Titirangi Storyteller

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Posts Tagged ‘resolutions

Invention & Reinvention

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16 and already faking it like a pro!

Back in my youth I recall being told by my elders to ‘just be yourself.’ Interviews, auditions, performances – pretty much anything where you were tied up in knots and didn’t know what to do, the guidance was to be yourself. (Walking into the lunchroom every day and figuring out where to sit was definitely a performance situation.)

My self was a quivering bowl of jelly, tongue-tied and terrified someone would see me being a fool. The only thing to do was NOT be myself. Work up my courage and plan who I would be. Back then it was usually some pretty, popular girl in school (who in retrospect undoubtedly had the same issues – but socially awkward teens always feel so alone.) I would invent some cool as ice, clever person I could be for half an hour or so – and pray I didn’t get caught. Sort of like multiple personalities, expect they were on purpose – and if I wasn’t exactly in control – there was no doubt who was in charge.


As I got older that didn’t change much. I was operating on a case by case emergency NOT being myself response to job interviews, motherhood, employee, volunteer, boss, businesswoman… it wasn’t until I was well into my thirties before I could breathe normally and perform all the roles I was expected to master. And if something came up that rattled me a bit, it was easy to slip into a more comfortable personae to cope and then slip back out.

Then something odd happened… all those me’s I’d invented over the years sorted of melted into one new super-me. I went from a wallflower with nothing to say to a storytelling, wisecracking cymbidium. I suppose developmental psychologists call it reaching adulthood – but to me, it seemed a miraculous transformation. And it was very very cool. I hadn’t ever considered the possibility that being me was someone I would want to be.


Fast-forward to the present. I’ve done a lot of dreaming in the last two years – ain’t gonna stop – but it’s time for hard change. Changing jobs was big. For the first time in nearly fifteen years, I am not writing a monthly column – possibly even bigger. I’ve moaned about the paucity of time so long, and I’ve reclaimed about 60 hours a month. That’s 60 hours of quality time – not Monday morning at 5.30, or Sunday night at 11.22. I’ve been meaning to write and illustrate some more children’s books. A book on gangster movies would be fun. Yes, I know I should spend more time on fitness. And nurturing my friendships… But, if I’m not careful, it will be all used up – and I’ll be back to moaning…

Good time: time to conquer a new world, take on a new demon, discover an unknown talent. It’s time to reinvent. It will undoubtedly call for a new hat – though I’m hoping the helicopter proves unnecessary!

Written by Titirangi Storyteller

16/05/2010 at 12:36 am

Changes in latitudes, changes in attitudes

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Chalk girls

Actually never was much of a Jimmy Buffet fan – I was never that laid back. But I always thought that was a nice little turn of phrase, and what with my passion for changing latitudes and my growing sense of restlessness with the bread and butter duties of day to day life, it fits rather snugly at the moment.

It started back in the spring, 1st of September to be exact, when it dawned on me that Spring had Sprung a Crossroads. I began to feel an itch I just couldn’t scratch. And of course – those kind of itches just go on and on. Six months later – I’m ready to rock’n’roll. Changes coming fast and strong – more powerful than a speeding locomotive, faster than lightning and sharper than a honeybee sting.

I love the audacity of these wee girls to create a giant woman – a fifty foot woman – unstoppable and immovable. No reason I can’t do it, too.

Film at 11.

Written by Titirangi Storyteller

09/03/2010 at 9:46 pm

Posted in dreams, Photography

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More on New Year’s Dreaming

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Back around new year’s I wrote a bit about having new year’s dreams instead of new year’s resolutions.  It’s far more positive, and if you dream of doing something rather than NOT doing something – well, I think you are more likely to DO.

So… four weeks down the track, I’ve got an update. At that time, I had writtendream down my 1oo dreams, as suggested in The Dream Manager, by Matthew Kelly. They were all over the place, though there were recurring themes – travel, photography, learning foreign languages, writing and of course family and friend oriented ‘dreams’ that were more chiding myself for not spending more time with them.

I met with my mentor. He noticed that very few of my dreams had anything to do with my job. He flippantly said, “You need to retire, so you can pursue your dreams.” And then we went on to categorise the dreams, by type, by urgency, by likelihood of realisation, etc. Interesting, but nothing really came out of it – though it was a good session. For most of us, any time we can sit around and talk about ourselves is a good time.

But a few days ago, something twigged. I do need to retire. At least, I need to titirangi-tree-watercolourretire from what I am doing and find a way of making travel, writing and photography pay enough to sustain more travel, writing and photography.

And suddenly, the ideas are flowing like Niagara Falls, gushing forth. It’s possible. It’s doable. I’m going to do it. I’ve got courses booked. Preliminary plans afoot. 2011 is the goal – but I there’s a good chance I’m going to pull it off long before then.

There’s something to this dreaming thing. No – I’m not suggesting it’s the ‘one true way.’ Nothing is ever one size fits all. But I’m coming to realise there is much much more to it than meets the eye. It’s not just for people ‘with their whole lives ahead of them.’ Maybe people with most of their lives behind them need to have dreams even more, so we don’t get caught in routines and habits and the daily grind of survival.

And if I’m tilting at windmills – hell, at least those windmills will be in The Netherlands or Greece or who knows where?

Written by Titirangi Storyteller

28/01/2009 at 11:36 pm

New year’s dreams

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Instead of New Year’s resolutions, which always seem to involve giving up something we love, or habits we really don’t mind, I’d like to propose the concept of New Year’s dreams.

One of our work initiatives this year was to make our dreams part of our worklife. The idea behind this is that if the things we dream of are somehow integrated into our work, work is better and overall happiness increases.

I’ve long been of the opinion that if your job isn’t part of your ‘real life’ then you need a new job. I could not imagine spending ten or more hours of my day devoted to something that didn’t mean anything to me. I love my day job – it’s fun. I like the people I work with and the work that I do. I also have plenty of free time to explore other things. So at first I couldn’t quite see how this initiative had anything to do with me.

The boss got his idea from The Dream Manager, by Matthew Kelly and I finally got around to reading it a couple of months ago. I’m not recommending this book as the greatest thing since sliced bread. I’m not well-versed in business management books and have no intention of ever becoming so, but I found the concept interesting. Set up in the form of a parable, the general manager of a cleaning company with staff turnover around 300%/year figures out how to make his employees happier, more productive and not only stay, but recruit for him. He does this by helping them fulfil their dreams.

My boss got one of the staff to come on board as the Dream Manager. He’s now got about half the staff working with mentors to help them make their dreams come true.

One of the tasks everyone who participates must do is compile a list of 100 of their dreams. Sound easy? Try it. I did pretty well for the first twenty, mostly countries I would like to visit, books I’ve been meaning to read, lose weight. But then I got stuck. What do I dream of? Really? What do I want to achieve? Acquire? Learn? Be?

The next 20 sounded like your standard list of New Year’s resolutions, scolding myself for my shortcomings and promising to do better. I felt like giving up as the process was making me feel bad. But as I am not one to give up easily, I carried on.

Then something interesting happened. Things started coming out that I didn’t ‘let’ myself dream of – things like learning calculus, speaking Mandarin, write a travel book for middle aged travellers who can’t sleep in train stations and need a private loo, but don’t want to do the standard tour thing. Some very interesting stuff.

So for New Year 2009, I’ve taken my list of 100 dreams and culled it to stuff I dream of doing in 2009. I’ve got 35 dreams, there – every one something positive or fun or a challenge I know I can meet if I put the effort in. Chances are I won’t get to them all. But that’s okay – there’s always next year.

How about you? What are your 100 dreams?

Written by Titirangi Storyteller

31/12/2008 at 3:07 pm

Posted in dreams, work, Writing

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