I have lots of blog catch up to play. I'm going to start with what I suppose is my thought of the month - I've had this notion in the back if my head almost every day and it's really changing the way I do things and see things.
It is the notion of getting out of my own way. It seems like an obvious thing and I was certainly taught it a lot during my time at AMDA. In acting class or musical theatre especially teachers would tell us to stop overthinking, get out of our own way, just say the line. In that conext I'm totally cool with it, it makes perfect sense. But in the wider arena of life I never really took it on board until very recently.
I'll give some examples to better explain my meaning:
I was getting frustrated at being the main and sometimes only person to clean and generally care about the apartment. Once upon a time I would have felt burning resentment inside, bottled it all up, continued to work my ass off doing the work of four people and become pretty unhappy with my living situation. Why? Because I didn't want to stir anything/its easier if I just do it/I have an overwhelming compulsive need to be the best and that includes being the best at cleaning/etc etc.
I didn't do that. I got out of my way, stopped worrying about what my roommates would say and talked to them. They were completely fine and we came up with a schedule of household tasks. Now everyone is participating in the maintenance of our living space and I feel much better than if I hadn't said anything.
Example two: My new phone.
My old phone was so smashed up that it was about to stop working and I definitely planned to get a new one. For the last four years or so anytime I've needed a new phone which let's face it has been a lot, I've gone and hit the cheapest, most straightforward one possible. Because I couldn't be doing with smartphones, I wanted to spend money on something other than a fancy phone, because I couldn't justify it. Well. This time I spent good money on a Samsung Galaxy S4. It's not the most up to date Android phone but it is brand new and has a ton of space for apps plus decent camera, video camera, microphone and speakers. Because it's not the newest model by a long way it was a good price, though still more than I have ever spent on a phone before.
I got out of my own way, said 'Tessa it is 2014 and your rigid anti-smartphone/technology fearing mentality has valid principles and I know they are important to you but just for once give yourself an easier life' and got a new phone. On it I have: PayPal, OneDrive, two email accounts, Skype, BBC News, an app for weather, an app for the subway, an app for food delivery, Audible, Twitter, Facebook, Whatsapp, fitness apps and best of all -Netflix and Spotify.
No more borrowing devices from friends, no more traipsing to the library to download a document. My life is definitely easier because of this purchase.
Final example: Communicating with employers
My natural state with most employers is to be constantly a bit nervous in case they think I'm a complete spanner. If I get set a task I'm unsure about traditionally I panic for a long time and hope I can work it out alive with then if I do panic that I've fucked it up. I also like to be completely at their mercy regarding my time. You need me to stay longer? Ok. You need me completely last minute? No problem. That's being a good employee, right?
The time I had away from my two employers was like hitting the refresh button on a webpage. I came back stronger and clearer. If I'm not sure about something I'll just frickin ask. I'm frequently unsure about things because my employers, dear to me as they are, have a tendency to be vague. If I've been given a vague instruction but think I can figure it out, I'll trust myself to do it - even if it's not exactly what they were thinking I'm too smart and ingenious to ever shoot more than a couple of centimetres wide of the mark. Essentially I've got out of my own way and stopped being afraid of getting in trouble. I do an amazing job at both my workplaces so there's no reason why anyone would want to chew me out, and because I'm talking to them a lot more if something does go wrong there's a pretty high chance that it's their error not mine.
Getting out of my own way is all about giving myself an easier life. This concept is super alien to me: my mentality is pretty hard-wired to say 'why should I have an easy life? If you didn't struggle for something you don't deserve it'. I think it's a good quality of mine that I understand the value of money and work and I don't expect to be handed things. However it's almost like I've been trying to single-handedly undo the imbalances in the world caused by the privileged few who do have everything handed to them by feeling guilty about anything that makes my life easier. That's not my job. It's everyone's job to be conscious of the world's imbalance. Me giving myself a hard time doesn't actually help anyone, certainly not me.
It's a big step of growing and learning that I'm taking by getting out of my way. And I'm really proud of it so this is really a brag post!
NB written all on my phone:D