Saturday 17 October 2009

What's Stopping You?

I find that as time goes by, I get to know myself better. Life throws me into situations that challenge me to think, act and hopefully, change.

It seems that any time you want to take up something new, or progress in something known, the same question pops up. It's been popping up very frequently of late, as I think about what my goals are going to be in regards to my health and fitness level (yes, it's time I got into a shape other than round and pear-ish), my artistic (writing and performance arts) goals and my goals at work.

What's stopping you?

Frankly, what's stopping me is plainly, well, me.

First and foremost, there's that whole thing of having to actually get off the computer and off facebook and off msn, twitter, gtalk, blogs and all that (online) distracting stuff. It's not that I don't have time to do things. It's that I waste time doing things that aren't important. That was one major point brought up during camp. It's not that I didn't already know it. I just needed some reminding and prodding.
And I'm trying. I used to think I had very good self-control. I've realised that over the years, I've been giving in to my impulses so much that I need to work on it again. I need to be able to tell myself no, and keep to it.

Secondly, it's my very nature, for good and for bad, of being a shy perfectionist. What does that mean? It's basically this: I am shy and afraid of embarrassment, and anything I do that is short of perfect in my eyes, or which will potentially make me feel stupid, dumb, embarrassed, idiotic, weird, will make me shy away from doing things that I really want to do, or on the other side, that I know I really need to do.
Writing this could possibly make me feel somewhat stupid or embarrassed, especially if some especially insensitive comment comes into being. What makes it possible for me to write this is that I am used to it. I have been blogging and writing long enough, sometimes in a very frivolous way, but at times in as much as a deep and open way as I feel is possible for the moment. And the fact that I know how it's done, what to do, and what kind of response to generally expect, I can do it.
Knowing this, I'm trying to build patterns and partners in my life. First, I need partners to walk me through the initial fear and fright. Then patterns, so that I can continue even when I am alone. It's not as easy as it seems. For some reason, I need to see what I'm going to do before I do it. Some people can wing it, and I'm jealous of that. For now, I'll focus on the patterns in my head.

What's stopping you?

Coming to the knowledge of what is really stopping you is very helpful. It helps you to realise your weaknesses. It helps you to think of alternative ways to get around your blockage. Every one has a blockage, at one time or another. What you do with that, and the realisation of that, is really up to you.

I'm trying to change.

Are you?

Saturday 3 October 2009

Post-camp reflections

It’s been a year since I considered switching fields altogether, and a month since I’ve wanted to change jobs. And yet after iBridge Camp, I have a peace about staying where I am. It seems as if everything is on the green. (Wanted to list out what the green lights were, but realised that that was the part of the notes I didn’t take. But anyway…)

You know the complete cycle of years in sevens? Where on the seventh year, the Sabbath year comes and everything is renewed? During reflection at camp, I was thinking, ‘seven years,’ and I don’t know exactly what that’s supposed to mean. But from where I stand at the moment, it looks as if I’m where I’m supposed to be, at least for the next four years. I’ve been working here, in the same job for three years. Some people find it tough. Most of my peers have left. And yes, the job can be tiring. It can be tough and demanding. Somehow though, it isn’t really, for me.

For reasons that I can only ascribe to God’s blessings and provision, I’ve never worked later that midnight more than once or twice. Well, maybe more but a smattering. I rarely, if ever, work weekends nowadays, unless the deadline is on Monday and I’ve been sitting on things for too long. When (or if) I take files home, they normally lie peacefully untouched throughout the night or over the weekend. The nights I actually work late are normally due to close deadlines that are over within the week, or the nights before I take leave and I want to clear as much as possible away so that I won’t be disturbed over my holiday.

So if this isn’t where I’m supposed to be right here and right now, where is?

The itch that can’t be scratched

And yet at the same time, there’s an underlying feeling of restlessness as well, right alongside the peace. Don’t ask me how it works. It’s like, I want to move to KL, because I want to be a part of the GCF there, I want that community that I only get glimpses of through e-mails and little tastes of during camp and the random holidays. I want to move there because that is where Footstool Players is. That is where the auditions are for stage plays, theatre, musicals. It’s where I can do something that I want; that I dream of, or have forgotten how to dream about.

I have a friend pursuing the dream, studying performance arts, musical theatre, in the USA, with plans to intern at Disney. I have another friend, pursuing her dream, taking a Masters in Film Studies. And all this makes me think, what about me?

Dreams: not quite there

What about my dreams? What about the things I thought I would do, the things I wished I could do and all the things that I wanted to do but am not doing anymore? When did I lose myself in this endless cycle of work and rest, with no thought to really living? Sometimes I wish I could be anywhere but here so that I could pursue those things more easily, more readily. The problem with that is my dreams are here.

Say as much as I wish, there is a locality to my dreams. Yes, I want to build a drama team. But I want to build it here, in Penang. Yes, I want to be a part of a larger vision in the GCF. But I want that to be here, in Penang. I don’t want to always be wishing to be elsewhere.

I guess in the end, a substantial part of my dream is for my dreams to be present here.

The road goes ever on and on

And maybe that’s what these next four years are for, assuming that there’s any rhyme or reason to that thought of the seven years. I’ve been taking things lax for long enough, letting things stream by with the reasons that I don’t know enough, I’m not trained enough, I’m not good enough, I’m not ready enough. These are the years to build the GCF – to build and bond and train, and most of all, to dream together. These are the years to hone skills – to utilise the youthful energy for dance classes and drama classes and vocal classes and any other thing that might come in handy.

These are the years to discover if there is passion enough in me to pursue what I believe God is calling me to.

If I go, who will build HERE?

At times I don’t believe in it. It hurts when people say, so why don’t you move there? Why don’t you go to such and such a place to study/work? I do want to. But if I go, who will build here?

And if this is my sacrifice for now, so be it.