A lot has happened since I last posted on here – so it’s about time I updated you. I mentioned last time that I’d had a positive meeting that would hopefully lead to something, and was keen to be able to confirm that so I could go on here and write about it. In the end it took a little while to hear back and I had started to get nervous that it wouldn’t happen and I’d end up looking a bit silly for getting excited prematurely. Also, I was getting a little bit impatient for something concrete to sink my teeth into and keen to start the next chapter in my career break.
But, it turns out, just the fact that I am free and open to everything actually seems to mean that things just come up. So when I got a phone call on Saturday asking if I was free on Tuesday to spend the day with a load of French musicians who were coming over to discuss an EU-funded project to promote gigging and touring across Europe… it didn’t take me long to make up my mind and say yes.
After a pretty intense day of bilingual discussions about how the project can best be delivered (with an interpreter on hand, mind – my French is shamefully pants), I am suddenly very much involved. And because there is funding attached, I can even charge for my time! Obviously, because it’s the European Union, you have to submit 17 pieces of evidence hand-delivered in triplicate by specially certified EU carrier pigeons for every 50p you claim, but still. A paid job! And something interesting, with a potential trip to France to look forward to as well.
I also got a definite answer on the other project yesterday. Happily, the answer was yes so I can now confirm that I will be working with a wonderful artists’ collective called Blast Theory. They are based in Portslade (a glorious 15-minute bike ride along the seafront) and do all kinds of amazing stuff involving digital technology and interactive art. Due to holidays etc. I won’t start with them until later on this month, but having another project to sink my teeth into in the mean time means I don’t have to worry so much about ending up on the couch with Jeremy Kyle.
All in all, I am pretty happy with this. And it proves that sometimes all you have to do is open yourself up and let people know you’re up for stuff in order to get opportunities presented to you. Both of these projects have come about through my existing network and without too much effort on my part. Which partly leaves me wondering if I am falling into that trap of ‘drifting’ again – i.e., just letting myself be carried along on the current of life without actively making things happen for myself. That was exactly the thing I regretted about my previous 10 years.
But on the other hand, maybe this is a different type of drifting and an altogether more productive one. And maybe I am doing myself a disservice when I say there wasn’t much effort involved – after all, I am actively working on that network and on profiling myself as a generally capable person who wants to get involved with interesting things. I know there are some exceptional people out there who know exactly what they want and work hard to go out and get it (I know some of those people, and much admire them). But I have come to realise that a lot of life is about chance, and that even if you don’t quite know what you want, it sometimes is enough to just open yourself up to different possibilities. I’m not sure if I am much closer to that light bulb moment where I hit on ‘The Answer’, but I am finding the sheer flexibility and randomness of this journey rather thrilling.