missroserose: (Book Love)
Hello, fellow book-lovers! This morning I sent an email to the spa manager requesting a leave of absence. I've enjoyed working there and learned a lot, but it's pretty clear at this point that the job is requiring a far bigger investment of energy than I'm willing to give, especially with yoga teaching becoming more central in my life (and also providing an avenue for increased private bookings). It's a little scary, striking out on my own, and it may yet prove to be temporary, but it feels like the right thing to do. So here I go!

Meantime, in Booklandia...

What I've just finished reading

We Have Always Lived in the Castle, by Shirley Jackson. Oh man. I can see why some people regard this as her masterwork; it's a lovingly rendered and terrifyingly believable portrait of an incredibly dysfunctional family dynamic, told through the eyes of a person strongly invested in perpetrating it, who nonetheless manages to remain a sympathetic narrator. It's that last that really gets to me: seeing Constance and Merricat's world through the latter's eyes, you understand why she does the things she does and root for her, even though objectively the outcome is a terrible one. Which isn't to say it's entirely her fault; Jackson is unflinching in apportioning the blame to gossiping townsfolk, a gold-digging cousin, well-meaning friends, and Constance's own agoraphobia. But like the most impressive tragedies, in retrospect, there is simply no other way things could have played out; despite having been given the opportunity, the characters are fundamentally incapable of change. The fact that the narrator genuinely regards the outcome as a happy one simply makes the ending all the more chilling.

What I'm currently reading

A Wind in the Door, by Madeline L'Engle. I'd forgotten that Mr. Jenkins comes along for the adventure this time! I love that Meg had to find something to love in such a pathetic person who had genuinely made her life (and was continuing to make her brother's life) difficult; such people are some of the most difficult to see as fundamentally human, and arguably some of the most important for precisely that reason.

An Unnatural Vice, by K.J. Charles. At this point I preorder all of Charles' books, and this was a happy surprise to find on my Kindle on a difficult day. I enjoy all of her romances, but I have a special fondness for the enemies-to-lovers trope - it's hard to do well, but when it's done well the inherent conflict and pent-up lust makes it absolutely scorchingly hot. This installment focuses on Nathaniel Roy, an attorney/journalist/general man of integrity who's been grieving his lover for some years, and who of course (given Victorian mores) must hide his grief from the greater world; naturally, he finds himself having to work with (and deeply, disturbingly attracted to) Justin Lazarus, a spiritualist/con man/general man of few morals.

As great as the chemistry is, one of the unexpected delights of this series has been the central mystery plot; not so much for its own sake, but because it gives the main characters reasons to interact, and they and their relationships are all so beautifully drawn. I particularly liked a conversation Nathaniel has with Mark, a one-armed war veteran friend of his:

As they turned together onto Greystoke Place, Mark took Nathaniel’s arm, pulling him to a stop. “Look, mate. I’d say I’m pretty able to handle myself, yes? You don’t go around telling me to stay out of fights, do you?”

Mark was perhaps the last man Nathaniel would have wished to brawl with. “Indeed not.”

“But even so, if I said I was going to take up bare-knuckle fighting, you’d maybe point out I come up a bit short in the matter of knuckles. Right?”

“I see where this inelegant metaphor is leading.”

“I’m missing a hand, so I need not to get into situations where that’s a problem. Well, I’m not the only one missing something, that’s all I’m saying.”

We can all only hope to have friends as good as Mark.

What I plan to read next

Given how little I've managed to read this week, I'm not going to speculate. So many possibilities! But we'll see.
missroserose: (Default)
On the more liberal side of the current tug-of-war over basic workers' rights, one concept that's seen some experimentation is the idea of the six-hour workday, wherein the traditional workday time is cut by a quarter. The idea is that, especially in white-collar brain-intensive jobs, studies have shown that six hours gives you the best ratio between availability and reasonable productivity, before fatigue sets in and workers start making more mistakes and/or seeing deleterious long-term health effects - so we should take advantage of that and hopefully reap savings in terms of less stressed-out workers.

Interestingly, however, over the past few weeks I've been having almost the reverse issue. Most of my workdays over that time have been only a couple of hours at most - a massage appointment here, a yoga class there, a shift at the spa a couple days a week. And yet I've been discovering the hidden cost to going for weeks without a break, even when the bulk of any given day seems like it should be fine for relaxing.

For one thing, a massage appointment isn't just a massage appointment, especially working out of my home. If someone's coming over, I need to make sure the living room, kitchen, bathroom, and hallway are clean; the furniture is moved; and the table is set up. Depending on how messy the house was before and whether Brian helps (which, dear man, he often makes himself available to do), that's often a two-to-three hour job before I even get to the appointment itself. (Although, on the upside, the house stays a lot cleaner when I have regular clients than it does otherwise.)

For another, although yoga teaching doesn't require any cleaning, there's the transportation time to consider. When I'm teaching at Uptown or Lincoln Square that's maybe ten or fifteen minutes each way on my bike or the bus; however, my regular class is at Sauganash, which is either a 35-minute bike ride or a 45-minute transit ride away, depending on my energy and the weather. For an eight- (or even six-) hour workday, an hour and a half round trip isn't a huge deal, but the proportion compared to a single two-hour shift is, unsurprisingly, much higher.

And that's not even taking into account the mental effects of going weeks without a proper day off. I constantly remind my clients that relaxation isn't what happens in between everything else you do; it's a conscious choice that requires active practice. Needless to say, it's much easier to make that choice when you're not likely to have to suddenly get up and dash - i.e. when you've got that full day off.

I'm not complaining, exactly - I made the choice to take on the workload I did, for various reasons. (Income is helpful! Practice at my trades are good. Feeling useful and productive is nice, too.) And in a lot of ways, I'm privileged - I don't have to take on less-than-ideal schedules if I don't want to, for fear of not making rent or running out of grocery money. But I cannot even articulate how relieved I am to have a couple of full, real, genuine days off on my schedule tomorrow and Wednesday. And while I understood intellectually why a yoga teacher friend of mine would occasionally cancel plans with "I'm sorry, I need to stay home and eat cheese," I grok that mindset in a much more real and immediate way now.
missroserose: (Warrior III)
Almost exactly six months after I began teacher training, I have completed my first day of paid teaching. It's official - I'm a professional yoga teacher now!

It's been a long journey, filled with a lot of work, a lot of anxiety, a lot of learning about community, a lot of growth, and a lot of realizing exactly how much I have grown but hadn't discovered it yet. And now I'm here. Which is really only a brief stopping point - I have so much yet to learn. But it's still a point worth celebrating, I think.

I got this card to send to a dear friend, but hopefully he won't mind me using a picture of it here, as it's perfect to the moment:

Here's to learning, and growing, and doing difficult things we want to do in spite of our anxiety about them.
missroserose: (Default)
As of this morning, I have completed all paperwork, meetings, studio walkthroughs, and desk shifts required...and as of Monday, I'll be teaching my first yoga class! (My first two yoga classes, actually, since I picked up a sub that evening.) Earlier in the week, I was anxious bordering on terrified; after some breathing and journaling and other anxiety-acceptance measures, I'm feeling at least a little more sanguine about it. The manager at the studio has been super chill and supportive, including responding promptly and positively to my numerous emails about questions and small administrative details. And no matter how badly I screw up, I know I'm not going to be as bad as The Worst C1. (I don't think I ever wrote about it here; suffice it to say, the girl barely moved from the back of the classroom the whole time, she didn't touch anyone, she spoke in a soft near-monotone that sounded for all the world like she was reciting a memorized script, and her whole playlist was atonal noise rock, including savasana (?!). At the very least, I know I have a better playlist.) But there's still a lot of anxiety for me in getting up and being open (and thus, to a degree, vulnerable) with a whole group of people, for a whole class. Which, I suppose, is a sign it'll be a good learning experience, too.

Anyway, onto the book stuff!

What I've just finished reading

*hangs head* I have not finished anything this week, either. I strongly suspect I'm letting my anxiety occupy too many emotional cycles; I've noticed that I tend toward obsessive behaviors when it gets going - refreshing social media, occupying myself with ticky administrative details, looking over my calendar repeatedly, etc. (Why, yes, I do have a family history of obsessive-compulsive disorder, how did you guess?) It's surprising, how much time and energy it takes to be anxious. Anyway, I'm working on it.

What I'm reading now

The Yiddish Policemen's Union, by Michael Chabon. Dialect or no, I've been finding myself wishing that I was reading a physical copy of this book; Peter Riegert is turning in a perfectly decent performance, but there are so many wonderful descriptions and delightful turns of phrase that I really want to savor but that just go by too quickly. I finally have taken to using a combination of Audible's "bookmark" feature and (for ones I think Brian will enjoy) transcribing and texting them to preserve their ephemerality: "the sudden awareness, like an inverse satori, that he has made a grave, if not fatal error...his jaws snap together, making each tooth ring out with its own pure tone as the impact of his ass against the ground conducts its Newtonian business with the rest of his skeleton." "The winter sky in southeastern Alaska is a Talmud of grey, an inexhaustible commentary on a Torah of rain clouds and dying light." "They all looked shocked; even Gould, who could have happily read a comic book by the light of a burning man."

For all the lighthearted metaphor, there's a very real atmosphere of melancholy and uncertainty in this story; not grief, precisely, but the recognition of opportunities missed, the sense of having taken a wrong turn somewhere without knowing precisely what it was. Perhaps this is appropriate to a tale of Jewish culture, even alternate-universe Jewish culture; I know it probably resonates with me more now, at this point in American history, than it likely would have even a year or two ago.

I'm a bit torn on the worldbuilding; there are hints of a broader global alt-history stemming from the decision to relocate Jews to Southeast Alaska instead of Israel, but whether due to my personal ignorance of world/Jewish history or simply to the fact that it all goes by a bit too quickly in audio format, I'm having trouble piecing together exactly what's different from our more recent history. That said, the tensions and troubles and cliques and feuds and foibles of this particular group in this time that never existed are beautifully rendered. The plot is mostly pretty standard religious-political-conspiracy stuff, and it moves a bit slowly, but one gets the feeling it's more of an excuse to spend time in this world and with these characters, and said characters are entertaining and well-drawn enough to be worth the investment. I'm wondering how it'll wrap up; the themes don't point for a truly happy ending, and neither does the alt-history-noir setup, but given the effort they're putting in to untangling this mess, I suspect Landsman and Berko will pull at least "bittersweet".

all about love, by bell hooks. This week's chapter is on community, and the importance thereof in giving us a place to practice love, especially for those of us raised in unloving and dysfunctional family situations. I've long been a proponent of making community connections a bigger part of our lives - it's something that doesn't get a lot of emphasis in our mainstream culture, with its deleterious emphasis on the nuclear family as the social unit uber alles - but I'm not sure I agree with her framing. She seems to come from a place of fundamental certainty that everyone participates in a community in good faith; thus, she believes that, while distancing is sometimes necessary, there is no reason to ever cut ties with a person; everyone can and will change for the better when presented with evidence of the hurtfulness of their actions. She cites one friend in particular whose family was incredibly hurtful towards her when she came out as a lesbian; apparently after some years, their attitudes changed and they were able to have a worthwhile relationship.

Obviously, I have a lot of issues with this paradigm. I'm all for giving people the benefit of the doubt; we're all human, we all make mistakes. But she seems to be falling headlong into several common social fallacies; the fact is, there are drama queens, and missing stairs, and other individuals that a community is better off without. Setting boundaries with these people, and actively limiting your social interactions with them, is a net social positive - not only because it increases your happiness, but because limited options due to social censure is its own lesson. I'm more torn on the question of whether they can learn; presumably, we need to give people the benefit of the doubt in order for them to learn, but based on my past experiences, I have a very difficult time trusting that someone with an established pattern of behavior will have any desire to change, let alone gain the self-awareness to do so. I'm sure it can happen, but I have a hard time trusting that it is what's going on in any given situation - especially when it's so much easier to claim you're trying to change without actually, y'know, doing any of the work. Maybe this is a reflection on me and my trust issues more than on anything inherent to humanity, I don't know.

What I plan to read next

Back before I put a moratorium on new book-buying, I had pre-ordered Cherie Priest's new book Brimstone, which just arrived in the mail. I have a feeling my to-read shelf is going to go neglected in my next selection...
missroserose: (Default)
Massage work is picking up. I have a beautiful new tattoo. And I just accepted an intern position teaching at CorePower.

Spring has sprung.
missroserose: (Default)
After years of attending classes, working on their cleaning staff, getting to know the teachers and managers, not to mention paying for and attending Teacher Training and Extensions, filling out applications, and getting my CPR certification...I've been invited to audition for a yoga teaching slot at CorePower.

Obviously I'm pleased about this. But it's turning out to be a bit more nerve-wracking than I anticipated. The grapevine has it that 75 people applied to the Uptown studio alone; presumably not all of them are auditioning, but chances are there'll be a lot of people looking to fill just a few available spots. This has always been my concern with CorePower's business model; they market teacher training heavily because it's a big moneymaker for them, but as the local yoga market has reached saturation and their regular teachers settle into their grooves, the number of classes they need taught has shrunk significantly even as their potential supply has grown commensurately larger. I feel like I have some advantages versus the crowd: I've been attending for years and know a lot of folks in the community, I have a lot of flexibility in my schedule, plus I'm already on their payroll, albeit in a very minor capacity. (Cleaning staff are paid minimum wage plus a half-price membership in exchange for at least 1.5 hours of work per week.) But on the other hand, if the rest of the TT groups this go-round were anything like mine, we're going to have a serious glut of talented, capable teachers looking for a spot.

Upon reflection, I suspect what I'm feeling is that sense of insecurity that comes from having put most of your eggs in one basket. I'm not a joiner by nature; I tend to spread myself out, preferring to build minor connections in multiple communities rather than become a central figure in a single community and thus beholden to its failings and dysfunctions. So this whole "being a recognizable face in a large group" thing is new to me. And...it's a little anxiety-inducing, realizing that I've invested a not-inconsiderable amount of time, effort, money, and social capital in a community that may or may not return my investment, whether due to a lack of affection or simply a lack of availability.

None of which is to say it'll be the end of the world if I don't make the cut. It'll mean some changes in my focus, which are always uncomfortable when you've gotten into a habit. But they'll also be opportunities for growth, just in a different direction than the ones I'll face if I do teach for them.

I suppose we'll see which of my patron Five Gods deities shows up on audition day - the Mother of Summer, or the Bastard...
missroserose: (Default)
Not that I figure anyone really had any doubt; I've been plenty active on Facebook and even a bit on Twitter. But for a while I feel like I've had long-form writer's block; I have several blog posts full of Big Thoughts and Theories percolating in my head, but nothing's coming out. So instead of trying to write about Big Thoughts and Theories, I'm going to fall back on my usual blogging habits and relate some small things that are happening in my life right now.

--Things continue to go well in my work life. I've settled into the spa job, and found it to be both interesting and fairly lucrative. There's little opportunity to build repeat clientele, but I'm gaining all kinds of experience working with different body types, and the tips have been quite good on the whole. My private bookings have seen a real boost too, thanks to some good word of mouth, and I've acquired several regulars. For the past couple of months I've been averaging two to three bookings a week, which doesn't seem bad at all given that I'm working out of my home and don't advertise other than in person. And I've had a few of the yoga teachers at the studio specifically ask for feedback on their assists, which is gratifying.

--I'm gearing up for another Big Summer of Travel; upcoming is a trip to Alaska to help my mother move into her (giant, gorgeous) new house. (Related: if anyone's interested in traveling to Alaska in the future, hit me up - I know a great place we can stay.) Shortly thereafter is a trip to Washington, DC to visit [personal profile] peacefulleigh's family. Also, my fellow Arizona-dwelling PNW expatriate friend Niki is finally escaping the desert, moving not fifteen minutes away from Leigh's clan. (I may or may not catch her this trip - her tentative schedule has her arriving a couple of days after I leave - but still. Hurrah for good friends living close to each other! It's the next best thing to having them both live close to me.) Then in September, I have plans to take my friend Elyse to Anchorage to do touristy things, then hop down to Juneau to visit friends I haven't seen there in far too long. I'm looking forward to it.

--My Goodreads friends may have noticed, I've been on a real comics kick lately. After a good friend did a killer cosplay of Gwendolyn from Saga, I figured I should read the source material, and am enjoying it greatly - I love the contrast of the crazypants fever-dream worldbuilding with the so-shopworn-as-to-almost-be-mundane (but lovingly told) story. Also, courtesy of my local comics shop's Memorial Day sale, I picked up the first volume of Sunstone (already read on DeviantArt, but worth revisiting and supporting the author both) and a new-to-me series called Paper Girls. Hopefully that'll tide me over until the new Wicked and the Divine comes out.

--One of the long-form posts I've intended to write and never gotten around to has been a product review of Soylent, featuring some of the goofy labels Brian's written on the bottles as illustrations. Having built something of a backlog at this point, I've started a Twitter account to share them with non-Facebook-using friends. Feel free to follow or retweet!

--I feel like I'm barely skimming the surface here, but for whatever reason this is what my brain's coming up with at the moment. So I'll post this now, and maybe it'll help rekindle my more (semi-)regular writing habits. I can hope!
missroserose: (Balloons and Ocean)
I love that Swedish has a word, "mysig", that basically encompasses the whole concept of "warm and cozy and snuggled down against the weather".

Still dealing with the dregs of this cold. My throat and sinuses no longer feel like they've been scrubbed out with sandpaper, but I've got a serious case of Joni Mitchell voice going on. (This may or may not be related to having had friends over last night for dinner and games. Still worth it - everyone got on well and we had a great evening.) Plus winter, after slacking for months, seems to be running to catch up; it's well below freezing outside. But it's sunny in my living room, I have nowhere to go except perhaps yoga, and Google Play has served up an excellent playlist of slightly wistful 90s and 2000s pop that nicely fits the theme of "snuggled down with books and blankets and tea on a cold day". To break out (and hopefully not mangle) my rudimentary Swedish, "Det mysig helgen börjar nu."

My first couple of days at the new job went well enough. Thursday was a bit rocky - I was having a lot of anxiety, and as a result barely slept Wednesday night. (I made a Facebook post to that effect, which my supervisor caught, and suggested that since I didn't have any bookings in my first few slots that I come in later, which meant I could catch an extra hour-ish of sleep. It was much appreciated.) I got through Thursday but was still incredibly wound up, so I spent a bit of time on the phone with my mother hashing out what exactly was bothering me so much.

Mostly it came to feeling more than a little adrift; the whole venture is still very new, and I get the strong feeling management is still getting products and procedures sorted out. (I keep hearing about these amazing products and experiences we're supposed to be selling, for instance, but nobody's given any specific training on them. I asked the spa manager how aromatherapy massages were going to work, for instance, and she reassured me that everything would be premeasured and easy to use, which was nice, but...not what I asked.) My gut feeling, reinforced by my supervisor's messaging, just says to leave it alone while management gets everything restocked and sorted, but some part of me is terrified that while we're in this nebulous phase I'll do something wrong, or say the wrong thing, or something. I'm trying to sit with that fear and acknowledge it while not letting it affect my work or my life overmuch. And true to my psyche's usual form, just having it articulated helped a lot.

Friday was better, if busier. One of the biggest changes from my old job is the pace of the churn; I'm doing 50 minute massages with 10 minutes of change time, whereas I'm used to 60 minute massages with 15 minutes for sheet/client changes. (Five minutes doesn't sound like that big a difference, but when you're having to wait for folks to get dressed and then take them all the way across the sizable spa space before heading back and stripping sheets, it's a noticeable lack.) The general policy appears to be that, as your schedule fills, the front desk blocks you off for a break somewhere in the middle of your shift, which gives you a chance to catch your breath and generally makes it much more manageable. Hopefully it'll keep working that way in practice.

But in the meantime, I think the next couple of days are going to be about snuggling down and recuperating - I have letters to write, and books to read, and cats to snuggle. And I might've just ordered a bunch of new teas to try as well - The New Mexico Tea Company and their amazing labels will be my downfall, I swear. Hurrah for cozy weekends!
missroserose: (Default)
My life looks very different now as compared to a year ago.

On the whole, it's a set of changes I'm pleased with. I've made a number of friends; found a career path; found a clinic job, a couple of fill-in gigs, and a number of private clients; I've enthused about my new career to lots of people and handed out lots of business cards, and generally made a start at establishing myself as a therapist, especially in the local yoga community. I'm in the process of making my first major job change, from the clinic to a spa in a swanky hotel, working for a woman I like and respect very much, with possible future management opportunities if I want to pursue them. I'm making an effort to continue learning in my field. I'm bringing in some income again, with a lot of potential ahead for more. My social calendar is filling up and my work calendar is as well, and so far I've been pretty successful at juggling the two.

The tradeoff, perhaps unsurprisingly, has been a corresponding increase in anxiety, despite regular yoga-going. Of course, being me, I didn't realize it at first; I'm excellent at sublimating anxiety and turning it into fuel. I merely attributed the stiffness in my shoulders to unaccustomed workload and figured I was just focusing extra hard and therefore not particularly talkative, until Brian finally sat me down and said "So...you've been really moody and hard to live with lately, what's going on?" and I put two and two together, took a deep breath, and almost broke down crying.

I've been trying hard not to berate myself over it; it's perfectly reasonable that the measures I took to keep my mood issues in check for the past couple of years aren't going to be sufficient for such a dramatic lifestyle change. It's hard, though; some part of me feels like this is a failing on my part, that I should have at least seen this coming and accounted for it. Then there's the ever-present fear that it was the even-keeled-ness that was the exception, that the stress => anxiety => moodiness => depression cycle is my natural state that I'll always return to. And it certainly didn't help when, roundabout the middle of the month when things hit a nadir, I sabotaged myself by subsisting almost entirely on junk food for a week, until I put myself in the blood sugar loop-de-loops and nearly passed out at work. (Brownies. Not breakfast food. Also, my Achilles' heel.)

So I'm working on climbing up out of that trench...again. Awareness is turning out to be a big part of the equation - noticing when my focus starts to narrow, when my stride starts to get that extra spring in it, when I start having difficulty keeping the flow of a conversation going because my brain keeps circling around one particular topic. Self-care comes next; massage is helpful, as are meditative exercises (and keeping focused on the meditative aspects when at my yoga classes). Eating well, of course, which means planning out time for grocery shopping and food prep rather than letting all of that slide so that the only thing available for breakfast is a brownie. I've also invested in some bottles of Soylent, despite my dislike of the "high-tech disruptive food of the future!" cult that's sprung up around it; the fact is, it does a good job keeping my blood sugar steady on days when I don't have the time to make/eat a full breakfast, so I'm going to keep some around regularly, Brian's aesthetic objections notwithstanding. ("It tastes like watery oats and sadness!")

I may also try reiki in the future. I'd tried a couple of sessions as part of a massage trade, and they were pleasant and produced some interesting effects, but nothing I would have called "therapeutic", exactly. But yesterday I had an interesting experience. I took a yoga class taught by the woman I'd done trades with; it was an excellent class in its own right, but towards the end when we were all in savasana, she was going around doing a bit of reiki on people. Busy floating along on endorphins, I wasn't even aware of where she was; then at one point I felt a discrete tingle all through my lower torso, and I had just enough time to wonder what had caused it before her hands came down on my hips. And...well, I'm not quite sure how to describe the sensation; y'all know I'm a little distrustful of experiences that can't be quantified. But physically, I could feel myself relaxing, and emotionally...I felt like a dried-out sponge that someone had just put into a pan of water. After class, she commented, "You were seriously ready for that reiki!" and I couldn't disagree. So perhaps I'll see if she wants to do another trade or two in the future.

And then there's needing to take time for myself. I think this might be the biggest piece of the puzzle; I was looking at my schedule recently and realizing that, while I've had some downtime between shifts/appointments/social engagements, it's been a few weeks since I had a solid day or two with no commitments. Some people can function just fine being "always on"; unfortunately, I need to face the fact that I'm not one of them, and I need downtime. It's frustrating, because there's always something that needs doing, or someone I haven't seen in a while whom I'd like to hang out with, which makes it easy to feel guilty; I think letting go of that guilt over prioritizing myself is going to be key to sustaining this pace.
missroserose: (Default)
Tonight Brian and I went to see Mythbusters Unleashed, which is staged (as Brian put it) rather like a science-themed traveling medicine show; for most of the segments, Adam and Jamie would take scientific principles that are relatively dry or abstract (force equalling mass times acceleration, for instance, or the power of friction) and find colorful ways to demonstrate it (having a large male volunteer try to hit a high-striker carnival bell with a gavel versus a fourth-grade girl with a sledgehammer, or hoisting Adam up nearly to the ceiling by two shuffle-paged telephone books). It was fun, in an Exploratorium Onstage kind of way.

One of the more thought-provoking moments, however, was when Adam was talking about his personal history, and how for so much of his life he had lots of different interests, but never had a focus. So he would spend some time learning a new skill or subject and get better-than-average at it, but would inevitably hit that wall where in order to have a hope of actually becoming good, he'd have to dedicate a serious chunk of his life to it. And he'd shy away, because that wasn't what he wanted, and would lament all the time he'd wasted learning that skill, when it was apparently his destiny to only ever get a step above mediocrity.

And then the day came when the studio called him and asked him if he would be interested in joining a show called Mythbusters, which turned into, well...Mythbusters. And even though they've just finished filming the final season, and for the first time in fourteen years he won't be spending huge amounts of time at it, he's discovered through the show that his calling is in science - specifically, the storytelling and communication and public outreach aspect of it. He might not have the specialized know-how to make cutting-edge discoveries or devote his life to research, but he has the intelligence and enthusiasm and charisma to explain and demonstrate basic principles and new discoveries to folks who otherwise might never even think about them; and all his many weird and varied skills help him to do that, as they give him a broad background of experiences from which to draw, which in turn helps him solve problems by thinking in new and different ways.

People who've followed my personal agonizing over my career might recognize this theme. I have so many weird and varied skills and pockets of knowledge, but for so many years, I had no real drive to develop any of them. So I'd write a bit here, and play the guitar there, and study psychological or sociological principles one day, and then read up on how they were used in marketing, and another day I'd be looking at the latest studies in neurochemistry, or learning about physiology so I could diagnose myself and avoid a doctor's bill, and now and then there'd be some yoga in there, and then a friend suggested I go to massage school.

And I suddenly felt like the savant in her element. Helping people feel better appealed to my humanistic bent; all the basic physiology/pathology I knew gave me a good foundation and kept the science courses from being overwhelming. The psychology and sociology and storytelling helped me understand how the profession is viewed and how to frame it most attractively to potential clients; the yoga (and associated knowledge of alignment/proprioception) helped with body mechanics. Even the employment-law and ethical stuff my mother used to lecture me on when I was a kid turned out to have relevance. For the first time, I had a focus, something I was enthusiastic about and not scared to devote a good chunk of my life to; and it intersected with almost everything I enjoy. (Still working on getting the music in there.)

I still worked hard in school, don't get me wrong; there's a reason I was barely available for those seven months. But having that foundation, that basic understanding of how these subjects worked and how they fit together, made all the difference; it's why I got one of the highest MBLEx scores on local record, and why I feel I really have the potential to be great in this field. In a way, I've been studying for it my whole life.

I don't know if bodywork is what I'm going to do for the rest of my life or not. But having had that experience, of finding that point of intersectionality between so many different interests and realizing that it's not necessarily a question of either/or, was a life-altering experience. I don't think I ever consciously articulated it before now, but for so much of my life I was afraid I was going to have to Pick One Thing and focus on it exclusively - that was the message I always got about acting, about writing, about any kind of career-level undertaking (at least if you wanted to excel at your career). Now I know that, even if I do decide to do something other than bodywork later on in life, I'll still have this knowledge (plus whatever else I've picked up in the interim); and chances are I'll find something else that has a high intersectionality with my interests. I'll just have to trust that my intuition will help me figure out what.
missroserose: (Default)
Having grown up in the Pacific Northwest, where "fall" is basically a two-week period between "all the trees turn colors overnight" and "the first big windstorm comes along and sweeps all the leaves away", it's interesting to me how comparatively elongated the Midwest version is. Some trees are eager to be the first to show off their bright foliage; but even once they've shed their leaves and begun their winter rest, others are more demurely turning, a few leaves at a time. Even when the wind kicks up a few weeks later, only some of the trees are ready to undress, while others stubbornly cling to their coverage. "Fall" seems an inappropriately staccato word for the season; I think I've started to understand why some people prefer the term "autumn".

Getting home from Washington was a little odd, emotionally. I've been traveling so much of late - I think, of the past four months, I've spent five weeks out of town - that it didn't quite feel real, coming home to my bedroom and my bed and my home, and realizing I didn't have to have plans in place for my next trip. Frankly, my bed almost felt a little alien, like it wasn't really mine; that seems like a good indicator that it's time to let the rest of the world take care of itself, and not rush to fill my calendar with more trips, even though I have so many friends (and places!) I'd like to see.

Besides, now is when I need to be focusing on my career, on building clientele and finding continuing education and generally figuring out how to be the best massage therapist I can be. Immediate plans include getting training in pregnancy massage and finding a good opportunity to learn more in-depth myofascial work; future ideas include looking into that trauma-therapy class [livejournal.com profile] gows recommended, and keeping my eyes open for future opportunities to study physical therapy. (It seems an unlikely path at the moment, as I'd have to finish my bachelor's and then take a two-year course on top of that, none of which comes cheap time- or money-wise. But at one point I thought the same thing about massage school, and I found a way to make it work. So we'll see where my experiences take me.) Additionally, the school director has been talking to me about possibly taking over some of the science classes she's been teaching, which would be awesome experience and a nice way to earn extra money without wearing myself out physically. I can't wait to teach an anatomy class that consists entirely of having the students write a version of "I Am The Very Model of a Modern Major General" about the origins, insertions, and actions of muscles.

And frankly, I'm glad to have the time to enjoy my city; there's so much going on at any given time that I can't possibly make all of it (especially now that I have a schedule to work around), but I've managed to have some awesome experiences nonetheless. Last weekend [livejournal.com profile] gracewanderer and [livejournal.com profile] cyranocyrano came to stay, and we all went to see the closing weekend of the Chicago Shakespeare Company's The Tempest. Brian and I had already seen it at opening and were blown away, as much by the quality of the acting as by the costumes and sets (featuring a delightfully run-down Depression-era circus theme) and the music (which you could tell from basically the first chord was written by Tom Waits, and was sung and played amazingly well by a small band onstage). Plus the onstage magic sequences were just stunning (hardly surprising, as Teller co-directed). But the actors really carried the day; it was one of the few big-budget Shakespeare renditions I'd seen where you didn't awe at the big setpiece sequences...and then settle back to wait for the wordsy parts to be done so you could see the next big impressive thing. I've noticed folks are much pickier about standing ovations in Chicago than they are in the PNW, but these folks got one both times I saw them, and they well deserved it.

I think I'm going to make more of an effort to take in Chicago's amazing theatre and concert scene this winter. It can get tricky, what with working three evenings a week - I had to pass on Vanessa Carlton earlier this month, which made me sad. But I think it'll be good for me to get out of the house more as the months get colder. I'm already working on getting back to my three-plus-times-a-week yoga schedule (as my sore quadriceps attest) and the improvement in sleep quality and focus at work is pretty clear. So here's to being a little more settled -- but not sedentary! -- for the next year or so.
missroserose: (Default)
Today I start my new job! I'm slightly apprehensive about it, more so than is really justified. I mean, I've worked there before (student clinic is basically an internship), so I know the procedures; I know where everything is, I know the place is well-run by high-functioning and ethical people that I like. I've even heard through the grapevine that clients have been asking after me (although we'll see if they book with me now that I'm a professional and command twice the hourly rate, heh). And I genuinely like and am good at the work. So there's no reason to be concerned.

And yet I can't help feeling just a bit anxious, more so even than the usual "starting a new venture" nerves. Now that I think about it, I wonder if it's the very perfect-seeming-ness of the position that's contributing. I mean, if this were just another office job, it'd be...well, just another office job. I've never really self-identified as "secretary" even when I was doing it full-time; it was always a stepping-stone. (I was rarely certain what it was a stepping-stone to, but I knew I wasn't going to be a secretary my whole life.) "Massage therapist" maybe wasn't my first choice on the list ten years ago, but it's been a bit of a revelation; I don't have the mental blocks about it that I do about music and writing and acting, so I can do it wholeheartedly and with clear intentions; a particular joy I've rarely experienced before and never in a career-type context.

So starting to do it as a career is a little scary. Not because I'm worried I'll fail, really, but because I'm concerned I'll lose that joy. (The phenomenon of people losing former enjoyment in an activity they're being paid to do is a well-documented bit of human nature - something in how our brains are wired seems to think we only need one reason to engage in any particular activity, and "money" replaces "genuine enjoyment" dispiritingly easily.) And because I identify so strongly with this work, if I stop enjoying it, or if some other aspect of it doesn't work out, it's a much bigger part of my identity that I'm having to reshape.

I think my challenge is going to be twofold: more immediately, figuring out how to stay focused on doing my best work in the moment; and more overarchingly, figuring out how to stay engaged and fulfilled in the field, even during the inevitable plateaus. I strongly suspect "continuing to learn new tricks and techniques" is going to be a big part of that second one; despite it being a little premature as yet, I've been eyeing local physical therapy education programs. But I don't have to worry about that now; I can take this one day at a time. So...onward!
missroserose: (Default)
Yep. I'm sick again.

Brian started feeling under the weather just before we left Sweden, and had to navigate public transit, international flights, and customs all while coughing and feverish, poor guy. (The one upside: August being a slow month for vacationers, on the long-haul flight both ways we got a whole row of seats to ourselves. So at least he wasn't coughing on anyone directly.) At first we just thought he'd picked up whatever cold I'd gotten on the way there, but when he started in on a wracking chest cough, and especially once I started feeling under the weather a couple of days after our return, I figured it was time for us to see the doctor.

The diagnosis? Flu! (And flu shots literally just became available here in town. Augh, timing.) And because Brian's an overachiever, he also had a secondary strep infection. (Or as he put it, "I thought I just had Plane Ebola, but apparently I have Double Bonus Plane Ebola.") And because I live with the overachieving bacterial-colony-host, guess who's also showing strep symptoms two days later? Yup, that's me. Overachiever by proxy.

In fairness, things could be much much worse. The doctor wrote me a prescription for antibiotics as well ("I hate just giving out antibiotics but you seem smart enough not to take them unless you start getting symptoms, and there's a high likelihood you will"), so the extra-bonus-miserableness will likely be short-lived. Brian didn't have anything pressing on his schedule for the next week or two, and his boss has been great about letting him work from home (and occasionally doped up on codeine cough syrup). I'm not scheduled to start my new job until the 20th, which hopefully, with the help of Tamiflu and amoxicillin and lots of tea and rest, will be plenty of time to get better.

So my life has once again been reduced to bed, couch, books, tea, carrot-dill soup (homemade and brought over by local friends - thank you so much, Tara and Nate!), and YouTube videos. I put up a request on Facebook for silly videos or series recommendations, and my friends came through in spades. Here are some favorites, in case anyone else is under the weather or wants to have a stash of entertainment handy for the next time they're sick:

--The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, a retelling of Pride & Prejudice through Lizzie Bennet's vlog. I'm a little burned out on P&P retillings, to be honest, but this one is pretty well done all around: exceptionally well-cast, well-acted and expertly produced, and adapted with relative ease to the present-day setting (instead of entailment, the Bennets are concerned about losing their house to the financial crisis; Mr. Collins is an aspiring indie vlogger who's received a huge venture capital investment from a "very wealthy and exceedingly intelligent woman"). Plus it's surprised me by adding more than a few modern twists to the story - I particularly liked one video where Lizzie debates with herself over the ethics of putting recordings of people (or even her impressions of people) online without their knowing. A dilemma for the Internet age, certainly, but I find myself wondering if Jane Austen had similar thoughts when writing characters who (I'm sure) were based on people she knew in everyday life.

--IKEA Heights, a soap opera filmed entirely (and unbeknownst to the staff) in the Burbank, California IKEA store. Unlike the Lizzie Bennet Diaries, I'm not certain this one really offers much past its basic premise, but man, that premise is a downright gold mine of visual gags, and certainly holds up for the four-episode initial arc.

--This variety show act, whose provenance I am uncertain of but which made me laugh to no end. It's a good trick, elevated by the impeccable delivery.

--The Tale of How, a hypnotic and fantastical animation that (even having watched it several times) I'm not quite sure how to describe - surrealist, certainly, but with a fairly traditional story beneath the natural-industrial-mashup art design. The music is similarly strange, eschewing traditional intervals and harmonies and at times almost dissonant, but with a mostly-consistent rocking beat that evokes the ever-moving ocean. I'm honestly sad I can't find a version in high-def - the intricate visual work frankly deserves it.

--And, equally well-done but on the complete opposite end of the artistic spectrum, We Like Them Girls, a highly NSFW music video with amazing production values that's a pretty pitch-perfect satire of mainstream dance music (and, in many ways, mainstream masculine culture)...done entirely in LEGO. It pre-dates the LEGO Movie by a few years (and is obviously aimed at a much less, erm, mixed-age audience), but it feels like it has a lot of the same anarchic satirical spirit, enough that I'm curious if the same person ended up working on the movie. Even if not, I'm pretty sure this video helped inspire the "Where are my pants?" gag. Reductio ad absurdum: works for social satire even better than for online debates!

Okay, that's enough from me now - it's time for some NyQuil and a nap. ("NyQuil and the Naps" would be a horrible band name. Don't use it.) If you want to add to the video suggestion list, please do - I'm likely going to be on the couch at least another day or two, and can always use more recommendations!
missroserose: (Default)
I said earlier this month that I love the transitional seasons, and it's true. But Life, as it tends to do, has taken me at my word. It's been a month of changes: some minor; some major, but distant enough in my social network to be relatively minor in terms of their day-to-day effects on my life; a few pretty profound.

Interestingly, the most personally profound are less changes in external status as they are in internal outlook. For one, I've reached the point in my education where I start to look at people and see them differently; in much the same way Brian looks at a new place and immediately scopes out the places where the wireless access points and cameras and other network equipment all are (or if they aren't, where they should be), I've gotten to the point where I can look at someone's movement and posture and immediately suspect what's going on with their musculature/fascial system - where they're tight, where they're inhibited, where they're probably feeling pain/discomfort. So far it's mostly just generalities, but I'm starting to see those around me way a bodyworker sees them, and it's kind of an awesome ability. Even if it occasionally makes me despair when I pass by the same woman day after day wearing the same unsupportive heels that make her entire foot collapse inward.

For another example, I'm actually genuinely excited for my friend Donna - she's the one expecting her very-much-wanted child. (Latest news - it's a girl!) After some discussion, Brian and I have volunteered to be godparents; it'll mean making an effort to visit regularly and remember birthdays and Christmas, but honestly, Donna's practically family anyway, and one of the things I remember most fondly from growing up was the variety of close friends my mother had, from whom I got to learn about many different options in terms of lifestyle and priorities. (It helped me feel less railroaded when I was a teenager, which, growing up in suburbia, felt like a time when the world is simultaneously telling me "You can be anything you want to be!" and "So long as it's going to college and getting a job and getting married and having 2.1 children and buying a house and being a good consumer!") And it feels like the right thing for me; I want to help raise the next generation, but despite my recently-reexamined views on the importance of childrearing, I still am just not feeling any particular desire to have kids of my own. But I'm thoroughly jazzed to be in the helper/supporter role, and am even kind of looking forward to when she gets older and we can take her for a week here and there and give her parents a break.

On a more external front, graduation is coming up fast. I'm definitely going to apply to work at the school clinic, but I've also come up with an idea for a target market that I could build a clientele around - they're both greatly underserved and would likely have need of my services (both in the "needs the work due to physically demanding job" sense and the more nebulous "needs a safe place where they feel cared for" sense). I'm kind of excited because it's the first solid idea I've had that feels right for me. It's still just an idea, of course, and building clientele is as much luck and perseverance as it is ideas, but I'm hopeful. And it gives me something to focus my marketing-class project on.

Less concrete but equally profound has been the continued realization that I have, somewhat unintentionally, become Part Of The Yoga Community here in Chicago. Mostly it's just little things, like meeting someone for the first time and having them comment that they've heard about me from their favorite teacher, or having someone tell me about being at a yoga-related event and having my name come up in the group. (Luckily in a flattering context, at least that time.) I guess it's not terribly surprising; I go to various CorePowers regularly and am unshy and friendly and sort of stand out...but. But.

In all honesty, it's a little bit scary for me. I don't have the greatest experience with community participation; a lot of the traits people initially find attractive about me (forthrightness, confidence, analytical ability, fearlessness in speaking up) tend to read differently in mixed-company scenarios (tactless, arrogant, judgmental, overpoweringly opinionated). In many ways, I still speak Human as a second language; it's difficult for me to read multiple people's reactions in the moment and censor myself accordingly. So I try to make the most effort to spend time with people I know understand me in one-on-one or small-group scenarios. But community links are important, and helpful in one's career as well as one's social life, so I'm making an effort to strengthen those relationships. My marketing class notes actually had an insightful suggestion on that point: "You have: two (2) eyes, two (2) ears, and one (1) mouth. Use them in that order." It's taken me upwards of three decades, but I'm slowly learning when to be quiet and listen.

And this isn't even getting into the more distal-social-network events that're happening - deaths, marriages, pregnancies. Life moves fast! And I feel eminently lucky to be living it somewhere I love that has opportunities for me, even if I'm a bit scared I'll make a hash of them. But to paraphrase Miles Vorkosigan, it's all about the momentum - keep moving, keep learning, or you might as well give up. Things move quickly - let's jump on that train! Onward!
missroserose: (Warrior III)
Things continue to go well at CorePower. Better than well, actually - they called and offered me a shift for the yoga-for-trade program. So assuming all goes well at my training this Saturday, I may not have to depend on my mother's largesse for my mood-regulating activities! Woo! The only hitch is that I have to figure out what to do for the 18th, since I'll be out of town...but I mentioned that in my email response, and they still said "Come out for training", so I assume we'll be able to work something out.

Physically, I'm very pleased with how I'm continuing to improve. I had sort of expected to plateau at some point, and it's true that progress hasn't been quite as quick as it was when I first started, but my balance and strength are still growing noticeably. And then there's the aforementioned mood-evening effects. There's a video making the rounds claiming that the best thing you can possibly do for your health is spend at least twenty minutes per day doing something active; just walking or whatever didn't seem to be doing a lot to help my mental state, but an hour of power-yoga four or five times a week is having a really noticeable effect. I sleep better, I spend less time depressed and moody, I feel better about my life in general. (I even wrote a story! Did I mention that?) I'm hoping that this turns out to be a continuous thing and not "a couple weeks from now you adjust and then you're back to your usual mood-swingy self"...fingers crossed.

On a more entertaining note, yesterday a friend and I were going to go to another class at a different studio, which I was a bit excited about - the teacher there is supposed to be really excellent, and also teaches an aerial yoga class that I'd potentially be quite interested in. But due to a scheduling mix-up, we ended up not getting out there in time. (The class was at 6, she had thought it was at 6:30, so there was a stretch of about twenty minutes or so where I was getting more and more anxious waiting for her, and she was thinking "hey, we have plenty of time..." and then we realized what the mix-up was and had a good laugh about it. I was all "I'm so glad you don't think me ridiculously uptight!") We figured we'd go to the CorePower class at 7, hung out and chatted for a bit, and then I went to double-check the schedule and make sure I hadn't been confused on the time...and as it happened, the class had been canceled. So instead we hung around in our yoga pants and chatted with Brian and ordered take-out and celebrated International Gin Week. When we dropped her off, she was all "Wow, this was the best yoga class ever! I feel so flexible!" Maybe I should start a new school...?
missroserose: (Balloons and Ocean)
I'm pleased to report that last week's growing depression-and-self-pity miasma has dissipated. Things had lifted noticeably by Friday, though I had a bit of a vulnerability hangover to deal with; and over the weekend I felt much much better. I suspect just getting all that off my chest was a relief in and of itself, even if I still didn't have any particular ideas for a solution. (The fact that the weather went from dark and cloudy and chilly to sunny and breezy and beautiful probably didn't hurt, either.)

Also of help were my friends. I was surprised, in fact, at how many of you responded, far more than I had expected - I guess the whole "I'm afraid of failure but even more afraid of success" conundrum is more common than I realized. Big thanks to Ken, Maggie, Raven, and Robs (and my mum, although her input was via phone). You all invested significant time in helping me think it all over and pointing out things I hadn't considered, and it was extremely useful to have your perspectives. You are awesome and I love each and every one of you. <3

While I still don't have a whole lot of ideas in the way of solutions, I'm coming to realize that perhaps I don't need to find a way to solve this problem right here and now. While it's true that people tend to remain faithful to their fundamental personalities, they do grow and change and (perhaps most importantly) learn to overcome and/or compensate for their neuroses; and that's not even accounting for how their circumstances change too. It's perfectly possible that, rather than this particular failure meaning that I'm never going to achieve anything in this arena, it just means it's not the right route for me now. Maybe that'll change in the future, maybe not, but there's no reason to despair of ever making progress as an independent artist. So for now, I'm going to work on just continuing my daily practice/writing goals, even if I don't always achieve them, and even if they don't seem ambitious enough to actually accomplish anything. The fact is, 15 minutes of practice and 500 words a day is infinitely better than nothing. I'm just going to work hard on letting go of that expectation that I Devote X Hours A Day Or I'm Not A Serious Artist, and just keep the practice up and work more when I'm inspired. And if I manage to convince myself that it's okay to take on that coffeeshop gig, or submit that short story somewhere, well, so much the better.

In the meantime, today's been a good day for accomplishments, especially of all the stuff I'd been putting off last week. I got laundry done, and (after watching a dust bunny or two blow by like the tumbleweeds in Arizona) did a bunch of sweeping and general house cleaning, too. I picked up the dry cleaning and mailed a package. And I penetrated interstate bureaucracy deeply enough to figure out how to get my fingerprints taken and processed so that I can help with the same survey-administration job in the Detroit school district, which was no small feat.

So as a reward, I went purse-shopping. My small black Fossil purse is still in great shape, but I've lately discovered that being a transit-based urbanite makes having a larger handbag useful, since otherwise you end up carrying a second tote bag for your headphones/books/miscellaneous purchases/etc. And, much to my surprise, I managed to find something {a} non-hideous and {b} decently well-made that {c} fit my fairly narrow size/design requirements (bigger but not so big as to be unwieldy to carry, some sort of closure at the top since it rains here regularly) and {d} cost half of my self-imposed $100 budget. So I am pretty throughly pleased about that.
missroserose: (After the Storm)
I just want to say, in retrospect, that I think that was the worst gastro bug I've ever had. It wasn't quite as "oh god kill me now" intensive as some of the 24-hour bugs I've lived through, but three and a half days of painful cramps followed by another four days of barely being able to eat and having almost no energy was...pretty darn horrible. Today's the first day I've really felt like myself, which is good because it's two days in to my temp gig. (And I still can barely eat a few bites at a time before my stomach just goes "nope". My calorie tracker is looking rather distressingly bare.)

The aforementioned gig is going well so far. I'm working with some social-research folks administering surveys to kids in South Side (read: entirely African-American) high schools, which has been an interesting cultural experience and I'll probably have some thoughts on that later. (Suffice it to say that, during a large part of our prep work straightening out rosters yesterday, we wished we had the services of Mr. Garby.) But today's batch of kids was a pretty good, if boisterous, group. As a former English major, this exchange in particular cracked me up:

Teacher: "All right, class. For anyone who's not participating in the survey, I've got a short story you can read and respond to."

Girl in the back: "Ms. Crawford, all your 'short stories' are like two, three pages!"

Teacher, drily: "Welcome to high school."

But the moment where all three of us seriously lost our shit came later. Chicago School District requires active consent on the part of parents before their kids can participate in surveys, and we're raffling off gift cards as a means to motivate the kids to get their permission forms signed and brought in. After one period was done with the survey, my coworker got up in front of the class and drew the name of the winner, at which we heard a scoffing sound from elsewhere in the room. "Pshhh. Why it always gotta be the black guy?"

...Sorry, kid. Racial resentment just doesn't work when you're in a single-race classroom. :D
missroserose: (Balloons and Ocean)
--While reading this fantastic post on Renaissance Florence and Machiavelli to my mother (who studied Renaissance art and history in college), I commented that she and it were probably two of the biggest reasons I'd picked Italian as a language to learn in Duolingo, despite the fact that it was arguably the least practical of the available options. She laughed, and said "That's because the point of the Italian language, just like the point of Italian culture, isn't to be useful or practical - it's to be beautiful!" I thought she was being a little facetious, but after reading that post again, I'm not so sure. Still, it made me feel a little better about my choice - and determined to read more on the history of Florence.

--Upon the close of a wonderful houseguest experience with my musician friends Olivia and Colin, I was driving them back to the airport, and made a joke about how could they please leave Brian and me a nice Yelp review. A moment later, Colin piped up from the backseat: "Review: 2 out of 5 stars. Hosts were too good to be true. Suspect I was heavily drugged the entire time." Awww. <3

--Technically two moments, but - due to my CorePower Yoga Groupon being about to run out, I've talked this week to a couple of teachers whose classes I particularly enjoyed, telling them that I'm probably going to try a different and potentially more cost-effective option in the area, and their responses were identical: "No! You can't leave! Join our yoga-for-trade program!" (It looks like they have a program where do either cleaning or front-desk work for three hours a week, and they give you a free membership. Assuming 12 hours a month, that's well over $10 an hour in trade, which is a pretty good deal, especially when you're an artist type without a full-time job. So I may well look into it. Also that explains how they keep the studios/locker rooms so spotlessly clean.) Despite the relatively low level of socialization in the studio's culture, I've apparently managed to form relationships with the teachers without even realizing it. Hah. One of them commented "I'm always happy when you show up. I'm all "Oh, Rose is here! I love her, she always tries." Thanks...?
missroserose: (Hippie Musician)
Between the lack-of-work situation and some fairly large expenses that have cropped up recently (hello, medical bills that go so far beyond ridiculous as to be sublime!), I'm starting to seriously look at my options with finding another job, even just a low-paying part-time gig. Thing is, it's nearly the end of tourist season here, so I doubt many folk will be hiring, and I don't always have the transport to get to Sierra Vista. (Not to mention exactly how much the gas costs inherent to a 60-mile round-trip commute eat into your part-time paycheck.)

It's occurred to me more than once that I could take up busking - I have a (small) repertoire at this point, and God knows I could use the performing practice. I also have a list of reasons not to - or really, excuses - about a mile long. It's getting to be hot outside. Tourist season is almost over. There aren't that many people around anyway. I wouldn't make enough to make it worth my time. I can only play about half an hour before my chording hand starts to hurt. I only really know maybe five songs well enough to perform. If I got bored of them and tried something new I might make mistakes in front of people. Hell, I might make mistakes on the ones I do know. Not to mention people might laugh at me for busking with a $1400 guitar.

I think it was my mother that told me once that the best road to achieving your dreams was to take the course of action that made you think of the most reasons not to do it. If that's true, I should be making a livable wage on my music...oh, about three days after I start busking. :P
missroserose: (Life = Creation)

Holy crap.

I may have just talked my way into another job. Completely unintentionally. Despite the fact that I'm starting to have to trot to keep up with the two I've already got. And it's something I'd likely really enjoy doing, even if the hours could be better. Pay would likely be pretty decent, too, and it's the sort of thing that could open up a lot of opportunities down the line. Like, a lot.

Sigh. I seem to remember, not too long ago, thinking something like 'hey, look - I can work part time and work on my writing and won't that be pleasant'. But I seem to have decided that the laid-back life isn't for me. Maybe I have some of my mother's overachieving genetics after all?

Posted via LiveJournal app for iPhone.


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