A Servant of Two Masters

Saturday, May 19, 2012

It's not always easy to keep feet planted in two different careers.  It's interesting how much energy one can demand, causing the attention one pays to the other to slip and wane.  That's how I'm feeling about my life right now...  I sometimes feel like I'm the servant of two masters.  I have my day job at La Jolla Playhouse as a Craftsperson, and I am trying to coordinate my art fair career as well.  Interestingly, I am feeling like a novice at both...

Learning new things will always take energy--it's mentally taxing to pay attention to instructions and then repeat them until you've learned how to do something.  I am learning new things in both of my careers right now.  At La Jolla, I am learning new processes every day, and at Relished Artistry I am having to learn how to do things I've never done before--like making and ordering banners for my booth.

Neither job is really that difficult to do, but learning new processes and doing new things is fraught with nervous energy and tiny stresses that make for an exhausting experience regardless of how "easy" things actually are.  For example, learning how to block hat felt (and then being responsible for stretching and sizing 13 felt hoods for fittings) is a mentally fatiguing experience, but the process itself is not necessarily difficult when you've got experience and practice and a knowledge base to draw upon.  Likewise with ordering a new banner for your fair and festival booth--there's really nothing to it if you know what you're doing, but it can feel anxiety-riddled if you're doing it for the first time.

I have finally finished what I want for my booth banners, and now I've passed the basic Photoshop images off to my partner to re-do in Adobe Illustrator, since that is not a program I know how to use at all, and he says the images will be crisper if I can send them better quality files than I can do in Photoshop.  I'm excited about how they're going to turn out--they're going to match the fabric that I have chosen for my table cloths, and it's really going to unify the entire look of the booth.

But the process hasn't been easy.  To make the banners, I had to figure out the layout of the booth so I could order the right sizes to do what I wanted them to do...  It's been an interesting challenge taking one step back in order to move two steps forward.  One thing has led to another, and each decision impacts the next...  And not having done this before I've felt rather adrift at sea, trying to move in a direction but uncertain if I'm actually getting there...

Some would say, "Welcome to the real world!  That feeling never goes away!" And I think there's some truth to that statement.  I think we all sort of muddle through trying to do what's right regardless of our chosen careers.  We don't know for sure how anything is going to work out, and that unease with the future can be really stressful.  We'd all like to know if what we're doing is the right move.  But that's never going to happen.

The best we can do is move forward with confidence, knowing that regardless of success or failure, it's the series of experiences that are important.  I'm not sure if my work at La Jolla making these felt hoods is actually going to result in something that isn't a complete waste of time or not.  I'm not sure if the banners I'm ordering are going to work.  But in the end, we all have to make decisions based on what information and skills we have, and work with that.

Learning to embrace the journey and not the destination is a new experience for me.  It's scary letting my expectations go.  But I'm also learning that it's not the same as abandoning plans and letting whatever happens happen.  It just means you have to have faith and confidence that you're actually moving forward.

Live Life with Relish!




Images by tallkev via Flickr.  Creative Commons License.

3 comments:

windrock studio said...

Wonderful post, Corey! and a great image you chose to add! I love catching up on all that's going on in your very busy life. Sounds like you have the right mind set for making it all work ~ best of luck with all that you're doing.

What-I-Found said...

I would just say that moving forward isn't necessary a goal. It's just what happens. Thinking you must always be headed somewhere else is a stress that you might not need. Being here and now is fine. That doesn't mean you shouldn't try to do new things or to try to do better, but if you are always focused on that elusive goal 'out there' you will never find it.
I think you are finding out this exact thing, but living in the here and now and feeling you must be moving forward might not be the same thing.
May 20, 2012 7:32 AM

Corey Johnston said...

There's that saying, "The hardest part of the pursuit of happiness is knowing when you've caught up with it". I think we're programmed culturally to strive for more and more, and achieving one's goals only results in more goals, which means there's little satisfaction in accomplishment... That saying has stuck with me, and I've always made a point to make sure I don't defer relishing the moment for some future goal... I agree, if we don't stop looking for satisfaction to come from the outside or the future, we will never be satisfied... : )

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