The Briefcase

The Briefcase

Monday, November 04, 2013

changes in attitude, changes in gratitude

Yeah, so it's been very busy around here. That's not new, of course, I have just felt out of cope for much of the time. It's so wearing at times to be a responsible adult and try to Do Everything You're Supposed to Do on time, in a good way. Sometimes I just want to run away and play, and it's not happening very often, it seems like. The state of the house and yard tell me I'm not keeping up with all of the 'supposed to's' as it is. I'm constantly wondering how other people manage to keep up with everything.
Latest news:
Not so good news: Paul is losing the company he's been working for and was very happy with, but the company is closing, so he's on the job search again. Here's hoping he lands something good sooner, since being us, we have no big financial cushion to land on. Being an artist and a games programmer/designer doesn't tend to lead to long term job stability and comfortable money cushions; at least it hasn't for us. I keep having to adjust my attitude to stay positive on that front.

Better News: I have been hired on a long term contract basis with the non-profit Boldly Me, for which I've been doing art and photography for awhile. Boldly Me has the stated purpose of building self esteem and public awareness for those who feel different. They hold classes and events and provide support and counseling and suchlike for anyone, really.
Though it originally started as a support structure for people with physical differences who needed support and a place where they could just be themselves and fit in, lots of people kept asking if they could join even if they didn't have any obvious differences, if they just felt different on the inside and felt like they didn't fit in. So Boldly Me became more broadly inclusive. It's been growing by leaps and bounds since it started about a year and a half ago.
I first got pulled in because I've known Alanna, the founder and leader, for years; our boys are good friends and we've known each other at least 10 years. When she first started talking about her dream a fair number of years ago now, I tried to encourage her. Alanna has always been a Person Who Gets Shit Done, and once she decided to go for it with Boldly Me, of course it took off.
I'll be their Program Manager for Print Media and Publications, along with being their pet photographer and general artist. Someone called it being their 'Media Goddess' which I rather like. :) I've been doing this sort of work for them already and enjoying it a lot, so that's a very good fit. And it's a great group of folks and a good organization, so I feel like I've landed in a really fortunate situation work-wise. I've never really worked for a non-profit group before, in a situation where I believed in the work and the cause, so it's a new experience to me, and a positive one. I always figured I had a good work ethic before, doing my best to do good work because I felt like it was the right thing to do and I wanted to be proud of the work that I produced, but this work, being for a cause and a purpose I find worthy of respect, adds a different kind of satisfaction to the actual work. I still strive to do the best job I can, but it's been very rare in a job situation to be valued for my opinions and viewpoints as a contributing member to the core values of the group, not just as a hired graphics wrist. My duties are more diverse and involved in helping shape what the organization does and how it accomplishes that, though I am hesitant to say that because it feels so strange to realize that I will be having an impact from within the group. So that's a very good thing.
This new development has had the odd effect of making me realize how much I've been holding myself back in work I've been doing; being hired to design logos or do graphics work is fine, but it's very easy to just do the job and not get invested in who or what it's for. Most of the paying work I've done in the last few years has been for things I didn't really care about, honestly.
It made it easier to focus on family, for one thing; most companies now demand your life be at work and I had already decided that wasn't where my priorities were, so screw that. So it's been a lot of small one-off jobs, really.

But increasingly in the last couple of years, I've been doing pro-bono work for Boldly Me as well as Mission Peak Unitarian Universalist Congregation. I've kind of realized how reserved I was being with it all; I hesitated to tell people even though I really believe in what both organizations do. I've been keeping all of my various worlds separate and silent, and now I'm questioning why that was, like I have had to hide the different aspects of myself from different sets of people in my life. And yet I love all of the varied sets of people I'm lucky enough to have in my life, even if they haven't intersected much.
I kind of feel like, what the hell, why shouldn't I just talk openly about it all? If you believe in something you should be able to speak openly about it, right? What have I been afraid of? Being judged? Being laughed at for helping out causes and people I believe in? I have been realizing that I've still been carrying around some of those old fears from pain I carried when I was younger, and falling into them without even realizing it. My own self-identified, comfortable identity as an 'artist' has increasingly not been enough to define who I am now, as an older person trying to raise boys in a challenging world. It's not enough anymore to define myself as an artist or graphics person, or as any one thing; adaptability is the key for me and the boys and Paul, I think.
Anyone who knows me will be nodding when I say that I have always been prone to self denigration (shut up, Jeff) and a strong and healthy self esteem has never been one of my firmer qualities. But you know, I feel like I'm getting closer and closer to being more fine with who I feel like I really am and who I want to be and merging the two into a stronger, whole person. It feels weird but right. And it feels weird but right to now join up with a non-profit that helps hurt people get stronger in their self esteem.


9 comments:

  1. Because you have struggled with self-esteem, you know what that road is like, you know better what helps it and what probably doesn't, and you have something useful to contribute to other folks there on the front lines. Also, at the time, I remember thinking we were darned lucky in so many ways compared to a lot of other kids at the time, just as Riley and Casey are lucky in relation to a lot of their peers.

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  2. You know I have been telling you for a long time just how special you are, and how much you contribute to more than just the obvious. I'm really glad you are beginning to realize that I don't just say that because I'm your sister, but because you actually are really groovy.

    Im so pleased that Boldly Me is taking off and that you get to do good work for good people and a good cause. Stuff you can feel does right by the world. Its a good fit, indeed.

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  3. A wonderful post, and one I can see a lot of myself in :-) I don't think that a 20 year old me would recognise who I am now at *all*, but on the whole, I think I'm evolving into something very... me... at the heart of it all. And Boldly Me sounds *wonderful*. I must look into it - I know a lot of people over here who could benefit from doing some work in that direction!

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    1. Yeah, Annie, you'd love this group, I think. Alanna does plan to open chapters all over; there are already plans for a New York branch and there's LA and San Diego groups starting up already. Maybe a Great Britain group could happen as well...

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  4. Well this moved me to tears. I am SO glad about the Boldly Me job. I think you will be wonderful for them and they wonderful for you too. The searing honesty of your writing always impresses me and it is one of the things that makes you so very special. And would it be trivial of me to say that I mis-typed Boldly Me as Boldly Go - but what the hell, as Jean-Luc would say to you, magnificent woman - ENGAGE!

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    1. Aw, thanks, Rachel. :) Yeah, I admit I frequently have mis-typed it as Boldly Go as well! Also as Body Me...
      *massive hugs*

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  5. This is great news in so very many ways! Congratulations!

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  6. So then I guess the only question left is where you're going to place the accent. Will it be Media GODdess or Media goddESS?

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    1. Ooh, I think GoddESS, though I hadn't thought of it that way before. You may now refer to me as goddESS.
      heh.

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