This has been an interesting, and at times challenging period in my life. Having finished writing my Thesis last December, I decided to take some well earned time off. Time off for me meant traveling, literally, to the other side of the Earth. Exhausted from the bear that is writing, I needed to take some time to sit and breathe. To figure out what my next step would be. I had watched my fellow cohorts struggle to find job opportunities in our ever financially declining field, knowing that within a few months I would be right there with them in this struggle. So when it came time for me to face the drums of reality I chose to postpone real life for a little bit longer. I went to China to escape, to gain some perspective, and to maybe glean new insights into what I was facing back home. Escape…worked like a charm; perspective….I’m discovering it everyday; new insights….I’m still working on those.
The funny thing about writing a Thesis is that even though your subject matter inherently places you directly in line with the thing that you love, you become so isolated in the creation of it that you become even more disconnected from it. It becomes theories and metaphors instead of conversations and actions. It loses a sense of reality as it becomes immortalized on paper. It’s strange…it’s there but it doesn’t quite seem real. I flew to China with the hopes of grounding myself back into the world of the living, and to reconnect In Real Life with the themes I had been writing about for the last year.
3 1/2 months later I came home feeling more disconnected from my creative life, than I had at the start.
I arrived back in the USofA with barely a penny to my name, custom made clothing for below market prices paired with a Silk Market of every fabric imaginable will do that to you. So first on the agenda was to find some sort of temporary employment so that I could get my bills paid on time. So I did what most graduates do when they can not find employment in their field, sign on to a temporary agency. My placements have been fairly consistent and I’m currently working for a publication that is allowing me to learn a bit more about the other side of non-profits, but it’s not permanent. And stability is something that I not only crave, but need. Still the current placement is not in the arts, a step in the opposite direction, it sometimes feels like. My saving grace has been my yoga studio Flow Yoga, they have been so incredible over the last few months. They trusted and took me on as a manager when I didn’t know if I was going to be able to stay in DC, it is here that I find my grounded self. I owe so much of my sanity to them. My practice continues to grow each day, and I know that sounds strange coming from me, but it’s true. Next year I plan on going through their Teacher Training Program and I couldn’t be more excited about it.
Still I continued to feel disconnected to from the art world. It’s rare that I have a spare moment, to visit a museum, see a play, go to a concert. The people that I connected with the first few years I was in The District felt like friends from a different lifetime. Trying to come up with ways to reconnect myself with this world, I first turned to Twitter, because what better way to maintain ones network than through social media. I discovered #artsmgtchat which allowed me to listen to the new conversations that were circling the arts world ( as expected they are very different conversations than those found in China regarding the arts). I was also able to make a few new connections. But I’m all about the In Real Life (or IRL) encounters, finding the time in my 13+ hour workdays is next to impossible.
Then I spotted that Theatre Washington and Social Media Club DC were co-hosting a Panel Discussion on building your online community, focusing on the arts sector. I happened to have this Tuesday evening free, and so I quickly grabbed a ticket.
After last night’s event I feel not only reconnected but reinvigorated in my commitment and place in the arts. I have more to say on the panel discussion, they were all saying things that I absolutely agree with, but I’d like to break it down a bit more.
This is a step in the right direction. To the Arts and Everything Else.