Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Solid Conclusions

A comment on my previous post asked what "solid conclusions" I'd come to regarding my 100 DAY experiment.

I like questions. I like to be challenged. So here goes ...

Firstly, I don't really do "solid conclusions". I enjoy ideas, concepts, conversations, discussions. But wrapping them up and coming to conclusions frustrates me. I'm aggravated by people who ask me "So, what are you going to DO?" The trouble is, those people are essential to me and I need them in my life and experience ... as long as they don't expect to be loved and appreciated for it. So the comment about conclusions annoyed me at first, and then provoked me ... and now I'm really glad of it! Fickle, eh?

Secondly, it wasn't a scientific experiment. I deliberately didn't set specific goals or clear parameters. It was more of an intuitive thing. I wanted to change the shape and structure of my life in terms of my location, my work, my relationships. I was feeling stuck and wanted to shake things up to see how they landed. Overall, I think that happened and I'm happy with the outcome, though it hasn't been all that I secretly hoped for.

My aim was "to develop and explore a new plan and framework together with some guiding principles that would influence and determine decisions and actions regarding my future." (I just made that up).

So, having waffled around for a while, here are some specific outcomes from my 100 days.
I moved out of my flat in Cardiff. I was feeling increasingly isolated there and the costs were becoming unmanageable. This was a big thing for me as the flat had been a 'bolt-hole' for me for the last 3 years. Also, I hadn't moved house on my own before. You may recall I blogged about all that.

I wanted a more mobile lifestyle - moving, living and working between South, Mid and North Wales. I wanted to explore whether such a lifestyle was possible, and how it would feel in practice. I didn't intend to put anything permanent in place during that 100 days. From the outset, this mobility proved to be feasable (feasible? - I haven't found the spellcheck on Google Docs yet!) and enjoyable, though often tinged with insecurity and loneliness. However, due to other factors, I haven't been able to sustain this. I intend to get back on track, though, as this was the most successful outcome. The friends I've made and the support I've received has been amazing. It will require money and momentum to do long-term but it's the direction I am taking. I'm bound to get lost along the way - because that's what I do - but I can see where I want to go.

I guess my main disappointment, to be honest, is that some of the relationships haven't yet developed as well as I'd have liked, and some of the collaborations that seemed possible may take a while longer to work out.

Also, working "on-the-go", as it were, has been difficult though I've managed to produce a surprising amount of work! Maybe challenges and constraints are good for me! (I so hope that's not true ...)

In terms of the building blocks for living and working like this, a few are being put in place and I'll blog about them in the future. They involve accomodation and studio space, but the signs are good that things could come into place.

During the 100 days I obviously thought a lot about things. I looked at where I am - physically, emotionally and spiritually - and where I want to get to. I identified fences, or barriers, that I have to overcome and I've begun to work out how to do that. I also realised that I'm now seeing further that I have done for a long time. I used to be able to see clearly but I lost that. It's good to think it may be coming back, albeit in a different context.

I'm writing all this while I'm feeling fairly positive about things - as you can probably tell! There are on-going problems and pressures and I'm leaving out some of the crap. Also, I know it may seem a little vague and inconclusive, but that's partly because I try to avoid identifying specific events, places and people.
On the whole, though, I think it's a fairly reasonable assessment.

I'm glad I did it.

Now I want to to find ways and means of making it happen longer term.

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