Transformative Work


I shared a little meme with Xena today, because it summed up the place I am in and how I need to conceive of things in my mind. It said: Change Is: Hard at the beginning, Messy in the middle, Gorgeous at the end.

Please don’t unsubscribe because I’m getting sentimental and over-simplified. I promise I’m not going to get all foolish on you. I was trying to talk myself through a small panic attack. Tomorrow, someone with whom I work very closely will find out that change is afoot. I am trying not to be freaked out about that person being angry with me, so I’m telling myself that change is hard at the beginning, but it won’t be hard forever. The changes are necessary and fairer to me, and our boss will present them as diplomatically as possible, but it will be ugly for awhile.

That leads me to my other simple saying of the day, which I gleaned from the new shrink this morning. She said, “Resentment means that you have not kept good boundaries, and have allowed someone to encroach on your safety or comfort or welfare.” I’ve just had to say that to myself all day long, “Wow, resentment is caused by not keeping good boundaries! Fucking amazing!” I have not kept good boundaries at work, and that means that maybe some of what is currently kind of shitty about work is within my power to fix. I need to let go of trying to avoid conflict (If I let this person give me too much to do or boss me around and don’t complain, we won’t fight) and allow the change to happen that will be better for me. I can survive someone being mad at me if it results in change for the better, right? Theoretically, yes, I can.

At the same time, I’ve started a new drawing. I always start on cheap copy paper in pencil–there’s no pressure that way. This is how it began:



I struggled with the hands and arms, wandered off, came back, wandered off again, then figured out what I wanted to change. I got it far along enough to feel ready to ink it on the copy paper and erase all the extra lines:



I’m much happier with it. She’s more interesting and compelling in this contorted yet seemingly peaceful position. No, you don’t have to have a doctorate to grasp what story I’m telling with this, but that’s what art does for me, it tells me the story of my life at that time. I haven’t transferred her to good bristol board yet, but that’s the next step.

So those are today’s themes. Survive change, fix resentment with better fences and try to stay true to myself. Tomorrow I might be right back here saying, “Screw change! I should’ve shut up, this is awful!” Anything could happen.

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