I’ve spent a lot of time this week beating myself up for not being over the moon about Devoted & Disgruntled last week. I’ve been meaning to write about it but… I should probably read that report on procrastination huh?
I’m glad I went, of course, I’d never been to the London one before and I had been looking forward to it for ages. Saturday was thrilling – the sense of the unknown, catching up with old friends, getting a sense of who was in the room and the beginnings of some great conversations. I’m particularly excited about the D & D Roadshow which will be arriving in Leeds in October as I was feeling a little immobilised by being in London.
For whatever reason on the Sunday I found myself wandering aimlessly, frustrated by the idea of talking more and doing less. I had a lot on my mind, things I wanted to do. Good things. Creative things. What I didn’t want to do was talk.
So I took myself to one side where I found myself in a one to one conversation with a friend. And I talked. Really talked. She already knew about the difficulties I had had a couple of years previously with a collaborator/friend and how painful the (for all intents and purposes) ‘break-up’ had been. What I hadn’t realised was the residual guilt and grief I was still carrying from that experience. Perhaps this was exacerbated by starting my day in a session called Working With Dickheads in which someone talked about a poor working relationship. The group sensitively shared bad experiences and there was an air of gentle support and understanding. We are not alone. But perhaps we have an obligation to those who come after us to challenge this behaviour? I followed this up with a session on Professional/ Social Relationships foolishly thinking this might be a session looking at how social media blurs these lines and perhaps they got there eventually but they started with looking at how we work with friends and how we maintain professionalism in the face of changing distinctions and boundaries. It was all a little close to home. And it affected me.
To take the principles of Open Space literally (for anyone not familiar with the Open Space Technology and 5 main principles you can read about those here) perhaps the best thing I can do is to accept that this was the only thing that could have happened. That I was meant to have that conversation and maybe THAT is what I really needed to get out of this experience.
The law of two feet told me to walk, to go home but another friend told me to stay. She didn’t want my experience to end on a bad note. Am I glad I stayed? Yes and no. Tassos Stevens gave us a A Surprise and the conversations in the pub afterwards were somewhat useful. Overwhelmingly what I felt was a push to make decisions, to take actions. With my art, with my life. I spent alot of time this weekend defining who I am, what I do, what I WANT to do/be.
But honestly I’m not ready. I have an ideal sure but I am still taking baby steps towards that. I AM devoted but…