You know when you find yourself waiting for something? Like for a phonecall or an email you really want to get. Or a letter you are hoping will arrive. And you find yourself thinking about this a LOT, and almost starting to shape your thoughts around the outcome.
Letting your destiny lay in someone elses hands. (that sounds very life coach-y) the word destiny is a bit disney isnt it? OK let’s substiture life path for disney. Life path sounds a bit more business 🙂 Anyway I am guilty of this- sending stuff off, applying for stuff, then waiting, hoping for a response. And hypothetically planning around how I will shape my time, my life path dont you know, if a positive response should come in. Making assumptions in my head about stuff that HAS NOT HAPPENED. And crucially, placing faith in other systems than the ones I’ve created.
Really I should know better. If you apply for something and don’t get it it is not because you are a sub standard human, its because the information you sent in on your application did not perfectly align itself to the the set of criteria that the people who were making the decisions on for the thing you applied for had to employ. Or becasue one of the decision makers was hungry and just wanted to get the whole thing over with so they could have lunch. Or because someone on the decision making panel was hungover/felt like shit/ didnt like what someone else said about another applicant so decided to champion them instead.
My point here is that its unwise to pin all ones hopes on stuff like applications for jobs, applications for funding, gallery open calls etc. Well I dont pin ALL my hopes but yes, a bit of my hopes go in that direction when I make these applications and then I start allowing these hopes and subsequent hypothetical life paths to distract me from my daily tasks.
I made a deal with myself that I would spend time every week in a place where performance work and ideas could happen. For a certain amount of time over 3 months. So that I could develop and try out ideas in a friendly space where if I roll around, play music loudly, shout, laugh, cover myself in black latex and grunt a bit, it will all be percieved as grand. Because I have learned only to well that if I dont spend time making these actions, carrying out these actions, it becomes harder to summon this bodily mental actionable confidence to make work, especially in a public space. If you are not doing it regularly you lose it, just like any skill. This morning in glór I wrote myself out a task list for a performance piece I have in mind at present which I am calling
I need to be ready
It’s when I write out a list of actions I need to be able to execute so as to be ready, ready for whatever might come along, good news, bad news, personal loss, cataclysmic environmental change, winning the lotto, a new physical task. Who knows what life might have in store? Yes you should not be casting all your stones into one ocean (I don’t like the eggs in one basket metaphor) by putting your life path on hold whle you wait for a response to your application/email/text/submission. You can be getting on with things, making a list of all the things you need to have in your arsenal of super skills and super attributes and pushing on with those. This is also clearly an anxiety management tool. And has obvious Waiting for Godot-ish connotations. Preparing for the apocalypse. Being physically ready for attack. Being in ones BEST, PEAK condition for the event that never happens. But as we know its the process, the preparation thats key! As they used to tell us in college, ‘it’s not the result it’s the process’
Here is what i wrote down this morning for my I need to be ready exercise:
OK upon reading this list again I realise todays exercise might need to be renamed I need to be physically ready.
TASK 1: Push-ups. GOOD FOR: good core and anterior upper body strength. Real World Example: Pushing a heavy object away from you- like a submarine internal bulkhead which is jammed from the rising seawater collecting behind it..
TASK 2: Lying down standing up. GOOD FOR: agility, combating vertigo, experiencing diffferent visual perspectives. Real World Example: if you experience memory loss and can’t remember if you are going to bed/ getting up
TASK 3: Jumping Jacks. GOOD FOR: cardiovascular endurance and fast chain muscle reaction. Example: if you become an army drill instructor/zumba instructor and need to prove to the recruits/class you can walk the walk as well as talk the talk
TASK 4: Squats. GOOD FOR: lower body strength and endurance. Example: sitting up and sitting down. Most people require this skill at some stage of their lives.
TASK 5: Glute Bridges. GOOD FOR: posterior strength and glute aesthetics. Example: obviously all of life is easier when equipped with strong glutes
TASK 6: Striding Lunges. GOOD FOR: lower body strength and endurance, and functional ambulatory movement pattern. Example: pantomime character part requiring striding- AKA Giant in Jack and the Beanstalk
TASK 7: Commando Bear Crawling. GOOD FOR: core strength, low to ground ambulatory travel. Example: dangerous combat situation, or exiting a venue without being seen
TASK: Tricep Dips. GOOD FOR: upper arm posterior chain strength. Example: lowering oneself into a swimming pool in a casual manner
TASK: Step Ups. GOOD FOR: lower body functional movement and general strength and endurance. REAL WORLD EXAMPLE: managing the inevitability of the gravitational effect when you climb stairs. The ability to lift ones foot and place it upon the higher step and therefore withstand the gravitational force pressing said foot to said step.
TASK: Face Yoga. GOOD FOR: strengthening and elasticising the muscles in the facial area. REAL WORLD EXAMPLE: confusing your enemies by presenting them with a visage of someone 20 years younger than the individual they thought you were
I will try this again tomorrow with a new set of instructions.