Wednesday, September 29, 2010
You dream that you are trying to get to the office, via CTA, and you're in line at the farecard machine behind John Cusack. But you don't care so much that John Cusack is in front of you, because you're too busy discussing your non-job ("You do realize I'm not actually getting paid, right?") with your faux boss ("Yes, yes, that's terrible. Now about this thing you have to do by 2 p.m. . . "), who is also in line with you at the machine.
I believe there is a forest-for-the-trees lesson in here somewhere.
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
Yes, I'm hanging in, settling down, and trying to get into some kind of routine. After spending years and years taking care of myself and having a plan, I'm having a bit of difficulty rolling with things, but instead, am ping-ponging between various worries. Will I have money coming in for a couple more months, will I get paid for any of the super-human efforts I've put into working so far? It remains to be seen, and I'm starting to think I may have set myself up in a bad position, since bureaucracies can foot drag better than anything else. Whereas that scenario worked in my favor when it seemed like the status quo of full employment was in effect, the flip side of having nothing but the expectation that I work and I will get paid . . . somehow, "we'll work out the details, don't worry about it" does not.
What am I writing, how am I writing, where am I writing? What's the schedule that someone can get into who sits at home all day? I miss the calm feeling that I got when I stood in my kitchen: "Oh, hello yoga space! Your rock. Never change. Writing desk, with my little organizers I tidied up before sitting down to crank something out. I love ya!" I've never really thought about how tied my physical space is to my head space, particularly when those spaces are delineated for functions that require specific frames of mind: yoga, writing, to a less degree, cooking. (I'm sure it isn't the same for everyone, but for me, cooking is an emotional experience, delivering satisfaction, challenge, and sometimes comfort. Some people build a shelf, I try a new recipe or experiment with eggplant preparation). My old office space could have been any which way: ancient tea cups, trash not taken out, crumbs on the chair, piles of paper collecting dust on every surface. I never hung a picture, I had boxes that weren't unpacked for 8 years. And it just didn't matter to me because I just didn't derive any emotional investment from the space--it was just a place for me to knock out tasks that didn't matter and to wait for the clock to strike five. My home space, on the other hand, has always been more about me, driving and reflecting what's going on in my head.
All of this lack of control and worry is causing me to fluctuate between OCD girl--who will control every last element of controllable anything in my immediate environment--and "oh, I give up" chick, who would rather crawl under the covers all day, worry about writing and money tomorrow, and not wash dishes for three days.
But the whole purpose of this endeavor was to give myself a chance to explore this avenue and see where it leads me. Not many people get the chance, and it seems silly to squander it by being distracted and not actually writing. I expressly knew that I was taking a leap of faith, with someone who believes in what I'm doing getting my back (with reciprocation to come in future).
So I'm trying. It's hard, though. I'm finding it helps to exercise in the afternoons. I can exert myself for thirty minutes or so, running, walking, whatever, and not think about anything except how my body feels. Then, on the slow walk back, I can just feel the breeze and contemplate how gorgeous the ocean looks.