On days like these, I have to remind myself that re-directing a ship on a clear collision course with an iceberg isn’t an easy thing to do. The ship has momentum. You’re fighting the pressure of the water. Someone before you obviously started the ship down this path. The passengers enjoying their expensive meals or drinks or events might not be aware of the path ahead of them.
And you try.
Dammit, you try.
And it is hard.
It takes time.
I told myself a year ago, when I stepped into this Portland Costume Shop that I had to grab the helm as quickly and obviously as I could. Have I always pointed effectively away from that iceberg? Have I always done so smiling? Have I let the sweat on my brow show sometimes? Have I acknowledged this was hard? Have I kept my cool always?
There were problems. There are problems.
But I have been turning the helm for 16 months. The rudder has angled itself slightly and we are headed in a different direction.
It’s working. Slowly it is working.
But it does take time and work.
Date: November 12, 2015
Days Spent on Project: 996
Location: NW Portland, OR
Person I would have sent it to: TBD
Music I listened to while sewing: I was about to start watching a documentary called The True Cost on Netflix (I really should watch this for work!), but I’m now just shuffling through Spotify.
Thoughts/Feelings behind the block: My dog is humorously watching me type right now. His head is balanced on the side of my keyboard, and he’s sneaking licks of my fingers every once and a while.
I am a good manager. I have a skill at this. I’m good at doing this. I work hard at it.
Today, I got confirmation that my shop is on my side. They see and feel the work that I’ve put into this. I probably blushed when this came up. I most likely did.
It made me feel good to be recognized for that work, especially when so much of it has felt unappreciated or unknown or “tested” by them. I felt great.
There is still so much more work to do. I have so much more advocating ahead of me.
But, for now, I feel like I have to be doing something right.
Simultaneously, with all those warm and fuzzy feelings, I’m nagged by the annoyance that I might not ever get to work as a designer here in Portland again. That wasn’t a part of the agreement when I flew out here for this job, I’d like to scream on the streets! I thought people were welcoming me here precisely because I could manage but also DESIGN. I thought?
I wish Life told you what was going on. I wish Life told you what to do. I wish Life was honest and straightforward and true. I wish I knew.
Is it better to stay here and continue to advocate for a better situation here, while personally and creatively feeling uninspired? Bored?
Is it better to take that leap, trust that a net will appear, and leave behind something that feels (financially kinda sorta) secure and head back towards work that feels exciting and rewarding and demanding of many parts of me?
When do I get to prioritize myself as a human? As a 36 year old gay man (who’s very lonely in this new city)? As someone who likes challenge and drive and ambition and inspiration and socializing and networking and possibility?
When do I get to feel at home?
When do I get to feel like I’ve found a home?
When do I get to feel comfortable?
My father has stated numerous times that he wanted his children to be raised with an acceptance of– and a comfort with– the feeling of discomfort. He wanted us to embrace not feeling comfortable and out of our element. I know his intention was for us to seek out new opportunity and new things and not feel tethered by security, and I know that in many ways he succeeded with me, but…
I wonder, more and more, if being okay with Not Being Okay skews your sense of what is “Good Not Okay” and what is “Bad Not Okay.”