Space.

DSC07010

I was wondering what I could write about, but I was not really sure. To be honest, at this very moment I want to do lots of things: go on watching Brené Brown on creativity, going to the store and buy eggs and do creative experiments with them (and eat!) and I was toying with the idea for a new blogpost. Today was the first of the three last days of work: I have only two more holiday weeks and the restaurant I work at is open until the end of august. I only worked a few hours yesterday and having so much time to spare and so little of my holiday left I thought to make the time I still had count. I had some very profound experiences last night and today. I finished changing a dress I bought during the last holiday (Christmas +8 months ago), and I decided to just go out and dance salsa at a large Latin dance event. This morning I started watching Brené Brown on creativity and worked in the afternoon. The interesting thing of working in a kitchen and working together and in theory each preparing half of the dishes on the menu is that the orders are different each day. Yesterday only 10 % of the orders were for me, whereas today it was the other way around. So I was working ‘hard’ preparing dishes, prepping and doing the dishes when necessary. And I LOVE worki
ng like that. I discussed this with my boss, the actual chef in the kitchen, and he was like: “Why are you saying this now? We’re closing in a few days.” So I asked him: “Why are you saying that?” He said: “Well, if I knew that I would have let you do more.” I told him that working juggling 3 tasks for me is way easier than doing just one: it has to do with overthinking, a lack of flow. I need a certain pressure to work hard and efficient and then I just want to continue at that pace. He said he was always on this point. Always in flow always in a way ‘on edge’. And it’s true. He’s one of the perhaps only people who never works slowly. I do. I do work slowly and I might love it as much as working fast and hard. I was wondering why that was the case, and in fact the f I saw a great parallel to the salsa dancing of the night before: I love dancing salsa but I’m not really  actually someone who can dance salsa (never had actual training). In fact I don’t know any of the rules. What I did find, is as long as I have the ‘right’ partner I can follow and really enjoy myself, feeling what to do without ever having to think about it. So I wanted to share with him about this comparison so I said: I went last night and dance salsa. And he was like: “Seriously? You share this now? In the last few days that you work here I’m learning so much new things about you that keep surprising me.”
DSC07002

So why am I writing all of these personal experiences and encounters of the last few days? The couple of Brené Brown videos I was watching were surrounded around a quote from Theodore Roosevelt about ‘daring greatly’ also often referred as the man in the arena quote. And I won’t go in to the quote so much as the idea of being in an arena. Or rather, being on the side-lines. There are a lot of things that I dream of in life and in fact I have pursued and mastered, most of them creative and most of them quite challenging. However, most of these activities I could do on my own. In fact they were based on the vast believe that I could ‘do this myself’. I once told that to someone as an excuse for why I made all these bags and clothes and she replied: “well, that’s something I never think”. Even for someone like me who’s ‘I can do this’ voice is very trained and loud sometimes it is almost inaudible. My dream to dance still has this very small voice. At the event of last night I came in thinking: “Some of my friends are here, I’ve been here before, I want to go out, and I enjoy dancing”. But as I was waiting to be asked to dance (something great and frustrating about these nights) I looked at the dancers and thought: but I am not even trained to do this, and what if in fact people kind of ‘find out I’m no good’.

 

I recall the first time going salsa dancing very clearly. I met two girls perhaps the month before: they both liked to go out and dance salsa and I was ecstatic (and terrified), and basically begged them to take me with them. So they did. And we were there and I saw the people dance and new immediately that I loved it as much as I thought I would love it. So I admired and enjoyed the whole experience until the point when my friends were asked to dance, and it dawned on me that I could be asked to. I was now standing alone and terrified. I liked the idea of dancing, but I never did it before like this and I was not so sure what it would be like, despite my friends saying that the guys are usually nice and will teach you how to dance. So there I was. And I got asked. And I learned how to dance. I learned that with the right partner I would know what to do intuitively and basically forget everything. It is that that I realised and told my boss: it is easier for me to follow or do something more difficult: it blurs all the things in my mind and allows my body to take over and make the right decisions. It is a state of flow that completely relaxes and energises me at the same time.

DSC07007

So why is this blogpost called Space.? and why did I mention Brené Brown, expert on vulnerability and shame? What do conversations with a co-worker and dancing to do with each other? A Facebook friend of mine shared a quote  from one of these picture quote sharing Facebook pages and in general I find them super shallow, ‘hip'(and not in a good way), and basically obnoxious. But I liked this one:

“Maybe the journey isn’t so much about becoming anything. Maybe it’s about un-becoming everything that isn’t really you so you can be who you were meant to be in the first place. “

Looking up this quote to add it to this post I realise that it has a particular message that perhaps is not exactly the same as I try to bring across here. However it is really concerning identity and perhaps ‘becoming who you are’. And for me this was what was happening and noticed today and throughout the experiences that I described: I know now I am not a person who is lazy, or who can’t dance.  I just need some time and the right circumstances to bring out the capabilities and beauty in me. I don’t show all I do and want to everyone. In another recent encounter someone asked me ‘What is holding you back?’. Even though not intended as such I took it as a moment to personally and philosophically reflect. The person was suggesting that I was held back. I immediately knew that this was true even though I was not fully aware before. I pondered and replied: “I’m held back because of all the expectations I think other have”.  Now I add: and I’m afraid to see what will happen in interaction with these others if I am not holding back.

DSC07012

My co-worker was surprised at different things that I did say today. He’s known me for a year and in fact the whole times these things were known facts for me, but I did not share them. I did not vocalise them and chose to take a step back, and focus on what others want rather than what I want. Now these sides did come out and came up. Why? Because there was space. We all need space to be, to become more ourselves and do the things we always wanted.  (Honestly I could write a book about this whole subject but let’s keep it at ca. 1500 words for now)

 

Advertisements

Happiness, Notebooks and Diderot

As is obvious, I write. However, I do not only write when I find some inspiration for this blog. I always have at least one notebook that I try to keep at my side always, using it as a space to write anything I find remarkable. I usually fill the books in 3/4 months, after which they end up on a shelve. However every once in a while I read these books back. I reread and experience and remember all the things I wrote and was dealing with at the time. There is one more thing. From each book I type out the poetry, making it more easy to read back and appreciate all the words that got unto paper after I read them on the pages of my mind.

Today I was revising one of the books, looking at what I wrote down, imagined, found. And I found  Diderot’s definition of happiness as puplished in l’encyclopedy ou dictionairee raisonne des sciences des arts et des metiers which dates from the 1750s.

Happiness-

“state, a situation which we would like to keep lasting and unchanged. In this happiness is different from pleasure, which is only a pleasant but short-lived feeling and can never become a state. Pain would more likely have that privilege…

All men are one in their desire for happiness. Nature has made happiness a law of our being, and all that is not happiness is alien to our disposition. It alone has unmistakable power over our hearts, it attracts us all through an instant inclination, a powerful charm, and an irresistible attraction. Happiness is the charm and perfection of Nature and she has indelibly engraved it on our hearts.

All men also agree on the nature of happiness which they identify with pleasure, or at least they agree that it owes to pleasure its greatest delight and stimulation. If happiness is not enlivened from time to time by pleasure, it is not so much true happiness as a state of tranquillity, a very sorry kind of happiness indeed! If we are left in a state of lazy indolence that offers no stimulus to our activity, we cannot be happy; our desires can only be fulfilled by our being transported out of this listlessness in which we languish. Joy must flow into the innermost recesses of our hearts, it must be stimulated by pleasant feelings, kept in motion by gentle shocks, filled with delightful variety, it must intoxicate us with a pure pleasure that nothing can spoil. But man’s condition does not allow for such a state: pleasures cannot accompany every moment of our life and the most delightful state includes many periods of languor; once the first flame of feeling has died down, the best we can hope for is tranquillity.”

 

I think it is so incredibly interesting that in the 18th century these kinds of explanation’s were given in encyclopaedia, and as well I think it is very true and interesting for today. Nowadays happiness is so important, and we do change all kinds of things to make this happiness last. Diderot explains.. it just does not really work like that.

 

 

[ ]

I feel the weight of the page

The pages I wrote I filled

Those year ago

Some memories so clearly

Other friends I’ve long forgot

Their names. They were with

Me the best for seconds and

Hours they have left or

Moved away

 

I don’t mind it just inspires my

Quiet mind.  My life is so much

Richer than I knew so much

Wider and lighter, kinder and

It screams louder than I remembered

My past is touching me. Reaching

In, smiling lovingly

 

As long as paper lasts; as long as memory

Fades these pages will remember

Me, of the struggle I have faced, of

The beauty I have seen that

Everything returns time and time

Again. That God loves and is there

for me

25/07/2016