I realized yesterday, as I was slugging through my long unattended email, that I hate checking my email. Rather, I always knew that I hated checking my email, but last night I think I have finally sorted out why.
There is just too much information and too many "calls to action". I can't handle it, and it makes me feel terrible. I have a similar response to going on Facebook. It seems to me that most people on Facebook truly enjoying sharing part of their lives and have fun commenting and "liking" this or that picture, video, event or link. I, on the other hand, log onto Facebook with a sigh, a heavy feeling of obligation that just doesn't seem right.
I have a pretty full life, I am active and productive in my career and in my hobbies. People think of me as a busy person who is high achieving. So, I guess it's probably true, but I don't feel high achieving. I feel like I am barely getting through, and often I get very disappointed that I haven't done more. Or, done what I do better. So, I am constantly working, and as a result I don't have time to even read through all my email let alone the Facebook postings on my home page.
Plus, when I do get around to addressing my hundreds of emails and Facebook event invites, I have no choice but to decline or bypass most of them because I am too busy with my own projects and events.
But, here lies the root of the problem as I see it.
Each person has his or her own agenda, own project, own web series, own kickstarter, own performance, own blog, own Etsy, own e-paper. We have become a world of self starters (empowered to make our own project a success!) myself included. After all, I have my own dance company and I have my own blog (obviously as you are reading it). And, yes, I hope that people will support my endeavors by attending my shows and reading my blog. But, why? Or rather, why should people chose my project or show over another?
Yes, we can all write blogs and produce performances, but if we are all busy on the creating end, then we are too busy to be on the receiving/supporting end. Sure, we can all start our own projects and kickstarter funds, but are there enough supporters and funds to go around? Is there enough room for everyone to be successful? Can every lottery ticket be a winner?
I want to support the projects that come through my email and Facebook.
Here are a list of projects I supported (in some way with my time and energy) yesterday:
1. My friend Lauren Reeder's Web Series "Living with Models"
2. A survey on Motif Notation and Emotions (Dance Notation Research)
3. MixMatch Festival
4. Nancy Evans Dance Theater
5. My friend Gina's Recovery Blog (about eating disorders)
Out of the myriad requests that were sent to me, those are the only five I had time to address. But, I can't do that everyday! I am playing catch up! This is how I spend my vacation.
We are living in a time when we are all individuals working toward individual or perhaps small group goals. Many of us have moved away from dedicating our lives to a large group organization, church or a club (Rotary or Kiwanis). We are working toward self defined goals that can be very exciting, but I think it is coming at a cost, because it is scattering our energies and perhaps even sabotaging the larger success of a few ideas.
But, whose idea is worthy? Whose project deserves the greater success? Who holds the winning lottery ticket?
Megill & Company (my dance company) has an opportunity to go to Istanbul next summer. At least, the trip is in the works. Of course the challenge will be financing the trip. Do I create a kickstarter? Do I try my hand in the lottery of projects, beseeching my friends and family to support my creative endeavors over someone else's project?
I am torn.
Do you support something? Many things?
How would it feel to just support other people for a while? To let go of my own projects and pour my energy into something bigger? Could I affect more change? It is very confusing for me as an artist.
One thing is clear, I create because I have to create, and I know I won't ever be able to let that go. I believe my choreography is a form of social service. It is my gift to the world. So, whether i like it or not, I guess my lottery ticket is in the pool.
In the meantime, I will be more mindful of others projects and see if there isn't a way I can better support them and their endeavors just as I hope they will support mine.