Friday, March 14, 2008

Reminiscent

My blogging tonight is reminiscent of my year in France, when I blogged at night to fill time, because I had nothing else to do.  Tonight I have plenty of other things I could be doing, but am unfortunately restricted to a location that prevents me from doing them.

So, in this interlude of internet access and spare time, I thought I would share with you a few stories from the past couple of weeks.  And, in true late night fashion, ramble a bit about what is going on between my ears.

First, I have moved in with two fabulous roommates.  As I have not confirmed their being okay with me using their identities, I shall call them roomie 1 and roomie 2.  I've known one of them since graduate school and the other we met online in our search for roommates.  I was, admittedly, nervous about having a "random" roommate (do roommate counseling enough times and roommates will scare anybody!).  However, the two of us get along famously already.  We have a number of things in common, even though we come from two completely different points of view.

All three of us headed down to IKEA last weekend to get new furniture for the townhouse.  I needed bookshelves for the library of books I've been hauling around, and we needed another ENTIRE shelving unit for all of our movies.  I should note that all of our movies will not actually fit on this piece of furniture, despite its enormity, so my VHS collection will be living someplace else.  Our trip was adventuresome and fun, but no more than the average IKEA field trip.

In telling you about the stuff we bought, I realized I haven't shown you pictures yet - and won't until we're actually unpacked.  But, trust me, it is a pretty awesome place with huge common spaces.  It has come with a few minor quirks: the kitchen faucet not working, and the sprayer nozzle attacking me; the downstairs toilet first running all the time and then (today) over flowing into the foyer; some serious door handle issues; the phone wiring not working; the fireplace needing repairs; you know, all the things you really want when you are moving into your first townhouse.  The landlords have been fairly efficient in getting repairs done, it just seems like the needed repairs will never end.  And, not being able to be home to do stuff (like hang a bar in my closet so I can get the mountain of clothes off my carpet) is a bit frustrating.  Hopefully, I'll be able to knock a bunch of that stuff out this weekend though.

Personal story of relative achievement: I applied, under influence from a friend, for a position as a director for the musical Scrooge! at a local theater.  I didn't get the gig, solely based on a lack of experience.  This didn't offend me too much, as aside from my senior thesis and the kids'  shows at St. Thomas More, I haven't directed many musicals.  They did , however, offer me a directing position for their upcoming one-act play competition.  It was a perfect opportunity to get my foot in the door, get involved in theater locally, and have some fun while beefing up my theater resume.

This is the part where the achievement comes in: I said no.  Those of you who know me know I am an insane over-achiever who will do anything to fit one more thing into my regularly jam-packed days.  I actually enjoy being busy that it never really occurs to me to say no to new and interesting challenges - especially if they'll help me get where I want to be.  So, for maybe the first time, I looked around at my other commitments, realized I would probably set a record for a youthful stress heart attack come May, and turned down an incredible opportunity.

I'm not sure how much I like that stage of growing.  I know it is important, but closing an open door always seems like such a bad idea.  Then again, trying to manage directing, HOBY, and potentially an event at work doesn't seem like the best plan either.  One thing at a time.  Okay maybe two - but I'm cutting myself off at three.

I've been thinking alot lately about appropriate interference too.  Not in my life, but in my friends' lives.  This seems simple - don't interfere.  But in many of my relationships I tend to take on a more grown-up role and am sort of a "mom" as much as a friend (don't forget to sleep, I'll drive you home, please eat something other than frozen dinner, etc.).  So, with friends and siblings, when is it okay to step in and say "Nope, that is the dumbest idea you ever had."  and when do you just be supportive?

In our twenties, people are making a huge number of life choices that will (seemingly) make a huge difference in our future lives.  So, if I can see the absolute stupidity in a choice someone else is about to make AND they ask me what I think (if they don't ask, it is 99% be quiet time) then aren't I under some sort of friendly obligation to say, "No, actually, that is not a financially sound decision and this is why," or "If you really thought about that, I think you'd agree that sleeping with that guy is not actually going to make him like you or get you your ex back."  Where is that hazy line between being supportive and intervening for "their own good?"

Also, as I reached my official six month mark at work, I've been doing some soul searching about my future career.  As I suspected would be the case, the more I get involved with different projects, the longer I see myself staying with the organization.  This has been the case with any group I've ever joined.  But, aside from school, nothing has quite required such an investment of time.  So, I've been thinking about what things I love/like about my job and the things I don't; what would have to change for me to be willing to stay there for another couple of years; what is likely to change; and whether or not this is something I'm doing because it is a available and I can or if it is truly something I'm passionate about.

I'm petrified I will "drink the kool-aid" and start believing some of the things the organization believes that I truly do not.  I wonder what the breaking point will be before some of this ridiculousness becomes ingrained in my psyche.  Also, what I am happiest doing. 

While I was working the Janney show a couple weeks back (I was stage manager for some elementary schoolers doing Damn Yankees), a number of parents asked if I was a professional in the theater.  Of course, I'm not.  But, in comparison to others, I knew what I was doing back there.  Then at work this week, I was putting together a fun, learning activity for a really long staff meeting and one of my colleagues asked why I was working with our organization when my calling was so obviously in being a teacher or counselor somewhere.  Which I've never ruled out entirely, but have some serious hesitancies about.

All this to say, I have a number of other options in my current career path and potentially other career paths I could choose after this one.  I will choose whatever makes me happiest, but it is hard to know which thing that will be.  

For now, what I'm doing is not bad at all and learning to filter myself - something I tried to teach myself NOT to do - will probably serve me well wherever I go.  If you can't truly be yourself until you are the boss, and it takes a long time to become the boss, what are the chances you'll still be yourself and not some jaded version of a formerly idealistic person when you get there?

Okay, I'm yawning like a mad person and I still have about two more hours before I can go home.  I'm off to try a different keep me up activity that doesn't involve you all having to follow my tangential thinking.

Hugs to all, ~Heather

1 comment:

St. Izzy said...

You ask:
Where is that hazy line between being supportive and intervening for "their own good?"

Miss Marple says:
Good advice is always certain to be ignored, but that's no excuse for not giving it.

The trick is finding the correct way to say it.