Block 733: July 27, 2015


In one week, the costume shop goes back on contract for the season.

I’m simultaneously glad (people in the shop again!) and sad (goodbye easy, low-key summer hours).

Back to work.

I’m more glad than anything.

Date: July 27, 2015

Crane: 733

Days Spent on Project: 888

Location: NW Portland, OR

Person I would have sent it to: TBD

Music I listened to: Back again with the playlist that I made on Spotify for The California Project. So, lots of jazz, some 50s pop music, torch singers, and the like.

Thoughts/Feelings behind the block: Let’s think back one year… to July 27, 2015.

I think today was the day that I saw the current apartment in which I live; it had been my umpteenth apartment to walk to and through in Portland, andI saw two other apartments immediately after with two different companies that didn’t even compare in terms of size, space, light, and possibility. I immediately realized this apartment was as right as anything could be for me at the moment, called the super, filled out the paper and dropped a security deposit down.

The decision was made and signed for in all of two hours, I think.

I wouldn’t be able to move in for another month- August 28, 2014 was the big day- and so I nested in the company-provided apartment for another four weeks.

It’s mind-blowing to think how foreign Portland was a year ago. I didn’t even have “my stuff” in town, was living out of one suitcase in a small studio apartment downtown, ate most of my meals at the Whole Foods near the theater, and had no idea what was about to happen with the theater’s season barreling down at me.

This year, with my shop set to start working next Monday, I feel like I’ve caught up with all the outstanding, feasible projects that were on my summer to-do list. I have a grasp on the breakneck marathon that’s about to hit us. I understand what it means to juggle personalities as well as budgets. I understand that there’s a lot to do to improve here, but slowly change is possible. I understand that some changes- the obvious improvements needed- are wanted here. I understand that the less obvious changes and improvements are actually feasible, but I need to be patient and slow.

Redirecting the Titanic from hitting that iceberg isn’t an easy thing to accomplish.

And I also understand now, that as a manager, I have the ability to shape the attitude in the room. And it’s more than having a cheerful outlook or being prepared or facilitating. It’s about bringing people here who want to do the work and can do the work and expecting quality out of people.

I’ve learned a lot here in the past year that I wouldn’t have learned in a year of New York freelancing, precisely because the opportunities I needed (and wanted) were always one rung above me on the design career ladder. To be honest, while I do feel I have the qualities to be a good manager in me, I’m not sure how I landed this job. (I have theories about what *I* was hired over other people.) But, I was hired. I’m working on the job and myself.

And I guess I’m okay with that. I am. It’s challenging work that keeps me busy. I like to be busy.

But this season, the goal is to not be over-busy with the work that will keep me from doing things that make me happy. I want to work on myself, my side projects, my social life this year.

Let’s see if I can do that.

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