slow down a bit. A tiny bit. A large bit. OMG LIFE IS SO SLOW.

From perfectly legit bit of rest to revival of old habits in no time flat. The struggle is real – I’m not even being ironic. Suddenly I started working from home – which, fair enough, is possible, but going out is necessary sometimes. Suddenly I stopped bloody leaving the house. Suddenly I was fearful, procrastinating, progressively anxious. No. Just no.

The nadir came today – I got my payslip from the old job, which I think is a mistake. About half the money is missing. It made me slightly anxious, and then just really mad. I’m not about to rely on these things. I am the person who got a commission right of the bat, ON THE LAST DAY OF WORK. I am cooler than this. I’m not letting it happen to me. I’ll call them!

As my old acting coach used to say: don’t keep calm and carry on! FREAK THE FUCK OUT AND CHANGE THE WORLD!!!!!

 

FREAK OUT!

LE FREAK

SO CHIC!

*dances through the blog*

The New Way Of Walking

Mood: thoughtful. Lonely.

Google searches: Alan Rickman, “Jinx” (due to cryptic conversation with a housemate re: films to watch on house movie night)

Today was a weird day. Yesterday it’s been a week since I quit my job. I’m doing great and I’ve been saying as much; today I will acknowledge the rest of reality.

My back hurts. It was one of the motors of change. I’m waiting for an NHS physio appointment (standard waiting period: 12 weeks); my disc has been moving, apparently. Also, I went to a fitness class, which I intend to continue – possibly muscle pain has compounded in, today.

I didn’t leave the house. My mistake. I was trying to make myself work, when I really needed a rest – but I don’t work well from the house, unless I have a time limit. Yesterday I’ve done quite a lot of work, because I was going out to a stand-up night with friends. Today things got a bit more blurry.

I’m learning. I’m learning my own tells. How can I have the life I want, if I don’t pay attention to what I want, and how I behave? So I’m paying attention to what makes me tick. Sometimes I back away from change. After doing a show I have a hiding period. I’ve done two stand-up monologues this week, plus a pitch and lots of other things. I’m really doing pretty damn well.

Since I quit:

I exercised at least an hour per day in various forms, often more; I always did between 15 minutes and 2 hours of masseur-appointed back exercises;

2 stand-up slots, people!

I woke up happy every morning and made my bed (embarrassing a confession, but with depressive tendencies that can be a feat)

kept up swimming, once a week;

I organised a team for my dream street-act to dance on the streets (currently we heard from a drummer who wants to join, that’d be so cool).

I got myself invited to audition for Vagina Monologues in Brighton, which. omg.

This all happened in a week.

It’s just, today I backslid a little, and I’m in a bit of pain. That’s to be expected. If you want muscles, pain will happen; if you want to keep your head high and back straight, you’re changing habits of a life time.

I’ll keep at it. I found my path, and I’m learning how to walk again.

I Jumped And Life Caught Me.

light

Mood: ebullient & tired

Google searches: not in awhile. Just trying to keep up with life.

Dear Readers, life is awesome.

Let me tell you a story: on the last day of work – yes, that job I quit a couple posts ago – I was happy. I didn’t have brainspace to be anxious about not working; I was just immensely happy that the job would be OVER. And I had a customer. And we chatted.

“What do you do? – I’m a documentary film maker. – Oh, that’s so cool. I didn’t get there yet, I’m a writer. Mostly comedy. I just quit my job and I’m writing as of tomorrow.” This is a shortened account of the conversation that took place. There was no pressure, no mercenary focus; I didn’t want anything from anyone. I was content, shooting off my mouth, just talking – sharing – re-confirming in my mind that it was happening: I was quitting to become an artist.

So what happened? Exchange of business cards; invitation to pitch; creating the pitch, winning the pitch and first project meeting!

Of course, I confronted the perfectionist beast right away. I want to be this effortless genius, whereas in the meeting I had to reign my ego in, strongly, when the animator – the expert – told me straight up my story is too long and too involved, and we’d better start over. But I know how nuts ego is. This is me, learning the creative ropes – creating ideas, presenting ideas, backing them up AND letting them go. I wouldn’t give this up for anything – especially not for dreamed up perfection.

This is real. Hard-won confidence starts here. My job is to listen: to my creative team-mates; to my creative gut (NOT to my brain that alternates between: “…they don’t even need you here, you’re obsolete” and “….you have to speak more”). My job is to work-out (which I’m doing), eat well (which I’m doing), do the work and not to take myself too seriously.

I’m working on it. And I’m loving it…. 🙂

When I grow up, I want to be an ear

2016-01-09 11.14.37

Mood: climbing

Google searches: not many, mostly following trails laid out earlier.

Random read of the day: Mark Manson. Always worth it.

 

Those of you who know me – who actually met me in person – know that I talk a lot.

Recently I watched Joan Rivers, and the way she spoke struck me. There was no slow progression, no measured diction. No: she barreled on, half through the anecdote speeding on to the next one, amusing as much with her breathless delivery as with content itself. Sure, she had a plan, but she was racing against her thoughts, trying to convey them.

I know the feeling.

I talk a lot, because I have a lot to say. But that’s not the only reason. I also talk when I’m nervous; I talk, because I’m in a hurry; I talk when I’m insecure and need to prove my intelligence (which I had drilled was my best quality, defining my worth). Yes, I am sometimes that person, who – instead of listening to you – composes her own flowery monologue in a rare moment of silence. I am that person, and I want to change.

Don’t be mean, now, at least I’m self-aware. Well, kind of 😉

People often assume I’m very confident, because I dare to talk. They also often believe I have no inner life. If I’m willing to openly speak of my sexuality and other things private, clearly there’s no more depth. Talking can be a smokescreen. Talking can be, if you’re not quiet by nature, an excellent way to hide.

I am a good listener when I manage to be. And this year is about listening. Not only to others, but also to myself. I want to listen to my body – I recently woke up to the fact that putting off exercise because of “no time” got me a back problem. I want to listen to my mind, because there is creativity in there, ideas that could get me further than yet another dead-end job. I want to listen to my heart. Stop bottling up emotions. Express them not as a torrent of words/tears, ambushing the hapless kind person who happened to listen, but in a measured, creative way. I want to be more self-aware.

I keep finding my journals and blogposts from years ago, and reading things there that are very smart and that I just realized yesterday. It’s hard to take that I already knew these things years ago. Am I stuck in place? I make notes I don’t read, attend a gazillion courses, create lists of music/books/plays, collect newspaper clippings. (Okay, I stopped with the clippings now, too much paper. But I did for years).

It’s like I’ve been writing myself love notes for years, but couldn’t be bothered to read them. It’s a humbling realization. Because chances are that I already have all the ideas, skills and possibilities, and simply don’t know it.

So when I grow up, I want to be an ear. And if you want to meet for coffee in 2016, I promise, I’ll listen better.

It was today….

It happened. I quit my job. Last day was today. I feel…. elated.

It’s a different joy that I’ve known until now. It’s burning with a steady flame. Touch wood, but it is not a flight of fancy. I feel focused. I want things. I will work to have them.

It’s not easy, but it’s simple. And this simple happiness lights my way.

I quit my job, I liked it… or: Bring on 2016.

no-you-should-not-quit-your-job-before-securing-a-new-oneImage source here.

Satisfaction: high.

Wave: gentle

Word of the year: listening.

 

Here we are! I said “I’ll write more!” and basically legged it, drowning in the aforementioned Other Job. There are reasons for that: long story short, I got stuck in my own thinking. Behold:

The “Get It Right” Paradox

… Do you know that feeling when you’re finding your way on a crossroads? You’re pretty sure left will get you where you need to be, but just in case, to avoid being wrong, you walk right for a bit.

Is it just me who does this? This whole idea that you’re not allowed to be wrong can result in some interesting routes. Basically, I was so scared of embracing my artistic identity (doing what I felt was right but feared was wrong), that I ran in opposite direction. Man, did I suffer for it. Trying to get life right because perfectionism. Incidentally, this blog is called Good Enough Diary for a reason…

Perfectionism is the most unhelpful thing EVER. So is a mortal fear of being wrong. Combined, they led me down this path: from a job I kind of tolerated/was getting bored of… to taking a full-time position. What the actual fuck. One of the more misguided things I’ve done.

The Trap of “Reasonable” Thinking

I do remember what I was thinking. It makes a twisted sort of sense – what we call “reasonable”, “real world”, “money doesn’t grow on trees”, “you have to eat”, self-preservation, OMG SHUT UP WHY ARE YOU FEEDING ME CRAP GET OUT OF MY HEAD. We all heard that shit and had it stuffed down our throats by well-meaning (or not so well-meaning) parents/grown-ups/society, who often had had it shoved, ad infinitum. Amanda Palmer sums it up as a “Get a job!” feeling, as if art wasn’t a real job and did not require effort. Add to it the crippling shame associated with being creative (=not a Real Adult), connected with this weird idea that being creative for money is somehow unethical (oddly, the reasoning seems to intersect with sex work, somehow; that certain things are too precious to be sold and should therefore be donated. Too complicated to develop here, but nonetheless interesting). Add all those up, and I found myself in the middle of mental gymnastics, explaining the unexplainable: why doing something completely against myself is a Good Idea (with footnotes).

And now…

It’s second of January. I quit the job about a month in and now know I should never have taken it in the first place. But I’m going easy on myself: I had to know. I had to learn that no matter what I do, the full-time “normal”, non-creative job will never, ever give me any satisfaction.

What next? My last day is on Wednesday. This month I’m writing. The challenge ahead is constructing a sustainable creative lifestyle, which is relatively free of perfectionism and procrastination. I’m looking for a sweet spot between stretching myself and over-reaching; for example, I’ll not be working from home, as it’s too distracting to begin with and might result in not doing stuff and/or depression; similarly, I will not expect huge achievements from tomorrow, as intimidating myself into not doing anything is a one way trip to Guiltland. I want to be loving, gentle and unstoppable. I want to be relentless like a wave.

 

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