Thursday, December 31, 2009

Graduating Life's Lessons

Earlier this year I created these certificates for myself and a few select friends. The idea stemmed from the frustration we were feeling about various areas of our life and wondering why we weren't allowed to move on. So naturally, we decided to graduate.

Mine is about the my continued neglection of my artistic self and the very concept is a revival of that spirit itself. But old habits die hard and I've told very few people about it. Until now that is. So here it is for 2010. A New Year and a new focus.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Wiseass Woman

Okay, I’ll be honest I have no clue as to what draws me into wanting to be a free-spirited-entrepreneur-successful business type woman. The only answer I have is that I am searching for some kind of freedom from myself and for myself. I have no idea what it looks like. I can’t visualize myself doing it. I only get strange picture-moments of when it happens. I want to find ways to make it happen more often.

The problem is that I have developed a peculiar personality. One part of me values integrity, independence and self-expression and the other part seeks service, community and conformity. The freedom I’m looking for is a way to find a fluid and natural way to be both. To float from one state of being to another and to surround myself with people who don't mind that change in wavelength.

When new ideas, jobs, or projects enter my life its like a pebble dropping into my sub-conscious. All of a sudden ideas radiate from me in ever expanding circles. I can’t stop it from happening any more than stopping myself from breathing. When the ripples are close to the center of the splash everything is usually fine but as a tides move out into my external world they encompass more ideas. That’s when the problems start. On the job I get told that the ripples are invading someone else’s pond. When working on freelance project, I see possibilities that clients haven’t even considered. I see more and more ideas that, like the ripples, stem from the same source but build into expanding patterns on the surface. They are full and complete but fleeting. I can’t capture them all and I get overwhelmed. I get frustrated when I try to explain the beauty of them. When I get frustrated I get misunderstood. I become ineffectual and I sabotage my success.

So what am I supposed to do with myself? Should I conform or create? Should I serve my fellow man or seek my own vision? I try to conform to the world around me but it seems stilted and cold. All I see around me are complex attempts to manipulate people into reacting to a stimulus rather than motivating people to a response.

So I try to conform to today’s business models but it is more like acting a part rather being a part of this one person show. All I see are scripts that seek to manipulate its viewers to believe that what they see on the screen, and in the work environment, is real. It leads to the idea that learning and playing your role is paramount to the success of the business. This movie script may be uplifting and inspiring for the viewers but limits the range of talents, thoughts and emotions of the actors. Success is equivalent to being typecast and I am beginning to reject the kinds of roles I’m getting.

I suspect the world, in general, is suspicious of people who refuse to fit some corporate character or business model. I think they see empowered people as difficult to control. They have thoughts that don’t fit neatly into the corporate screenplay. Empowered people have passion that once ignited cannot - and will not - be ignored. They seek to share this energy and these ideas. They will actualize whatever their passion in spite of themselves and others. They cannot conform to job descriptions, personality types or typical corporate hierarchies because to do so would be to cut themselves off from the very power that gives them a purpose and life. They become natural leaders and role models and convince others, by the very power of their convictions, that they too can follow their own path. These people are often seen as dangerous and difficult when they express their ideas – especially if they are women.

Monday, November 30, 2009

The Tower is Crumbling

The Tower card represents my life right now. As violent as it looks, it can be a good place. It means that structures that no longer work for me are being distroyed, dismantled and burned to the ground. I welcome the change. I've been here many times as I've wandered my path. Family, friends, drinking, work, health and nature have all fallen hundreds of times.
My first tower was built to protect me from the energies of the world around me. To protect me from being consumed by the sadness and confusion I saw at every turn. I built the wall as solidly as I could. Then drinking brought it down to rubble. I quickly picked up the rubble and built it up again. But this time, a little bit of light passed through the broken gaps. The walls were still strong but some light got in.
Over time the walls fell again and I built them up again. Each time a little more light passed through the shattered stone. Sometimes they fell when I realized something good about myself and it broke through the tower of self-tortured illusions. Sometimes it fell when the realization of loss reared its ugly head. Today its falling because I realize I want to go home. I want to be free from the cycle of destruction and resurrection.
I'm being freed from this tower so I can go home. It's a much shorter fall, the stones aren't that big anymore. I'm tired of my own bull and I'm ready to let go. I want to come home to myself and come down from the dingy ivory tower I thought was the life I was supposed to live. I'm sure when I arrive I'll build another tower of sorts out in my own psychic backyard. No, perhaps I'll build a gazebo instead. That way I get the structure but the light still comes in.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

A virtuous woman building a virtual world

I just came up with this. I don't know quite what it means yet but the idea is about combining my goals as a person and fullfilling my mission with technology. I need the element of inspiration to keep me going and to feed my energy. I'm getting drained by trying to be all things to all people. But I know that there are three things that keep me going:

1. A sense of purpose (even if I have to make one up)
2. A fascination with the art of communication
3. An inner geek dying to be expressed

So the goal for the next few years is to try to find a way to work on projects that are near and dear to my heart from anyplace in BC.

Let's see how I do.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Rereading the past

I was just clicking through the past entries and there's a theme here. One step into intimacy and then three steps back. I'm like that little kid who stands at the edge of ocean watching the waves get closer to shore then running back as the water hits their toes.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Reclaiming Kelly

No, I won't apologize for not keeping this up-to-date but I will say that a lot of learning has been going. Now I'm ready to claim, or more importantly, reclaim this blog as an express of myself. Just clearly me. Clearly Kelly.

I say reclaim because that's what it is. The struggles listed here are still the same. The issues that are at the core of my being are the same. I know my own bullshit and my own wounds. That's a great place to be. The yin to my yang balancing on hope that the future will be closer to my liking.

So here I am. Just me. Ready to share the journey from now on.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Biblical Career Advice

I wandered upon this quote. It reminded me of my childhood Sunday School lessons and I found it interesting not to mention comforting. I just wanted to remember it so I put it here.

Jeremiah 29: Jeremiah 29:11-13 (English-NIV)
11 For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12 Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.

Monday, February 16, 2009

True Grit on the Lime Green Hills

Lime coloured velet reminds me of road trips with my dad. It's the colour of the spring hills around Merritt when the summer scorned grass is reborn under the winter snow. It's a strange green. Not rich and full, like the peel of a lime, more like a watered down version of colour inside. From the road it looks like a soft fuzz covering the face of the smooth sandy hills. A five o'clock shadow that hides the violence of spring. For me it's a sad color. The grass is rooted in the same place, waiting for the cycle to end. A lot like my dad.

To the casual observer, our trips from Richmond to Merritt were simple father daughters adventures away from home. We'd drive through the Fraser Canyon, listening to the same four eight-tracks while counting the number of tunnels cut through the mountain walls. I'd always be thrilled when we went through the two tunnels built in 1964 tunnels - my tunnels. We'd stopped at the King Charles hotel in Boston Bar for a little snack. Then around Lytton, I'd begin to get sick. I knew the road through Spences Bridge was coming up. It was windy and wicked. I'd look for the green in the hills, while the car wretched around the sharp angled corners. I'd fix my eyes on the lone pine tree on the top of the mountain horizon. The road's trechery, lay, not only the curves, but in the memories it envoked for my dad.

Now my Dad wasn't really much of a talker. Occassionally, he'd break the silence of our trip with a botany lesson, "Those trees are called Pondersora pines." My six-year old mind would drift and dream about a life as a cowgirl. We'd live on a ranch down by the Nicola river. Our ranch would be just like the Pondersora on the tv show Bonanza. We'd ride horses, round up cattle and have bonfires at night. Dad would russel me up a husband - my own Little Joe. We'd get hitched right there. Dad, Little Joe and I would live happily ever after.

"You know Kelly, when I was young, I wanted nothing more than to just drive off the edge of these roads. I was always so depressed. It would be so easy to kill myself that way. No one would suspect it was suicide," he spoke the words so wistfully, as if it was a cherised dream that had been lost to him a long time ago.

I had no idea what to say so I stayed silent. Stunned from my ponderosa daydreams, somewhere in a small part of me I knew this was important. It was important because the conversation would be repeated over the next several years, in fact, several times per year of the course of my father's life. Years later, a series of therapists would tell me it was emotional abuse, a purposeful crossing of parental boundaries to control and manipulate me, but my young spirit sensed he just needed someone to talk to. Not that it didn't fuck me up though.

"Of course, I wouldn't do it today. I have too many responsibilities."

That was it. His woeful remarks hung around in my head. I turned the air conditioning vents towards my face to distract me. I looked for the spring green and fixed my eyes on the high mountain horizons. Somewhere between the gusts from the vents and the slow moving edge of the mountains, I understood that this was our secret. Something I wasn't supposed to mention to mom or anyone else for that matter. He never told me to kept quiet but I knew I was to carry this alone.

"You know, some of these trees are over 100 years old," he continued.

"One hundred years old huh?" I absently replied. I wondered if the pines would remembered me. Afterall, if they had been standing in one place for so long, they must have seen me at one time. A little face staring out the window trying hard to understand what was going on. Did they witness what just happened? Did they hear what he just said? Did they know dad back then? When he was so sad? Would they have stopped him if he did try? Will they stop him if it tries it now?

On those trips, I learned how to cry without anyone knowing. My left eye could leak tears that he couldn't see from the driver's side. I'd sit with the air conditioner blowing at my face until my cheeks became ice cold. It was almost as if I was trying to freeze the tears on my face as a way to freeze the feelings inside. Overwhelmed by such a dramatic turn in conversation I tried to still my fears all the while trying to find the words of adult compassion from my child mind.

These days when we drive through the arid, lime green hills, I think back on my dad. Actually, he's two people to me now, my dad and my father. My dad remains in my heart, as all little girls do, a perfect icon of love but my father is the man who struggled and lost his will to keep living. On the trip through Merritt on my way to his funeral, I remember the little cowgirl dreams. My tears fell, down one check, hidden from the view of others while mourned in thier own way.

At his funeral I realized I wanted my dad to be John Wayne. The guy in True Grit who threw a sick and hurting Kim Black across the back of her small black pony and galloped her to safety. Reins in teeth, firing pistols at all the bad guys and hurtling forward in an effort to save my life. Instead, he was just a man, who didn't really want to live his life. He met his obligations, loved his family the best he could, but remained wounded and hurting in his own inner world.

If the roles could have been reversed, I would have glady slung him across the back of my pony and rode him to safety. However, I never did get a pony for Christmas, my dad never was John Wayne but I still have the lime green hills of Merritt to remind me of the spirit of life, the energy of rebirth and hopes of little cowgirl.