I write to you from the other side of having ventured where I’ve never managed to venture before! I passed the most important exam – the one which determines whether you get to go on and graduate or not. Last semester this is where the buck stopped – for only the truly good enough get through. This time, by my own power as well as Daniel’s, we gave the examiner no choice but to make it a pass. All the work was there, it made sense and looked good. Next week I sit the final exam, followed by an exhibition and then this chapter is finally done! Tremendous progress has been made and I’ll share the work here when it’s all shiny 🙂
What did I learn? That big tasks need a big team – or at least more than 1 person. ‘Not being enough’ doesn’t need to be internalised. Its just a matter of fact and what you do have would be essential to a team. One where the other members have complementary skills.
I also learned – that I can learn. Not having certain skills do not have to stop at that. You just need to have time and energy to apply yourself to the learning of a new skill. The human brain is a highly flexible tool. Not knowing how to do something is not a dead end.
You don’t have to follow your feelings. They may lead you in directions which aren’t useful. Mostly one’s internal dialogue is counter-productive to what you want to achieve. It’s hard to change the programmed narrative, but it can also just be background music to conscious living. It helped to talk to myself out loud about what I’m doing, it helped me command myself.
The structuring of a project is just as important, if not more so, than the imagining. You have to imagine within parameters. If you are a professional creative – you have to have a handle on both. One validates the other. Structure and creativity are married, and through you – they having multiple weddings. Complete with teary guests and all night dancing. Creating something is a coming together of elements, the union of which warrants celebration.
These few pearls have been hard-learned. By observing myself go down the wrong path more than once, but also by having a witness standing by and being back-tracked together with me in our joint quest to get me to pass. That has been the advantage of working with someone who loves me. You don’t get fired. Instead they believe in your progress and ability to change. This is in turn motivating.. and embarrassing (!) when you inevitably slip up. So you get on with the business of doing better next time. It requires resilience and strength of character, which to my credit, I’m able to bring to the party.
Now a run-up to the finish line has begun. I get to finish my project, which is going to take some more Doing with a capital D. Applying what I’ve learned will be an on-going challenge, but I’m on the track and moving, which in itself is such a luxury.
Picture from a ‘Focus Booth’ at our pimped out Amsterdam library.