While I was walking through Europe last summer, I inadvertently took some random, unplanned cell-phone photos of my Converse sneakers. With our phones in our hands constantly, it’s not uncommon for the finger to be clicking away while we’re looking at The Seine River. Rather than delete these “mistakes”, I was inspired by the conceptual symbolism of the photos and decided to keep up the good work. This work is called, “Convers-ations”.
My Converse’s inspired dialogue during my journey through Prague, Berlin, MontMartre, Paris and London. Sometimes the private discourse centered on historical Q&A’s like, “Who stood at this castle gate before me?” “Who toiled on this cobblestone street?” “Who died in this very spot upon which there was now a monument?” However, most times, the thoughts were more self-centered on my own current existence: Why am I here? Will I ever reach this very spot again before I die? Do I belong here?
As I’d stop to take a photo of my feet, I would be rooted in the moment, but my thoughts were often quite uprooted.
I like to think I’m pretty in tune with the Universe, so oftentimes, when I ask the Universe for something, she delivers. When I was in Europe, I wanted to find a way to move there. Right then. I just knew something would happen and I would miraculously be able to stay in Europe. I didn’t get to stay in Europe. I didn’t plan. (Well, I planned a little. Before I left LA, I had help getting rid of my car, I got a subletter. I said goodbye to friends and my cat. I packed an interview skirt and blazer; I brought along my waitressing apron; I imagined myself in Europe.)
I got on Norwegian Air without a job, without housing, without much other than hope. That line of thinking worked when I moved to Chicago, when I moved to New York and even when I moved to LA. Not so much for Europe. Did I mention that when things don’t work out the way I think they should, I’m really good at beating myself up? My insides are constantly black and blue. I seem to forget that I planned to be in Europe to perform my one woman show. I did that. And did it well.
Today, nearly a year later, I have a chance to do something. To plan. To take some honest, rooted steps towards this next phase of my life. (I actually wrote this post in Nov 2014, and just posting now. However, is still relevant!) Maybe I move to Europe in 2016, 2017, or 2018? I think the scary part about planning is that it doesn’t happen right now. There’s no instant gratification. No confirmation that your efforts worked.
We start to feel like all of the things we want should be available at cyber-speed, and we internalize a perceived failure on our part when they’re not.
Plus, who really knows what’s going to happen in 2018?? Some people do, because they have the confidence to say it; to enjoy delayed gratification and to do what they need to do to make shit happen in 2018. Some of us are a little more afraid of far-out certainties. I (think) I’m trying to change that about myself. I (think) I’m trying to lift my head out of the fishbowl and see where the water is coming from rather than swimming around frantically in whatever is there.
I do think that I am spontaneous; I believe that a lack of resources or all stars not being aligned should not stop you from doing something. I’m learning there is a difference between this and planning. I think both strategies can co-exist with a little respect given to both notions/practices.
Seems like it’s time for a change. I’m ready to take a chance and do things differently. To see what the rest of the world is doing.
In 2005, after doing my taxes, I complained that I’d only made $10k that year, that I hadn’t planned on only making what felt like nothing. And in the same breath, I realized I also hadn’t planned on making $100k. What steps had I taken to ensure that I would be taken care of financially? Where was that Convers-ation?
Like everyone else, I have a vision board. I plan my goals, I do have things I try to accomplish quarterly . But, it feels like a step is missing. As an artist, content creator and dream-career follower, sometimes all of the planning has to go into the art… when to write the story, how to find the agent, why produce a show, where to build the website, when to take the meeting, how to edit the story in order to plan for the career to keep happening. I think what I’m telling you ( what I’m telling myself) is that I need to start planning for my life…? Not just living in a life that continues on. Maybe that is the missing step. That is the missing conversation.
What steps are you taking to plan?
What’s your conversation?