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!