Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Three Things I Learned the Hard Way...A Meme

Yikes! I've been tagged by Don Hall: detail three things you learned the "hard way" and tag three others.

1. Don't marry someone else in the theatre.
Now, before Don and RZ and others climb all over me, this is a personal one, not a universal ban. I am just too intense and too focused to have somebody else equally intense and focused on the same thing sharing a house with me 24/7. The result is mutual meltdown and way more tension than a relationship can stand. I am now married to a wonderful woman who encourages me to live in the Real World (tm) at least part of every day. And the result is better personal mental health, and a lot more joy.

2. Sometimes Warrior-energy is not so good for leadership.
The task of the Warrior is to kill the dragon. So first the Warrior has to identify people as dragons, and then kill them -- otherwise he doesn't have anything to do. I have a lot of Warrior energy (just in case you didn't notice), and that helps me get a lot done. But it also makes me not so good at collaboration. When I was chair of the Drama Dept, I used a lot of energy turning my colleagues into dragons and then killing them. Very heroic. Not so good for departmental morale or creative collaboration. So when my colleagues asked me to take a seat, I finally had to take a good, long look at my behavior. Part of my current sabbatical has been learning how to avoid bashing. Better, but still needs work. Working on my Magician (see Carol Pearson, The Hero Within).

3. Never Trust Your Pet to the Devilvet

Just kidding.

3. You Don't Have to Make Everyone Else Happy First
This has been a challenge for me, as one who assumed the role of the "family mediator" when I was growing up. I spent a lot of time trying to solve everyone's problems, make sure they were doing what made them happy, made sure I had done whatever needed to be done, and then I could do what I wanted to do. Result: total frustration on my part, total infantilization on the part of others. Gotta let people be grownups and contribute to the well-being of the whole.

I tag Ian, devilvet, and Nick.


RVCBard said...


I have that book too.

As someone who's overwhelmingly a Magician, I could use a bit more Warrior energy. However, even as a Black woman, I'm not trained to be comfortable asserting myself at another's expense. I don't even like interrupting people when they're speaking.

Part of this is my natural reserve. Another part of it is the general impression I get, IRL and online, that if I don't want to spar, I don't have the right to speak. So, I keep a lot to myself instead of saying something to people who won't listen to me anyway. That, coupled with the fact that my natural thought processes often non-rational (which means everything I write or say is something like an imperfect translation - a sort of Telephone Game with the things in my head), means that people take everything I say the wrong way.

You'd be amazed how often people are surprised when I say in 2 sentences what it takes others paragraphs to do. Even close friends of mine have expressed shock when I say something cognizant. It's not that I don't think deeply. I do. And it's not like I don't speak when invited to do so (provided I have something to say). It's just . . . no one ever asks me. In retrospect, it's often rather amusing.

If you can, get a copy of the anime "Tekkonkinkreet." I am very much like Black and White. But most people assume I'm like White.

I guess what I'm saying is that being a Magician isn't all it's cracked up to be.

Ian Mackenzie said...

Hi Scott,

Thanks for the tag. Can I do it here?

Three Things I Learned the Hard Way...A Meme:

1) Getting ahead in business is all about specialization. No one gives you a stimulating, high-paying job for being generally smart and well-rounded – you get the job for having special expertise and training in a niche.

2) Just because you've known someone for a long time does not mean they are your friend.

3) You may be done with the past, but the past is not done with you.

I tag Simon, Simon, and Alison.

Simon said...

Thanks Ian, I'll have to finish this off later, as I'm late for work having slept in after staying up too late working on the new play. Which allows for the first of the 3 anyway: the cliche of the theatre artist/bartender is a cliche for a reason...

Back in a bit.

Simon said...

Right, I'm back. Here's something I can share from today: a lot of stockbrokers need to get drunk before noon. Anyway, where were we? Oh right...