Saturday, July 14, 2012

Pinned to the wall

It began lapping at my feet in about January. The waves were warm and made my toes tingle.


It was coming. I was so excited. I was ready. I couldn't wait.

In the mean time I got on with enjoying my study and freelance free life free. With my head down I ploughed on with a major work project I'd been working on for months. It presented me with some good and often challenging opportunities. I put in my all, and sometimes I put in too much but I was surrounded by an equally dedicated team of contract staff who made the work a joy. At home I tackled some nice little creative ideas and caught up on some reading. Nice times indeed.

I took off to Europe for the whole month of March. In Stockholm, surrounded by inspiration and with separation and time to contemplate, the waves of change rose dramatically. I only realised when I met with an old friend how much I had grown in twelve months. Things I had blindly accepted before I was no longer happy to stand for. I was looking at the world with fresh, stronger eyes and I was not only liking what I saw but how I felt.

Fast forward to July. The work project has wrapped up, the contractors have moved on and I feel like an athlete who's trained really hard, run their marathon and won, and is now sitting at the end of the track wondering what to do next. The waves of change is still coming at me, but instead of surfing freely I feel like I'm pinned up against a cliff by the breakers with no way to climb. 

It's so frustrating. I want the change, I'm impatient for it. But I just cant see what's next. I know the light and clarity is there somewhere but right now it's out of reach.
Some ideas have floated by me. I have contemplated writing a book, or perhaps designing some digital psych games for kids. I read about a role as an ethnographic researcher for a large tech firm and thought it sounded interesting. I even considered doing more of the same of what I've been doing, but ultimately my heart's not fully in any of these ideas.
I feel stuck.

Deep down I know part of what is pinning me to that cliff is that I'm being too rational about what I 'should' be doing with my life. I've spent eight years training as an art therapist and psychologist so I 'should' get my registration and go into practice. I'm good at managing digital projects and teams so I 'should' sell my expertise elsewhere. I'm a visual and user experience designer with a background in technology, so I 'should' use these skills to continue to make the digital space more engaging.

Should, should, should.

Yesterday I caught up with a dear friend J. We always seem to be in sync I love our brainstorming sessions - she's a total dynamite and so inspiring. As it happens she is having a breakthrough of her own she's put me onto a few techniques to help loosen the block. She also suggested I watch a doco called 'Finding Joe' essentially about Joseph Campbell's work on mythology and the hero's journey. It speaks the message that we need to be courageous and to face our fears so as to liberate ourselves from the a conformed life.

"We must be willing to get rid of the life we've planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us."

That's exactly what I need to do. Shed old images and schemas that I have of myself and my life. Open up and imagine. I ought not limit myself to repeating my past, the shoulds, or to taking what I think is available. I need to really listen to what makes me feel alive and believe I can make it happen. That includes my whole life - who I believe I am, how I live, and what I do with my life. I need not be afraid that I can't do it.

I feels like I it's time to take a big leap. I know staying still is not an option -  if I do I'll drown and I'm not about to do that. I know I have the courage and the determination. I just need to unlock the shackles that are preventing me from breaking through.

Watch. This. Space.

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