Saturday, August 13, 2011

Espresso Life Lessons

It is a gray and drizzly morning in the land of the North, and it is only fitting that this is the day I leave Minneapolis. The cool of temperature in the misty mornings became a sort of security blanket for me as I walked to work each morning; the sun filled me with warmth and excitement, but the soft breeze reminded me to not get overly agitated by life. At least, it tried.


I came here with a job to do. As specific as that job was, the title, I quickly learned, meant any number of duties. For me, that included: stage managing, assistant directing, light board "operating" (and I use that term loosely), movement coach, yoga teacher, kid wrangler, kid entertainer, improv leader (another term I use loosely), tap instructor, motivational speaker, acting coach, disciplinarian, usher, furniture mover, morning greeter, attendance monitor, team leader, and human enthusiast, in the broadest sense of the term. 


I learned quite a lot, and more about myself than I expected or was prepared for. I learned invaluable information about the heart and lungs and nervous system of a large non-profit theatre company. I learned to always expect more from children, but to not be disappointed or thrown off if they cannot give it to you. I also gained light years of patience, and a hell of a lot more respect for my mother, who taught grade school art for longer than I have been on this planet. 


I met people, artistically minded, creative, fully functional intellectuals, who didn't follow the societal "norm" of (and please, don't ask me how it got to be this way, because I still don't know) high school --> college --> 9 to 5. And none of them are starving. 
I think my favorite interaction in the Twin Cities has got to be my serendipitous encounter with someone we'll call Mr. Coffee Shop Man, one of those non-starving happy creative souls. It went like this:


Mr. CSM: So what are you studying? (in reference to my transfer student information packet's list of college majors)
Me (with a chortle): That's what I'm trying to figure out.
Mr. CSM (with a shrug very similar to the irritated body language that had been mine of late, frustrated with the "system"): I went from a major in Astro-Physics to a major in [something else I can't remember, but obviously not important] and finally landed on English major with elementary education and dance minors.
Me: WOW. And what did you do with that?
Mr. CSM: I've done lots of things. Massage therapist, preschool teacher, dance instructor, corporate worker. And then I went to grad school for Korean studies, just for shits and giggles.
Me: So what do you do NOW? (unable to fathom the type of a career a dancing Korean history nerd can hold down and afford six dollar coffees and a MacBook Pro)
Mr. CSM: I create Apps.


Oooooooohhh!


He continued, with another, less hostile shrug: You have to do what makes you happy, what interests you. Otherwise it's really hard to get up in the morning.


DUH!!


On a random aside, I did take more than two pictures this month. I will post what I have soon, because pictures really do make blogs far more interesting. I am also looking forward to two more trips in the next month: a road trip south down Route 78 and a plane trip, this time to good 'ole New England. I will continue to blog and see what happens!

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