sevenhelz: photo of me snuggling a cat. my face is not shown (Default)
sevenhelz ([personal profile] sevenhelz) wrote2015-10-10 12:59 pm
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thoughts I am having

I have long believed that those who can, should. That the one in a million voices should be the ones we're hearing on the radio. That those who are built to dance should have that opportunity, and (if they love it) should take it - for those of us who aren't or can't. It takes strength to go through with something when you believe you could be better at it, but there are so very many folk out there who will never be as good as you. Training someone untalented is (never wasted, but) not going to create the same effect as bringing someone with raw power to the fore. If you can, do.

Somebody described themself as "strong, but really gentle with fragile things" and declared it their best quality. I think that might be right. I think when we talk about not causing hurt, when we talk about supporting people, we're talking about appropriate use of strength. We're talking about being gentle even if we know that the fragility is temporary. And "protective" is not an negative descriptor.

Learning new things does not mean you were lacking before. It's sometimes difficult to look back, thinking, "why did it take me so long to work that out? Now that I've said it it seems obvious..." but coming to a full understanding of something requires having experience and time, not only for the emotional impact of certain statements to sink in, but for your backbrain to sift through the details. One of the things I really appreciate about my job is the time I spend standing on parade staring at nothing. You call it discipline to stand still like that, but when I'm not actively engaged in playing music (or taking a moment to recover from the physical exertion), my brain is in downtime mode. It might be really useful to be able to direct it to certain challenges, but in practice it does what it does. Rather than coming up against walls in my thinking, I can get on with life and occasionally have a realisation crop up about something I may not even have noticed was bothering me.

My job doesn't tax me intellectually. Arguably the music does, but as above, when not actively engaged in the complications of ensemble playing, my capacity is not being put to its full use. As a whole human I am very much put to work, physically, socially, emotionally, and because I believe I have this spare intellectual capacity, there are roles I have taken on which I can spend more or less time on without too much oversight; these will require some learning and some interaction with new people. It's exciting, and I'm glad to have taken it on, both because of the opportunity for new experiences, and because I believe somebody in the band needed to step up to being a keeper of our history. There have been many personnel changes and with that the root of various traditions is in danger of being lost. What are ceremonial soldiers for if not to keep the lore?

If I've reached the point where I can do my job and have spare energy and brain available, it's time to do more. If I can, I should. I want to start singing. I want to build an exit plan, if possible, and I'm starting to see how I can build my own structure and routine (to match my vast and resilient support network) in order to keep myself functioning without the job. It's not going to happen overnight, and that's fine.

Meanwhile, I've been thinking about responsibility, and stepping up to being a member of your community. I admire people who are important in their social groups. I admire people who see a problem and step up to help fix it communally. I started adult life as someone who was used to moving on, to finding new social groups, keeping hold of only one or two people I deemed interesting enough to stay in touch with every time. Then I decided to put down roots. I want to know what I would look like if I stayed in the same place for twenty years, dealing with problems both dramatic and mundane, long term. I found my tribe, and they care about the same things I do; and those who'd been there twenty years had a dignity and a weight to their actions that I respected. They could also be some of the most ridiculously fun people to be around, because they had the confidence to allow themselves to look stupid once in a while, knowing it wouldn't affect their cachet, and the experience to know when a bit of daft fun would help everyone lighten up and perform better. I've seen the culture of our band shift with the loss or introduction of each personality, and I've decided to step up, because we can be better. And I can nudge that. I'm ready.