Workshop: 2nd week, 2nd day- Emotional

The second day of the one-on-one workshop was tough. Tough for both myself and for my writer. It again leaves me wondering if I should or want to be doing this, again I think, I am not a therapist and I don’t want to be a therapist. Not that there was therapeutic digging but after a series of questions we hit a trigger and my writer was upset. My impulse was to change the subject or be comforting but it was awkward because we don’t know each other, plus this is the “good” stuff so to speak the stuff that goes on the page. There is something a little insensitive and sadistic about it. I know what this is all about and I know my writer does too, but it still feels uncomfortable.

I think back to my own writing and how many times I have sobbed over a paper or broke into tears after reading a particularly powerful paragraph, that may or may not be recounting actual events, but I know the truth of where the emotion comes from. It comes from my life. Same with my writer, her character’s emotions will be coming from a place that is real. From the truth of her life.

But, sometimes I wonder… do we really have to do this? Is it really good art to have to connect to it? Can the audience tell if a piece is disconnected or connected?

I know I am having a difficult time with this because I feel a disconnect within my own life, and work. Sometimes I feel that being disconnected is not such a bad thing, and getting in touch with your hurt is a load of crap. The idea of being numb and distant seems attractive to me. This desire to be seen to be known, what’s the point?

But, I can’t guide my writer through her piece and successfully get those emotions that were flying wild into writable actions if I am not right there with her and connected and paying attention to the feelings in my own life.

I wonder if this will be one of those situations where I see the production and every moment of discomfort and tears will be worth it.  Shakespeare was right wasn’t he, about the world a stage and us merely players?

The fear factor and how to knock that Shiza out

I have four days left of working in the office. It’s been a long transition. In the Quitters Quarterly my type of quitting is called the lingering quit- not meant for the faint of heart. No kidding! A three month notice is too long of a notice but I knew I wanted to do this for at least four. Life unfolds in unexpected ways. The last month and a half has been grueling and slow. Not because I can’t stand my job but because the wait to get started has allowed doubt to creep in. I’m a little scared but if I really break it down there is no reason to be scared. Its just change, something that happens all the time whether we want it to or not and hey, I chose this change. I swear it all comes down to believing in yourself. Believing that you have the ability and the capacity to be anything you want and to live life the way you want to live it.

red shoes I
red shoes I

But this post isn’t about fear and why I would be nervous about quitting my job

and income and insurance and security…

It’s about the final stages of planning. You know when you are going to go on a trip to some place you’ve never been but have always wanted to go? Like to India or island hoping in the Pacific? In order to do this trip you have to give up a lot of things, like your career or a relationship, your family because they don’t approve; it’s too risky and there is no point to it but… you have always wanted to go. You are lonely around people, you’ve made money but don’t feel happy, you have a relationship but sadly down inside you could take it or leave it (and you feel bad about that feeling) you are living “right” but you’re not fulfilled. All you want is to let it all go and take this trip this journey this exploration to places where people don’t know you, don’t identify you as anything but the stereotype of your country, which in actuality is broad, and you don’t have any promises to keep, no disappointments, no expectations just an empty slate for a month, two months maybe a year. You want this! You are giving up everything in the now and the path of the current future for it, and you are a week away from the flight taking off… and that’s when it hits you. Shit! What am I doing? I did like my relationship maybe if I tried harder. If I stay I could work towards a promotion. I have opportunities. What if something happens while I’m gone? And you are right. With every door that opens not just one but several doors close. And the scary thing about the new door, you have no idea where it is opening and you don’t know if there will be other doors or how hard they will be to open. I can drag this analogy on forever but you get what I mean.

My main point is that although I’m not embarking on some trek over the Atlantic, that feeling of a week before you leave is a bit how I feel. I don’t really know why I should feel this way, I mean, unless the world unravels, which I suppose could happen, I’m going to be fine. I think sometimes fear is good. Not a type of fear that paralysis but they kind that makes you be more aware. It’s like if you’re crossing the street. If you are too afraid you’ll never do it, but if you don’t have some fear of getting hit you wont look at all.

It all Begins with Quitting

The other day I was listening to an archive of  This American Life and the topic was quitting. The first story was about a woman, Evan Harris, who wanted to quit everything. Quit her job, her city, her boyfriend, everything, but she didn’t know how to go about it. One day while at work she was alphabetizing files with a co-worker they began talking about the letter Q. Evan felt it was a misplaced letter in the alphabet and, oddly, that was the moment her life changed. I wont say more- you really should go listen to it for yourself, but I have decided that I love this woman. The fact that she felt that the letter q was in the wrong place is enough to fall in love, but her philosophy on quitting sealed the deal. She had created a zine which I’m not too sure if is still in circulation, but I’ve decided to hit up the IPRC on Monday and check out their zine library to see if they have the Quitters Quarterly, and find out what it’s all about. Speaking of quitting I have set my final work date and it’s so close, yet so far. Right now I think I NEED to read the Quitters Quarterly.

A friend of mine had been talking to me about his need to get rid of things, he wanted to take things away from his life. As he told it he felt like maybe this wasn’t a good thing as he continues to see all these people adding things. I agree with the first half of his thoughts. I think the taking away is exactly what I’m looking for the whole, less is more theory. I’m seeing things like taking away, quitting, and cleaning it all out as very good things. But this is all hard things to do. Even when you feel like you have cleansed or quit or moved on sometimes all the things you had been trying to shed creep up back on you.

My last day with the software company Jive is September 15th, 2008. So as of today I begin my count down to what I call my writer’s world. 49 days till writers world. My idea is that on the 15th of September I wake up and start my new day at my new job of being a writer. Till then there are little things I need to clear out of the way to simplify my mind. One is the studio, I need to clean it out. I’m quitting a full-time job, one of the best pays I’ve ever had, and I’m working toward convincing myself it’s all a great idea. That everything is going to work out.

Everything is going to work out.