Updated: Nov 1, 2020
"There have been seasons I've felt overwhelmed, misplaced and out of my depth within particular environments, but equally, there have been occasions I have felt frustrated, crippled by others limitations and haunted by comparison..."
Over the last couple of weeks, I've found myself asking the same mind-boggling question. "Did I re-pot my aloe vera plant too early?" You've probably already gathered, I'm not a committed dye hard plant lover, I simply water the dam things, and hope they make it through the night. Needless to say, I found myself rooting for little 'Ally' and hoping I hadn't committed plant murder. Nevertheless, I'm happy to announce, 'Ally' the aloe vera plant, made it through and is slowly growing into her new home. This whole palaver, however, got me pondering on my artistic career and this notion of being uprooted prematurely. There have been seasons (more often than not) that I've felt overwhelmed, misplaced and out of my depth within particular environments (mirroring this sudden uprooting concept). Equally, there have been occasions I have felt frustrated, crippled by others limitations and haunted by comparison, which has undoubtedly hindered my growth and kept me grounded within a suffocating and overcrowded environment. I wish I could promise that transitioning from what is known, easy and predictable into what may seem like the lion's den is a walk in the park. But It's not. It takes courage, faith and intentional preparation. It takes risk. But in return, you gain new skills, encounter new adventures and reach new and unthinkable heights. So, today. As you go about your day, try to take note of what thoughts pop to mind; what frustrations annoyingly resurface and what has become mundane, easy and uninteresting. Also, notice what fires you up, inspires you and motivates you to keep on keeping on. I then, urge you to pause, reflect and write down these thoughts to begin mapping out a safe and somewhat unhinged transition. Be warned, things are about to get messy, but if the conditions are right, you'll not only survive but thrive!
A few warning signs that often signal it's time (for me) to re-pot include: 1. The realisation my surroundings are limiting. 2. Comparison becomes the driving force behind my motivation. 3. Frustrations of limiting resources, knowledge and ability to effectively influence positive change (within myself and/or the sector at large). These amber flags often signal it's time to be still and look after my unwavering roots, which ultimately keep me standing, but also enables me to grow further and wider stronger if given tender loving care. When I understand my weaknesses, stand firm on my strengths and surround myself with good healthy soil, I find myself growing, naturally. As seasons change, so do you. It's fundamental we're brave, and reposition ourself within environments that allow us to grow into the 'Ally's' we've all been created to become. So I ask, 'Do you need repotting?'
Career Repotting Resources:
As I've journeyed through my career as an independent artist, choregrapher, teacher, artistic director, and cultural leader, I've often found myself gravitating towards tangible resources to support each changing season:
Rising Strong by Brene Brown
Finding Your Why by Simon Sinek
Beyond by Charlotte Gambill
Little Black Book by Otegha Uwagba
Called to Create by Jordan Raynor