Sunday, September 13, 2009

Big Thoughts

In writing this, I realize that I am not sure where my five-year plan is – the one that I created as a part of my Survival Skills class as a junior in college, over three years ago. This is not so much a problem, considering my ideas of what I would be doing within that time have proved to be drastically different from what I ended up doing – in a great way. I am definitely curious to create comparison, but I have a relatively good idea – perform. I am not sure what the mention of my location happened to be, but location and content definitely ended up different – I found my interest in choreography quite quickly, just a couple months out of school. As school was ending, I specifically remember thinking to myself ‘choreography was fun to do in school, but just not my thing.’ As it turns out, three years from when I wrote that plan, I have produced three shows and had work in three others. Though my stream of ideas is not yet always consistent, my feelings of inspiration definitely are – I have been feeling constantly stimulated by tons of things – people, music, rhythms, situations, landscapes – I feel like I am (almost) never switched off.

Even the breeze that just hit me, as I sit here on my recently-attained Chicago patio feels inspiring. I had a moment of ‘oh no, will I regret it if I leave,’ followed by the realization that the few feelings of inspiration that I have felt in the last few days have been generated by things I could notice and feel in many places – that they are not specific to Chicago. Feeling that breeze and looking around to realize that I am sitting on a high porch of an old, character-filled brick building that soaks in the sounds of salsa and the smells of many different kinds of cuisine – THESE surroundings should make me feel inspired, yet I sit here with the feeling that this just isn’t right traipsing around through my consciousness.

I have only within the last few hours started developing the feeling of wondering about what I may miss out on if I do not stay, though again the rewards reaped from heading to what my heart tells me will likely bypass opportunities I could receive here in the short amount of time I am now willing to stay. Let’s say it was still my plan to stay until I got into the company – I think I could accomplish such I thing. Committing to staying here, I could create an amazing toehold for myself, get connected with some great people, and really get some things going. However, I can feel quite strongly that Chicago is not where my heart is. Particularly with the kind of work I want, my heart cannot be anywhere but with me at all times.

I now find myself pondering the idea that I stay a couple of months to study with JRJP, as I already have an apartment. There is a flaw to this logic – I would still need to find a job – I cannot just spend what I have to be here for a couple of months. Getting a job for a couple months then quitting seems quite silly, unreasonable and hard to attain. Let’s say I stayed two months – with two classes a week from them, I would be getting sixteen classes – I got 15 classes during the week I took the intensive, which I plan to continue taking. I keep flashing back to the idea of wanting to really learn this – which I continue to realize just does not interface with where I want to be in the next even just five years.

My natural tendency is to want to do way more than my time and my brain can actually handle, due simply to the fact that I am a motivated person with many interests. In all this thinking, I realized that I have been maintaining way too many unarranged goals with way too little order and careful thought. “I want to get an MA,” “I want to get a PHD,’ “I want to write books,” “I want to own a dance company in the Twin Cities,” “I want to do research,” “I want to perform.” Throwing in “I want to further pursue this important relationship,” was what really put the breaks on my speeding train of ideas, and forced me to sit down and think about how these things all operate together. I truly did take love, realizing it, voicing it, and most importantly to this rant, moving again, to realize all this.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Waiting for the Dust to Settle

Here I am in Chicago.

Doing exactly what this title suggests - imagine that.

Waiting for excitment to drive me forward - I am not used to this unmodivated sort of feeling. Usually excitement creates inspiration (or is it the other way around? Either way;), but this time I am digging around my head and heart and not finding either.

I am doing my best to convince both that an ample amount of time is needed to evaluate the situation, but another part of my body has been operating within this equation the whole time - my gut. Friends have told me that this is a body part that people all-too-often ignore.

What this means for me is figuring out what to listen to for decision-making, and then using my head for the clean-up work (what about my hands and health, ha ha ha? I must have left them at the 4H building last week :) ). I am a mix o contractions on the issues this situation brings up - while I like to think that I do not care if anyone thinks I am a failure, at the same time, I care a great deal. This brings me to what is and is not failure - a small piece of me thinks that walking away from this new 'adventure' would be, though another knows that it is in ways heroic to listen to your heart when it is screaming at you. Within that last sentence is another issue - adventure. I have been billing this in my brain, during the months leading up to it, as an adventure, much like Calgary. Though when I think about the two (at least with what I know of the later, which is admittably little), Calgary FELT that way - that feeling of excitement and inspiration in my gut. Chicago is not feeling that way. While I know I should give it time to develop it's possibilities, it is hard to let that happen when the opposite feelings are occuring in the pit of my stomach.

I have already thought through how this feelings can be attributed to many things, both personal and professional, some of which were not operating factors as Calgary unfolded last year. It seems unwise to ignore such change and assume that I am in the same condition and frame of mind as I when I went on an adventure last year around this time. A whole year and a LOT of things have passed since then - wouldn't it be obvious to me that I would be approaching everything in life differently, even, or especially, going on an adventure?

I often make decisions because they are what SEEM like the correct path, but moreso because I am the kind of person who needs to have a plan. Having a plan, regardless of whether it is well-thought, makes me feel more calm, makes me feel like I am going somewhere and not stagnating. It seems like the reality is that making an ill-thought-out plan is not the be-all-end-all, and that having to mull through things in the same place before arriving to the correct game plan could be the proper, and even best, choice.

That brings me to thoughts on the 'what's next' idea. I have been doing a great deal of thinking this last day and a half, almost so much that my brain hurts. It took this great displacement for these thoughts to start happening, so I can at least be grateful for doing so, regardless of what the outcome becomes. It seems that there have been plain ideas ahead of me, and options I have not been considering, first off; travel. I do not know why it is in my head that I must RELOCATE somewhere to train, study, experience. If I know I want to be where I know I will land eventually, why not BE there, and travel as I can to gain knowledge? I have always put this off as something I do not have the money for, but realize that it may just be a matter of looking at how I put my money away differently. This way, I am positioned to move forward toward what I want to do where I know I want to do it, while continuing my need for adventure in small and reoccuring doses.

Other thoughts include the idea that I could be gaining here is not worth what I would be missing at home. Initially, my intentions for this relocation were to come here and stay however long it would take me to get into a company and work with them so I could have the experience of working with a paid company. This shifted from 'however long' to 'max five years' to 'max three years' to, in my mind, 'I'll try a year.' Knowing that I wish to impose these time limits, and also that it can often take people four plus years to get into the company I wish to be a part of, these ideas do not seem to align. Yes, I would love to have consistent, paid company experience under my belt at some time in my life. I keep forgetting that there is plenty of life ahead. I worry that the more set I get into my ways, the less likely I will be to pursue such ends, however, if I know one of the ways I am comfortable (and almost desire) being set in is being where I want to end up, it seems I should embrace that and work toward other ideas in that setting. It may be that my 'paid company' experience is found in what I create myself. While I would like to get it with someone else, I could also think of it in a 'why waste time' frame of mind, knowing that there any many things I want to do myself.

All these thoughts, jumbled up like cold alphabet soup....ew. So what happens now? It seems like more sinking, more thinking, gathering advice from trusted friends and letting a little bit more time pass. One thing I do know that I did not before - I would be equally as proud of myself for listening to my heart as I would be for sticking it out - maybe even more proud.