Re-Creating the World
I don't know what made me think that transitioning careers during a pandemic was a good idea. Still, I chose this path, and I am committed to letting go of who I was to become who I truly want to be. The only problem is, that in order to do that, I might first have to help re-create the world. Maybe that's the transition that I have been looking for, but its a big job.
Allow me to re-introduce myself. I am Lisa Kramer, a creative soul who has spent much of her money-earning career in higher academia, because that is what her degrees told her she should do. But as much as I love teaching, mentoring, and inspiring others through challenging projects and deep discussions, the world of academia had soured for me for many different reasons. I wanted to find new ways of working, being, and doing, where I feel valued, appreciated, and--let's face it--well payed. So I quit, believing that I will be able to design my own life to be fulfilling, creative, and successful (according to my own definition of that term).
As I pursue this mysterious future, the craziness of COVID-19 has become the "norm" of our lives. Because of this, it feels almost as if we are all travelling through the creepy tunnel in the original Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (1971)
We are speeding into the unknown, unsure of where or how we we will land. What was considered "normal" before--as broken as that was--will no longer function in our future. Approaches to work, career, money, life, society are all in flux and being redefined and redesigned. This change is necessary and important.
Unfortunately, though, the mechanisms of capitalism and of how society functions aren't necessarily shifting with the times. In terms of job searching, the ways through which people look for work, or employers hunt for employees, remain mired in what was, rather than it what we are becoming. Employers search through hundreds of resumes looking for the perfect candidate that checks off all of the boxes, and then find it difficult to fill positions because few people will be absolutely perfect at this moment in time. Jobs themselves are being designed to fit the descriptions that worked for what was, rather than what we need to become.
I realized this as I was having a conversation with a friend yesterday about my strengths (and weaknesses) and what kind of work she could see me doing. Both of us were struggling to name the position, because the title of what we see me doing does not exist in a formal, traditional way. So, job search mechanisms won't necessarily work if I am searching within the context of jobs as they have always been defined.
And the truth is, I don't want a job, I want a calling. I want to be using the creativity I have honed over years of working in theatre and writing, to inspire a better world. A world where empathy, creativity, kindness, and heart rule. A world where learning, experimenting, growing, changing, taking risks, and taking care of one another are valued more than money-making. A world where we value nature as much as man-made things. I know . . . I am dreaming of utopia. But, to me, utopia is found in always striving to learn, grow, and discover. Utopia isn't the lack of hard work, but rather a place where we do the hard work because it leads us to always reinventing and recreating the places and lives of our dreams.
This all begins with recreating the world.