This blog has morphed into an observation and reflection of life as an artist. I am a Denver based metalsmith who works in a call center by day, sells jewelry by night, and fills the rest of the waking hours practicing parkour. I am the founder of Purple Poodle Designs and I am the events coordinator for the Colorado Metalsmithing Association.
Nothing is as expected. When anticipating something that is about to happen I think it is our natural tendency to idealize the outcome. Idealization runs a pretty strong parallel with hope. I so often hear people talking about having expectations as a bad thing, but I also see hope viewed as a positive thing, when it seems they are not actually all that different. I think there are benefits to trying to let go of expectations in many situations and I have been trying to do this a lot more especially when it comes to people. When we hope for a better future and for a better life there doesn’t seem to be a way around idealization and creating expectations for that ideal future. This is what motivates us as humans to keep pushing forward even when facing insurmountable odds. In the past year I have had a considerable number of my expectations and hope for the future shatter, so it seems to warrant a bit of exploration.
I came to California with high hopes of love, and on paper Ian was the perfect match for me. We both wanted all of the same things in life, and had similar life views, and past struggles, we were seemingly a match made in heaven. When we started to get to know each other in person….I struggled taking the idealized version of him in my head and matching it up with the actual flawed real person in front of me. With a few weeks of contemplation of whether or not he was a person I could accept and allow into my life I came to the conclusion that I could, and I would do everything in my power to fully accept him as he is. It was now my job to make sure he was fully understood and supported and I expected that from him as well. I knew that I had idealized him, it is something that seems to happen at the beginning of every relationship, but only in recent years have I been aware of this process. I think my expectations for him to love me exactly as I loved him were a big error on my part. I am not going to speak about his errors in the relationship since I don’t think it is my place.
This last month has been very difficult and we have broken up and gotten back together multiple times. Every time we get into an argument it feels impossible to find the person that cares about me, impossible to communicate on any level. I think this is the last time we will break up. I have the personality that wants to stick it out and make it work no matter what happens, so I have been trying to cling to hope of making this work, but it is time for me to let go. I cannot tell for certain, but it seems he already has.
My heart feels like it has narrowly survived a gladiator match with the relationships I have had in the past few years. I want more than anything in the world to find a soul mate…a partner. Someone who will see me as I am and accept me…someone who inspires me to be a better person…someone I can trust with everything. Much of the sorrow I have been feeling I think is not for the loss of him specifically, of course that too, but even more so for the loss of what I thought we would be, for the loss of the hope of a healthy lasting relationship.
I have been saying for some time how great yoga is as a compliment to parkour, but just realized it supplements so much more than my physical body.
With all of the fear breaking, adrenaline rushes, and the fact that parkour is male dominated makes yoga a perfect match emotionally as well.
I just went to my first class since leaving Colorado and realized how much I need it to maintain a happy balance in my life. The moments I rolled out my mat I could feel the tension melt away. Much of my spiritual and emotional exploration happens on that mat. I have worked through a lot of emotional baggage this past year and much of the progress was due to parkour and yoga.
Also after being around almost all men since I got here it was nice to be in a room full of ladies to balance it out.❤ (No offense guys you are awesome too)
I keep finding myself consumed with thoughts of the future. So much is uncertain; I don’t even have a general direction in which I am heading. I don’t like my job, and am having trouble thinking of one I would like. I have chosen to abandon the art medium I went to school for and the only thing I want to do these days is jump around and be free during my off hours. Most of my thoughts of the future revolve around how I can support myself long term and not simultaneously make myself miserable. It seems a valid concern.
Any job I am qualified for does not pay much and living paycheck to paycheck for the rest of my life is hardly the future I was looking for. My dreams don’t revolve around having pretty things; I could care less about that. All I really want is to not have to worry about how I am going to pay for rent and food for the rest of my life. We spend more of our time working then we do anything else in our lives, it seems essential to our happiness to have a job that is enjoyable or brings satisfaction, if you are really lucky both. I have been chasing that rabbit from one hole to the next and have ended up back where I started.
I went to school for art, I chose happiness over money only to find I got neither. Sadly upon recent contemplations of my chosen art medium, it doesn’t really fit with my lifestyle and would require a considerable investment on my part equating to years of working at a job I hate just to acquire the tools and space required to continue metalsmithing. It has rather quickly become an extremely expensive, space consuming hobby. I am the kind of person who can fit all of my worldly possessions in my car (minus the bed) and I like living a nomadic type lifestyle moving when I please. This lifestyle does not seem to have space for metalsmithing. Trying to figure out a way to make it fit in my life has brought far more stress than happiness. Choosing to let metalsmithing go has been a bittersweet decision; I loved the medium and am sad to see it go. On the other hand, I am drawing again and have recaptured the love and simplicity the medium offers.
I can only hope that I can figure out a job of field of work that I can tolerate long term and also not be a bum. I think if I can find something with minimal customer interaction and that allows me to stand up and move around from time to time I would be happy, ideally I think coaching gymnastics or parkour or maybe delivering mail or something. I have no idea, but I am trying to be ok with the uncertainty. My current plan involves saving money and buying either a small RV or a VW bus and living out of that for as long as it suites me, traveling and doing seasonal work. I have also realized how much of my happiness is dependent on sunshine so I will be seeking warmer climates.
If there is one thing I have learned from dating it’s that it really isn’t worth pursuing someone who is not interested. Sounds pretty obvious right? Saying it out loud seems kind of silly, but having been on both ends of this situation I realize it’s not all that obvious. Mass media tends to send messages to the contrary, I cannot even count how many romantic comedies I have seen where the guy or girl is originally rejected and after some physical or spiritual makeover that happens overnight they are suddenly liked by the object of their desire. These kinds of movies and underlying social belief’s tend to send us away thinking there is something wrong with us, when actuality there may be nothing wrong with us at all short of pursing the wrong person.
I realize attraction is infinitely complex and it certainly can change, I generally know if I am attracted to a person within the first 5 minutes of meeting them and not many things will change that. If only it were as simple as getting a makeover and realizing your character flaws then overnight POOF! Suddenly your entire personality is changed and you’re this super awesome person that everyone likes. If only life were so simple. Even once you have overcome great obstacles and become a significantly better person, you still have to convince the world of your transformation.
Personally I find those who are aware of their flaws infinitely more attractive than those who pretend they have none, everyone has flaws but not everyone has the capacity to see them.
While working in a call center an agent will encounter a few different breeds of customer, the first is the chameleon. This customer has a seemingly sweet and civilized demeanor until a single adverse syllable is uttered. Inside a switch flips releasing the feral beast lurking below the surface. Call center agents call this phenomena the “escalated customer,” reason and logic have left the building, only pure unadulterated fury remains. The escalated customer will bellow into the phone at increasingly shrill frequencies while frothing at the mouth and spewing large flecks of saliva into the receiver. (At least that is how I imagine it).
The second breed of call center callers are the morose morons. No matter what you tell them is it inconvenient. This special breed of ignoramus wears their stupid on their sleeve. The MM’s will let you know with every passing second how extremely difficut this conversation is for them. To paint a picture I once had an MM screaming that it is EXCRUCIATING to be reimbursed THOUSANDS of dollars for his college tuition.
It is interesting how anonymity, or the illusion of it can transform people from being decent, civilized human beings to something closer to an untamed donkey, braying obnoxiously to no end.(See below for example) Working in a call center is akin to being a whipping boy for a large corporation. Call center agents are the only avenue for communication, yet they are also the only ones with zero control over company decisions, and probably get paid the least.
I would like to live in a society where customers are thrown out of an establishment for acting like barbarous fools; not sweet talked by a manager and given free items to appease their anger. Our society should not reward this kind of behavior.
I wish that every person had to work in a call center or similar type of job even if the only outcome is learning how to act like a decent human. It seems a lot of this stems from the mantra that the customer is always right.
Though it has brought me comfort at times in my life, I have grown to despise the phrase “there are plenty of other fish in the sea.” This phrase marginalizes the specialness of finding connections with other people, whether it be romantic or friendly.I think this social phenomena of devaluing the individual is more obvious in the workplace, but runs parallel with the social world. Employers often treat employees like they are expendable, they do not value them because there are hundreds of others waiting to take their place at any given moment. It seems this same mentality crosses over into the social realms of our society, friendships and significant others don’t mean as much as they used to. There seems to have been a cultural shift toward viewing people as expendable. If we are constantly sacrificing our relationships and people who are close to us how deep can the connections we make every really be? Furthermore, what does this say about the perceived value of a human being?
Most of my life I have held this belief though not consciously. I for one refuse to continue my interactions with other like this. In my experience connections are hard to find no matter the number of opportunities. Finding genuine connections with other people have been some of my greatest and most influential experiences in my life.