Monday, September 29, 2014

Weeks 23-25: The End

This post has been sitting in my "posts" list for weeks now, and I just keep putting off posting it - I think I'm in denial!  But I'm going to do it....NOW!

It's over, my friends!  How sad is that??  I can't believe that it's already been SIX MONTHS!!!  Weird.  The last few weeks of my residency were incredibly busy with moving my studio home, teaching, working, being sick, going out of town, etc.  It's been a little stressful, to be honest!  I wanted to go out with a bang, but things didn't go exactly the way I planned.  

I started working from home a few weeks before the end of my residency, since my studio-mate got really booked up with photo shoots.  It ended up working fairly well, actually! I was able to get quite a bit done and see that it would work.  I knew I'd need more storage, though, and I was able to work on that the last couple of weeks.  I'll write more about that in another post.

I was thinking a lot about the end of the residency, reflecting back on what went well and what didn't.  It got me thinking about job interviews, where you're often asked the question, "What are your greatest strengths and weaknesses?" I think most people are usually wondering how honest they should be about the second part.  I think we're often very aware of our weaknesses, but do we want to tell them to someone who could potentially offer us a job??  I think we all want to say, "I care too much," or, "I work so hard I forget to stop and take breaks."  I mean, come on, no one's gonna believe that...  

Margie, the director at Two Twelve and amazing woman who gave me this awesome opportunity, told me that she likes how open I am on my blog, so I thought I'd share with you my honest answers to the above two questions.  It's a chance for me to do some self-reflection as well as to own up to my weaknesses in the hope that I can work on making them strengths (2 Corinthians 12:10).

What are my greatest strengths?

Hmmm....this is tougher than I thought...

OK, so I'm generally a very organized person.  I think this could possibly go in the "weaknesses" category, too, because I have a hard time getting going on a project if I'm not organized.  But, when I am organized, I can really get a lot of work done!  Also, I am great at researching and love a good brainstorming session.  I can crank out ideas like crazy when my thinking cap isn't pinching.  I can also take an idea and create something real from it, whether it's a work of art or a shelving unit for craft supplies (the latter will be featured in a future post). 

I keep thinking of strengths I have that are unrelated to my residency, like, "I make really good soups," and, "I procrastinate like a BOSS."  Well, that last one is a good segue into the weaknesses part actually...

What are my greatest weaknesses?

The biggest one?  I put things off.  Yes, I know that's basically the same as procrastination, which I listed as a strength, but I feel like there's a slight difference.  With procrastination, I picture someone doing other things in order to avoid doing The Thing They Should Be Doing.  With "putting things off," it's more just not doing The Thing.  OK, maybe they're the same.  My point is, I'm very good at just not doing something.  (I'm also very good at not doing anything, but that's a subject for a different post.)  Doesn't matter what it is, whether it's working on art, responding to an email, going to bed, writing a blog post - I'm just really good at putting those things off.  98% of the time, the things I put off aren't critically important to others - it's just my own stuff, and let's face it, I'm just being lazy.  

Good news, though.  I at least acknowledge the problem, and that's the first step to recovery, right?  Well, I'm working on it!  I'm writing this post, aren't I?

(Side note - I can hear the marching band practicing "Gloria" a few blocks away as I write this - I love autumn!) (P.S. that side note was not me putting off finishing this post, for the record. P.P.S Altering the Batman pic so it said "putting it off" may have been...)  :)  

I could list other weaknesses, such as being easily distracted (like Dug the Dog, if my sister Elizabeth has anything to say about it), or not trusting my talents enough, but I think my self-reflection energy is waning.  (And if I go much longer, I'll put off posting this again...!)

I feel like I learned a lot about myself over the course of this residency, which is helping me as I work to decide what direction to take my life next.  (Ending up in France for any period of time would certainly be nice...!)  And most importantly, I also got such an amazing start to the children's book!!  I could never have achieved so much without all of that concentrated time and space in which to do it!  I feel like I can finish it now and I won't falter the way I have in the past.  

I'll keep blogging here, as well as on my other blog, and will keep you up-to-date on all of my artistic doings!  Look for a post on my mad woodworking skillz coming soon!

In the mean time, I'm back to substitute teaching (joy?), teaching at Two Twelve (joy!!) and the Saline Senior Center (also joy!!), and continuing my creative efforts!  Be sure to check out my Etsy shop for some of my fall fun and creative craftiness! (I clearly need to add awesome alliteration to my list of strengths!)