Monday, November 23, 2009

The Captain Kirk Academy for the Pursuit of Excellence

Herring and pike (the green ones with teeth) masks have taken over my life. Here they are shedding silver sparkles all over my ugly couch.

i. The School of Anxiety

The "Herring for Christmas" shoot is on Saturday, and I'm anxious. I am absolutely sure it will be a hoot and entirely successful--how not? there'll be cinnamon rolls--it's just that it's full of something I usually avoid: being the leader of a group.

When I look at a dozen people, I don't see a school of herring that need direction, I see Maggie and Rose and Ben and John... and I want to attend to each individual's needs and desires. I'm also afraid lest I annoy or offend anyone, and they hit me (childhood, anyone?), so I pussyfoot around.
This is an annoying leadership style.

ii. Lead Like a Friend

"Leadership" is a word that's always given me the creeps--I hear it as Il Duce. I have to remind myself it's about helping people work together, not about being a dictator. Power comes to a person anyway, and if she doesn't know how to handle it, she can be a right fuck-up.

Like, it hugely annoys me when I show up to help someone move and they can't tell me what they need. Or you ask a guest what they want to do, and they say, "Whatever you want." Please! Tell me how to help you.

I've mostly been the sort who moves by herself, to avoid having to tell people to put that box in the kitchen, please. But I can't make movies by myself very well.
And in my life in general, at this time it seems a good thing to figure out what kind of leader I am, and to be it. I don't really know what that is.

iii. Be Who You Are

I haven't mentioned it here, but about a year ago I enrolled in the Captain Kirk Academy for the Pursuit of Excellence (C-KAPE). "Excellence" is here in the sense of what Saint Francis De Sales said: “Be who you are, and be that well.”

I moved over to C-KAPE from the How to Be Invisible College (H-BIC), where I'd studied for years. I kept failing the courses, though, so they suggested I transfer.

I love C-KAPE, and I hate it.
I want to learn how to be myself in the world with more Kirkian confidence. But, wow, the inner emotional backlash can be unpleasant. Shame, resentment, crankiness, and anxiety come out--the toolbox of the psyche that would just as soon stay hidden under the bed. They may seem little, not big hitters like rage and grief, but they're little like Laurence Olivier's dental tools are little in Marathon Man.

It's all about risk and excellence and facing our demons. It's so much nicer to meet these face-to-face, by choice, doing something we love, than to have them drop on us out of the trees.
So, bring on the herring!


ArtSparker said...

Those herring are beautiful. Anxiety may go with the whole creative thing, though...I think one just has to get on with it anyway. What a wonderful communal celebration - wish I could be there.

Fresca said...

Hi, ArtS: Yeah, I think anxiety is probably part of the creative package too. I just need to learn how to get on with it anyway, instead of letting it stop me, as it has in the past. Which I guess I am doing.

You'd be most welcome to come be a herring! Can you see that the silver scales and gill flaps stand out, just like you suggested?

ArtSparker said...

Glad I could help, heh.

momo said...

Super interesting post on issues with leadership! As some people like to say, "I support you in taking care of yourself!" and that means remembering that you and others like clarity as well as kindness, and being clear can be a form of being kind!

I need to write my own post about my leadership issues, but suffice it to say that I have the opposite problem; I think a lot of people would see me as Il Duce, although I never hit anyone! Or, to be more accurate, I know (because I've been told....) that I can bug the hell out of people who see me as the know-it-all older sister/teacher/mom woman who wants you to care as much as she does. My resentment kicks in when other people don't really care as much as I think they should. It's exhausting! and highly annoying to others and to myself. After all, they are adults and they get to choose whether or not to care, and I am not their mom, nor is it actually a mom's job to MAKE you care.
I wonder what academy I enrolled in earlier? the
"If you are very very good all will be well" division of the School of Good Girls? SOGG? I'm trying to drop out, but I haven't decide where to transfer! I'm not sure if the Nathan Fillion Captain of Serenity school is one I want to go to, but I like his swagger.

Fresca said...

Hi, Momo: Good thoughts, thanks.
SOGG?!? Too perfect! I was never a Good Girl. I wasn't a Bad Girl either, I was just hiding under my desk, reading.

Invisible Girl and The Dictator both seem to me to be default positions for people who don't know how to lead well.
But then, who ever helped us learn how to lead?

Mal Reynolds (Fillion) has a lot of Kirk in him--a swagger and a smirk, I like that in a leader.