Yesterday was the sixth day of Kat McNally’s August Moon. I have participated in her Reverb projects in December as well as her April Moon offerings, so it was a no brainer for me sign up for August Moon again this year. it comes at just the right time for me, I believe. There is a lot swirling around in my head and heart these days, and I’m looking forward to using the opportunity that August Moon gives me to work through those things that are rattling around inside of me.
Kat gave us the following:
What are the signs that you are on fire?
Think about the last time you felt really turned on by something. Sink into the feelings and capture them as accurately as you can.
What is the catalyst for this feeling? What is it that you love about feeling this way?
My first thought is, I don’t know what this feels like. All of the choices in my life have been what I have been supposed to do – not necessarily what I want to do. That, of course, isn’t the truth of the matter.
There are things that light me up and get me going. I have not spent a lot of time working with my own desires – the things that make me happy. There are long twisted reasons for that, but I am a recovering perfectionist. I do the things I am supposed to, when I am supposed to, the way I am supposed to. I tend to be a rule follower to the nth degree, and I am a total people pleaser. I put others desires ahead of my own.
There are moments, though. I have loved photography since I was a little girl, and I have a very clear memory of asking for a camera for my 10th birthday. (I got a pink and purple Le Clic 110 camera) And I’ve been writing since I was wee. Those are the things that make me happiest. I don’t know that I am particularly good at either of those things, but I like to play around with them.
One of the things that makes me happiest is grabbing my camera and wandering around. During my time in the National Writing Project, I was introduced to the idea of Writing Marathons – where you go into a city and you wander from place to place in groups of 4-6, spending 20-30 minutes writing and then 20-30 minutes sharing, eating, drinking before you move on to your next destination. It’s been a long time since I’ve been able to do that as part of a group, but I have done it on my own numerous times. I particularly like New Orleans for that. These days I take my camera with me and spend time shooting as well as writing. As to what that makes me feel like – in tune, connected, vibrant, observant.
Interesting because connected is another of my Core Desired Feelings.
There are times when I get really excited about what I’m doing – like this afternoon as I was finally getting the cover put together for the daybed on the front porch. But that kind of excitement makes me extremely nervous. Like – I’m going to fuck this up; don’t let me fuck this up; I’m not going to fuck this up! Being able to do something that I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to pull off – that’s a big turn-on. (See that piping? Bane of my existence, but it sure does look sharp. Check Instagram tomorrow for a shot of the finished – minus the throw pillows that still need to be done – daybed)
There have been a few times when my work has set me on fire – it has usually happened when I’ve been doing professional development for teachers. I started down the path of an adult education degree because I’d gotten hooked up with the NWP and found a tremendous amount of power in helping teachers improve their practice. In my own little classroom, I could affect maybe 200 students a year, but if I worked with teachers, helping them implement best practices in their own classes, then I could be making a difference in the lives of so many other children. I was good at professional development. I focused on making what I was offering practical and immediately applicable. When I was doing it, I felt purposeful and helpful, passionate and creative. There are times when I think the best of all possibilities would be fore me to be able to do professional development again on a full-time basis, but I also know that isn’t really an option now. I don’t have those connections anymore, and to be honest – I don’t particularly want to deal much with the hoops that school districts have anymore. I just don’t.
I think these experiences work because they are all connected to my Core Desired Feelings. I’m working towards having those CDFs directing my life and the choices that I make.
What about you? What lights you up and gets you excited?