Thursday, February 10, 2011

A lesson learned.

As I walk through the door at my new job, I am greeted by one of more than fifty new faces that I have met this week.  Children, parents, fellow teachers, and new supervisors are all jostling for space in my crowded memory bank.  I still haven't been able to completely let go of the sting of being rejected by my former boss and coworkers.  With all of these people and feelings crowding my brain, is it any wonder that I have begun to question my own sense of self?

After all, I had settled nicely into the prospect of writing my own schedule after about one and one-half weeks of unemployment.  I would fill at least the first two hours of any day with applications, job searching, networking, and the like.  An hour or so would be dedicated to errands and chores.  But then--the next hours, those were the golden hours where I completed several pet projects that have been percolating for years.  After several very stressful months, the freedom to spend time doing the things that I love to do most was a revelation. Several of my best girls and I set out to make Julia Child's famed (and notoriously finicky) Souffle' du Fromage with hand-gathered duck eggs.  I finally took the time to climb and photograph a decaying relic of Durham's industrial past.  The projects themselves were trivial--but the distance and sense of self that they afforded me were anything but.

And so, while this started as a blog about becoming unexpectedly unemployed, it is going to continue as a way to document all of the goals and projects that I have rattling around in my head, begging for release.  I pledge to never again put myself in the position where I am solely defined by my job.  I pledge to live as full, and as crazy, of a life as possible. 

  • The first project?  Starting to draw and paint again, and finally achieving a long-term goal of mine to get a gallery show of my very own.  On that end, I would like to begin a collaborative project painting.  I'll start a painting (acrylic on primed, 18"x24" canvas) and will mail it to the first person on the list.
  • The recipient will then add their own flourishes onto the canvas, and then mails it to the next address on the list.
  • Each artist photographs the canvas upon completion of their addition to the painting, then sends the pictures to amandamshaffer -at- gmail -dot- com.
  • The final artist to add to the collaboration will mail the completed painting back to me when they're finished.
  • Each artist is responsible for the cost of mailing the canvas to the next recipient.
Interested in participating?   Comment here or email me at the address above.

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