Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Tuesday of Lent 1

Like most people, I have a string of back stories, but I'll begin with...

Maybe you know the optimal / balanced / strained / burnout / breakdown taxonomy? For the past three or four years, I've been alternating between burnout and breakdown. I've used the analogy of a stored value card that needs to be reloaded before being spent. We humans need water, food, sleep, air, socialization... I've totally spent everything; I've also mined my inner introvert, and need to find ways to reload.

Back story 1

Almost forever I've done whatever I could imagine to in order to gain more skills for working in an urban setting—most specifically an inner city one. Substitute teaching grades 1 through 8 in an urban public school system. Beginning to learn Spanish. Working for the Section 8 housing peeps. Getting a second undergrad degree in economics, with an urban studies concentration / interdisciplinary minor, and a lot in the other social and behavioral sciences. After getting recalled from sizable suburban church, I continued taking and auditing related classes, doing I don't know how many grant writing courses and workshops, more community organizing, becoming neighborhood watch chairperson, joining Toastmasters in order to become a better speaker / preacher, attending the annual Neighborhood and Poverty Conferences. Being such a visionary, I also began learning to digitize my art and design!

back story 2

telling the story buttonA few weeks after going on staff at Sizable Suburban Church in the Intermountain West, one Friday evening I was galloping down the stairs to answer the doorbell, lost my footing, flew to the foot of the stairs, hit my head and knocked myself unconscious. Since I'd been charging down staircases since I was a little kid, "my grandmother predicted that would happen," and after I went to the urgent care with the friend who was at my door, followed by the ER where the urgent care people sent me insisted I go, I gave the event no more thought—to call it trivial or inconsequential would be a major exaggeration! That in itself is long and bloggable (though open to countless misinterpretations), since despite a lot of unusual happenings in my body, brain, and surroundings, despite my friends abandoning me wholesale, not until two decades later did I finally realize I'd sustained a serious injury. I also now realize the burden had been on the ER personnel to insist I return early the following week for a neurological followup, but no one even suggested it.

Although the following Sunday I mentioned flying down the stairs to people at church because I had a serious rug burn on my face, I don't know if I told anyone at that time I'd been temporarily unconscious. I do know I never ever mentioned the fact again. I mean I never told anyone, anywhere! The whole incident was such a total non-event, even if I'd been one of those people whose favorite topic is themselves, to call the fall trivial or inconsequential would be to assign it far more weight than it had in my mind.

Back story 3

When you move to a new locale, it takes a while to connect with people and opportunities. When I returned to this geographical area more than ten years ago, although there was some chance I'd be staying only a year because of a possible opportunity elsewhere, making me bit reluctant to jump in right away with all four feet, after a few months I got several chances to participate in relevant ways, and when the possibility elsewhere fell through the following summer and I decided to make more effort to get involved, gradually I found myself doing some teaching, serving as pianist for a monthly event, after a while doing a little more playing, a bit of preaching, a lot more teaching, and then some designing. Nice balance, and I fully expected the opportunities to expand rather than contract to almost zero.

in the near future?

At least a year ago, got inspired to relocate Los Angeles because it a larger, more vital, diverse, metropolitan area than where I currently live. Needless to say, that was after convincing myself I did not prepare to do something arcane and obscure for which zero opportunities exist worldwide—teaching ancient Sanskrit on a graduate level, maybe? Many people in many places are doing what I want to do, I can offer all I want, but the door only can be opened from the other side.

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