Monday, October 17, 2011

One Year in the Dam + Improv Sundays

I've just passed my one year anniversary of living in the Dam and with the passing year I've found myself in a reflective mood. I've definitely grown in a lot of ways: I've met and learned from people from all over the world, I've travelled more regularly this year than ever before, I've stretched my world view and pushed myself professionally. 

And while all of this is great, at some point over the last year I've still managed to bore myself. I am doing all of these great things, but I can't help but think that I used to be so much more interesting: I noticed that I stopped reading for leisure, I stopped creating things outside of keynote and powerpoint, I stopped writing and posting in my blog, I stopped creating idea books

I kind of stopped doing a lot of the things that make me me. 

Working in a creative industry can take a lot out of you during the day, but the only way I know how to stay creative at work is to exercise creativity outside of work. So with the passing year, I've decided to change some things up and set some personal goals. 

Some of which include: 

-reading books outside of work
-getting back into my idea books
-experimenting with analog (adj.) activities 
-watching way less TV
-dramatically cutting social networking back
-becoming a student again by taking some classes
-more "fieldwork" (this is a post for another day)

I think if I stick to these goals, I'll have a lot more to post about. Overall, last year was about settling in and figuring stuff out. This year is about productivity and being generally awesome. 

I'm starting with this poster. It's a nice reminder to welcome the unknown. For a long time I've quoted Jelly Helm's "Always say yes" philosophy: 

Always say yes: “What I’ve learned from improvisation is to let go of outcome and just say yes to whatever the situation is. If you say an idea is bad, you’re creating conflict—you’re breaking an improv rule. You want an energy flow that moves you forward, as opposed to a creative stasis.”

The last time I took an improv class was high school; however, back in college I was a nanny and improvisation was part of my job description. Officially joining the real allowed me the excuse to let that place in my imagination go. 

Sunday I decided to attend a drop-in improv class. Initially I wanted to go as a way to improve my presentation skills, but I was quickly reminded of Jelly's "always say yes" philosophy. The class challenged me to think openly and on the spot and was a great reminder of how the creative process can go. 

I'm definitely going back, and often. 

In other Sunday news... 
After improv my friends and I went to Vondelpark and caught the end of the Amsterdam Marathon where we encountered this guy: 

He took it upon himself to personally cheer every runner on as they passed (in Dutch, English and Italian!). The entry numbers attached to the runners' shirts had their names, which made his effort even more impressive. The video I took really doesn't do this guy justice. I couldn't help but think that maybe cheering strangers on at marathons was just this was just this guy's "thing". I quite like thinking about that. In the spirit of improv, he inspired us to join him and we clapped until our hands hurt. 

2 comments: said...

Your posts always inspire me - thank you - I needed this one today! I have a goal to get back into analog activities as well.... keep posting! (:

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