I'm what you may term an "outgoing introvert". I make my living as an art teacher, a position of leadership and demanding of my performance as an educator and entertainer. When given cause I can provide outstanding customer service, reading individuals like books, whilst catering my behavior to their comfort and boundaries. People are my specialty.
All of this to say I am not a shy person, just very inward focused. I turn to internal dialogues, moods, and exist as part of a continuum with my environment. When my environment is feeding me good energy and vibes I will be at center stage, humoring you with my absurd improv and wit. When my environment is feeding me bad energy and vibes, however, I will retreat inward and become lost in my thoughts.
A poor upbringing has left me obstacles to overcome in my adulthood. Social anxiety being paramount to most of those obstacles. Take away my script, my role, and the guidelines for my behavior and I have no idea what to do with myself. I'm not the teacher/leader? Then I am a nameless shadow. This isn't my show? Then I am facial ticks and odd behaviors.
I have heard it said that unmet expectations are the source of most strife between people. Whether we've let down our own expectations or someone else's. I am weighed down by what I perceive as my inability to perform at the level others expect of me, this is perhaps part of my anxiety, or a manifestation of the perfectionism I have fought hard against since childhood.
I find my energy in both the quiet moments -- undisturbed moments with a book or whilst creating art -- and the meaningful communication with people whom I trust and cherish.
So, I bought this 400 lb behemoth a couple weeks ago off of the Facebook marketplace. Little did I know, before going to pick it up from the seller, that it was hidden in the depths of an ancient building whose staircase into the basement was nominal. Myself, a 5-foot-3-inches medium build female and an ex-football player were the ones there to pick it up. We should have brought 2 or 3 more people with us.
There was a point in this adventure that I was holding up the weight of the machine on my forearms. The bruises this would leave left me looking as though I had a troubled home life.
It took us nearly an hour in our war against gravity to lift this thing out of the basement. Thanks in no small part to the kind gentleman who lent us a third set of hands for the task.
Now to the real question: why did I purchase this thing? It's not for my personal use, in case that's what you were thinking. No, I've got it set up at my workplace. When I break even on my expenses I'll be donating the device to the facility as a hopeful source of income for our non-profit facility. My arms still hurt.
If you're a member of one of the many discord servers I frequent or have watched me stream on Twitch, you've likely heard me talk about the rec center I work at. But what is it?
The Warehouse is this 5.5 acre building, everything is indoors, that has things for all ages: basketball courts, boxing, soccer fields, volleyball courts, rock climbing, bounce houses, indoor skatepark, tennis courts, golf driving, and of course the art department. I'm the director of the art department, so it's obviously the best.
What do we do in the art department you ask? I teach (free) after school opportunities in the arts, midday classes for home-schoolers, ceramics classes for all ages, and generally facilitate the opportunities for creative exploration.
This has been one of the most satisfying work environments I've had the opportunity to work in. Getting to teach without the pressures of the many loops and obstacles of the public school system has brought back a lot of my passion for teaching that I was losing while I taught at a middle school and high school.
What I learned when I transitioned from a more traditional teaching job to this position was that just because the job you thought you were supposed to be doing isn't quite working out, that there isn't a similar job more suited to your personality and needs.
Let me tell you a bit about this project I was part of (and still am?).
"A community of mentors who actively reaches out to encourage growth and success for individuals in the world of streaming.
A group of dedicated streamers who are interested in growing their own channel through the help and interaction of other small streamers. Basic Clan is a resource for these streamers, in addition to SSC, where they can get a more personalized offering of help. " - DeBasicClan
This was a lot of fun to be a part of and really fulfilled something in me. I have spent nearly my entire adult life fascinated by the concept of podcasts and talk shows, people just chatting and sharing knowledge and people who love listening find them and enjoy them. Additionally, I've got a helping-people problem so this ended up hitting all the birds with one solid rock.... that's definitely the saying, I'm sure of it...
Despite all my neurotic social insecurities I find that streaming (and hosting discussions) is one of the most relaxing things I do. Something about working in my studio (as a creative streamer) and inviting people to chat whilst I create art is a lot of fun. It has also done a lot for keeping me accountable as a creator. If you decide in your exploration of the land of the Internets to listen to the episodes we posted, you'll hear me discuss this topic in length. At the time I'm writing this post I've also realized we only uploaded 2 episodes out of the many currently taking up space on my hard drive. I will endeavor to upload those for all my lovely fans who will definitely check it out after reading this.