Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Self Portraits

Confusion Never Ceases to Complicate Simple Endeavors

Transition Time. Heading to Chiang Mai for an interview/observation at a newly established Montessori school. Am beyond excited about the possibilities and opportunities that will surely unfold as time goes on, but simultaneously frightened beyond reason.
I am aware of my strengths. I am also aware of my weakness'. I worry to return to the land of normality and be exiled for my lack of care towards the dirt in my fingernails or the coffee stain on my skirt. The permanent addition of flowers to my skin also make the journey, whilst more aesthetically pleasing, shaky for fear of being misunderstood. I'm good at what I do and my ideas, when combined with the right people, succeed and have the potential of becoming something larger, something visible, something tangible.
But, alarm clocks and dress codes and mood swings and deadlines... these are part of a world I want nothing to do with.
Many would say this is a juvenile approach to reality, I even said that. However, the more I toy with it, the more I realize, it's not at all. It's simply a healthy recognition. I know myself. And I'm the only person who has to live with myself. If I am going to remain happy and open to the world, I need my work to compliment my being and my being to compliment my work. This idea shouldn't be so foreign.
The position is for a toddler classroom, 4 hours a day, 5 days a week. The school just opened and they say they are in need of someone with a strong background in Montessori to help lay all the pieces in the right place. They also happen to be in touch with the Burmese Refugee Project whose aim is to build schools for Burmese refugee children. This is how I will hopefully be spending my evenings.
Aside from the job, the owner has been very generous and enthusiastic about my arrival. We've spoken about my conducting a teacher's training as well as being an unofficial mentor to the current instructor there. They've also offered to house me with family and help me obtain a visa by enrolling in Thai language school. If all this is to happen then all the pieces of my plan will have fallen into place.
It's a frightening time when all of a sudden ideas are forced into action. Even with Art I pause at these times. The actual recording, or executing a shoot, or simply showing my work to others. It's the same in my professional life. Giving the lessons, planning the parties, meeting with parents... Goodness.
I hope they like me.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Sticks and Stones

I spoke to a guy from South Africa yesterday.. He asked me what I do and what I want to do. I told him my hypothetical plans and he looked at me and said, "That's just a hobby. That's not a viable way to make money. That's not a career. You do realize this right? There are so many dreamers out there. But you're smarter than that, right? That's your hobby."
I looked him directly in the eyes, smiled and excused myself from the room.
When I entered my bedroom, I just sat. I sat and I thought about his words and my words and they all just started to jumble together so I opted to have another beer. Not the best solution, but certainly the fastest and easiest.
To say that wanting to create an NGO that supports art and in turn the art supports the NGO, is anything but a hobby. Right? I always thought hobbies were things you do for yourself, when you're not at work, that you don't expect to make anything from. And, as for photography, who's to say that's not a profession? Are all the photographers, journalists, musicians, actors, directors, artists, dancers all just hobbyists?
Of course not!
Oi... I know I should take certain comments with a grain of rice, but it came at a time where I was already in a near panic. I sincerely don't understand people who use their words to create doubts and fears in others. Especially when your words can do exactly the opposite. They can carry, support, encourage, teach and calm. Why would anyone opt for the prior?