Thursday, 26 March 2009

A Quick Update.

I've officially landed my current dream job as a Meeting Concierge at The Hyatt Regency in Vancouver. I seriously think God took everything I love about life and all my greatest skills and rolled them into one position and then handed it to me on a silver platter. The job is management level, working between the Hotel and the Meeting Planners who run events at the hotel. I start Monday.

Next Wednesday I will be moving to the West End. I figure living downtown is more practical when I'm working downtown.

Oh, and I did manage to get the nerve to call Johnny Taylor (the man who created my love, the painting). We are going for coffee on Friday. I know, I know. I laughed at myself for about 20minutes after hanging up the phone with him. He's either going to think I'm a total freak or be completely flattered. I'm hoping its the latter...

I must send out a special Thank you to Amy, Katie and Paul for their help in getting me this job! And also, to everyone else for supporting me :-)

I honestly didn't think it was possible to be this happy. Life could not get any better. Except for maybe if I had a new pair of shoes...

I figure suit shopping is in order as I can't dress anything less than business formal for the new job. Shoe shopping goes with suit shopping, right?

Life is going to be very different very soon. I like change.

Wednesday, 25 March 2009

There is life.

As a friend made known to me last night, the following topic can scare the typical 9-5er. This is not an article for those scared of change, or who are set in their ways. My views are definitely in line with those with a free spirit; those who see life as blank canvas meant to look only as your heart and soul imagines.

My entire life, actually, I continually practiced making logical decisions. I was overly aware that as a teenager I couldn’t actually trust myself – after all, I was surging vessel of hormones with an undeveloped frontal lobe. Like learning to trust what my body felt would be a smart decision. Well, I can officially say I nearly perfected doing what society told me to do. I fought with myself and stuffed my intuition and gut feelings down deep and ignored them with the intention that by making the decisions others encouraged me to, I would be living my life “properly” (whatever that means.)

Well, I’ve come to a new conclusion in recent months. A conclusion that completely reverses the way I make decisions, a conclusion that revokes the intentions of my previous outlook, a conclusion that has actually shown me what it means to live life and enjoy it.

No more waiting for life to start, no wishing I was somewhere else, no more feeling guilty for not being happy with what I have.
No more anxious, sleepless nights, no more beating myself up over decisions I’ve made, no more constantly and consistently trying to make the “right” choice.

There really is no. set . path.
There is life.

It takes a different road with everyone. For some the path winds through cities of riches and fame, for others through syringe infested streets and rodent filled alley ways. Some trails dart in and out of marriages and men, while other paved roads lead higher and higher to the top of a mountain only to find that the view isn’t what the road signs along the way promised.

And none of that is right or wrong. None of it is more important or less important. No single road will lead everyone to joy (except Jesus of course ;-) ). But when I say that, I don’t mean we are all meant to join a church and live the lives that the pastor has encouraged for us. I mean, listen to God. Listen to your bones. Your heart. Guts.

It’s too freaking short to spend one more moment not doing what your heart tells you to do. Nothing in the world is more important than the moment you are living. And that doesn’t mean jump up and do something more productive than you are doing – just appreciate where you are at. It’s these little moments, these reflecting moments, the moments where I sit watching the little boy play basketball alone while I travel by him on the sky train, listening to the beat of the girl’s iPod through her headphones across the way, contemplating what I’ll make for dinner when I get home, and text messaging my friend to see if he wants to grab a coffee with me tomorrow morning. So little and so important.

I’ve stopped trying to plan the experiences I will have, I’ve stopped trying to control where I want my life to go. I think I know what I want, until I get it, then I want nothing to do with it.

Trust God. Trust the Universe.

I want where I am right now. I want this moment. I want to take this moment for everything it’s worth, to drain it of its energy and pass it on to the next and the next after that.

So I have no money. So my close friends from before I left for Africa don’t even talk to me. So my ex-boss is slowly degrading my reputation. So what if I don’t know how tomorrow or April or 2010 will look. Because you know what I do know? That it will all work out exactly how it’s supposed to and that alone is pretty wonderful.
The last 8 weeks of my life have been an utterly amazing testimony to God’s grace, and to the notion that when you relax and stop worrying about how tomorrow will turn out, everything just falls into place.

I’m talking about something much bigger than “the glass is half full”. I’m talking about even looking at the bad shit. Looking at the empty half of the glass and still appreciating that you can learn from the it, and that the emptiness is still as big a part of the life you are living as the fullness. To learn to appreciate the despair for its usually unwanted gifts only leads to greater appreciation of the joy. It’s a lesson in hope. A lesson in strength. A lesson in gratitude.

To be truly thankful for life God has given you is more than waking up and saying the words “Thank you, Lord” every morning. It’s by appreciating the seconds as they pass that we really say thank you. It’s in enjoying what He has given us and the uncanny-ness of how it always works out. Even when it’s not how we expected it to. Bad luck, good luck, who knows?

I wish I could convey this passion for life through words – at most I hope my energy is infectious enough to help other people ponder how much they enjoy life and whether they are forcing it down a path that promises lots it can’t offer, or taking a risk and doing what your heart has been wanting to do for years and jump back to the path the universe has built just for you!

I think my path is somewhat invisible. Every moment is a new surprise and an unexpected corner. I just have to trust that taking that turn when it tells me to will lead me where I’m meant to go. It makes it a lot easier to enjoy life when you know you are doing what feels right.

I’m done fighting with myself.

Thursday, 19 March 2009

A Connection to Connectivity

I’ve fallen in love with a painting.

I’ll be lucid; I’m no melodramatic art critique who really dives deep into what an artist might be trying to convey, or how each work of art makes me feel. I generally appreciate the beauty in a picture, sculpture or photo and enjoy it for its visual stimulation. This is different. This one makes me feel something. I can’t pretend for a moment it doesn’t send signals screaming to my heart, gut and bones.

I have never in my life felt this connected to a seemingly inanimate object. I say ‘seemingly’ because I feel like I would be lying to myself if I were to declare that this painting didn’t move. I believe the word I used yesterday was ‘transition.’ This painting appears to be in transition. And something in transition is clearly not still. Therefore, it would be incorrect to propose it completely inanimate.

There is a sub-plot to this story – something of a bond. The word of my week has been “connection.” Upon waking Monday morning, I became very aware of how this word described me. Being a strong communicator, I often see myself as a connector. Connecting people to people, people to thoughts, people to things, people to me, myself to thoughts, myself to things, myself to… myself. I wrote a cover letter for a position as an assistant within a company who needed someone to communicate the needs of the travelling director to the rest of the team at the city’s office. To describe myself and my communication abilities I used the theme of connectivity to drive home my point: that I wanted to help their company connect.

This theme of connection continued that evening while at a workshop discussion; a new friend of mine passionately described the need for a “connector” within the organization. It struck me. I want to connect people.

The next morning I had an interview (for a job I’m hoping I just landed) and again my theme continued. The position in itself is a gateway from one organization to the next. In the managers words, not mine, the “connecting bridge.” By now I’m feeling very strongly about this term. What it means to really connect, to really be in this moment, and to really bond with everything and everyone around you.

Even at coffee with a friend – he asked me why I wanted this job so badly. The first thing out of my mouth without hesitation was “I so desperately want to help people connect; I want to be that bridge.”

One could easily associate this as me just noticing the use of the word more often; even so, I believe I’m noticing it for a reason.

I first saw this painting a few weeks back at dinner while on a wonderful date with a wonderful man. Nonetheless, I think spent more time reflecting on this painting then I did on my date. It would not leave my mind, to the point that I brought up this painting again and again, including last night with a dear friend of mine. We were driving around Gastown looking for a place to enjoy dessert and a glass of wine and I had to point out to him the restaurant where my favourite painting hangs. We ended up sitting in front of the painting for the next 4 hours…

The manager, obviously sensing my love for this work of art, described to us how the it was almost like a painting in reverse, from being painted and carved into in multiple layers. Which fits so well with my view of it being in transition; with so many layers, it’s almost as thought the artist moved from one stage to the next, revealing only portions of what is underneath. This painting isn’t even canvas, it’s on wood – no print would do it justice.

I touched it.

I’ll be clear, this visual talent is abstract. It’s not even bright colours, which surprises me, because I am usually pulled to bright colours. It’s a fusion of browns, beiges, blacks and greys… on wood.

I look at this and see a city in transition. A city moving from a place of despair, or darkness to a place of joy and light. Articulating that this is what I see makes my bond to this painting begin to formulate some sense. To be a person so full of hope, so alive with hope, and see a painting of hope would make it somewhat logical to feel pulled to it. But beyond hope, I view it as proof of hope. Proof that this city in the painting is moving towards a place of light.

In comparison, my friend saw it similarly, but as a snapshot of the city revealing the good and the bad. He saw no movement, no transition. Just a glimpse of “now”. My deflection: “now” IS moving. There is no stillness, only traveling forwards or backwards.

Whatever the case may be, this painting feels like it’s adhered to my soul. As messed up as that sounds, I feel beyond drawn to it. I feel like it is somehow now a part of me. Believe me, I know how cheesy and insane that sounds, but I cannot describe it in any other way. I feel like no one will feel more connected to it than I do… except maybe the artist.

I found Johnny Taylor’s work online and a picture of this painting.

It’s price tag: $13,350.

It’s name: Connectivity.

Do you have goosebumps? … I do.

I immediately told my friend from yesterday evening about this discovery of name and worth and declared it my Everest. He was so quick to remind me “that it is the resolve and effort required to achieve it that is the actual prize. The challenge makes it worth having… Everest is not insurmountable.”

What is the most logical thing for Miranda to do? Buy Johnny a coffee.