Tuesday, June 7, 2011

:: metaphors and mentors ::

how's this for irony:

that i cannot find the right word to explain how i'm feeling lately is exactly the right way to describe it. i am feeling like a concept without a name. like a definition without a word. like a list of ingredients without a recipe.

i put all of my time and effort and energy and thought into prepping for NSS and now that it's over and i'm swimming through its wake and crawling back to shore i feel a bit like i've got a whole wide open world ahead of me and just a pinhole to look at it through. or maybe that's not right. maybe the better way to explain it is to say i feel like now i'm looking out into the distance and like some kind of strange escher drawing there are shifting and competing vanishing points.

i made a list last night of all the roles i play in my business and all of the products i make or have recently made. the list is really, truly, terribly long. it is the list of the do-it-herself entrepreneur who has no employees, no investors, and no outright plan. the list of the small business owner who wants to grow her business for the future but who needs it to sustain her (financially, perhaps emotionally, though that's a post for a different day) in the present.

that's a hard person to be. it's like being a single parent to fourteen kids.

it's the "now and in the future" part that's the hardest for me. there are choices i'd like to make for my business and my family (sometimes i find it hard to talk about them as separate entities because each decision i make affects both, because each hour of my day is an hour spent pulled between two magnetic norths) that are the best choices for the present, and there are choices i'd like to make for my business and my family that are the best choices for the future.

these choices, dear reader, are not the same choices. i struggle to find ways to wrangle them into points of intersection. to shape them into recipes. definitions. words.

which is funny because i'm also finding it harder and harder to talk. just to talk, like in general. i'm less conversational. i'm less think-out-loudish.

there's something about being this person with all these different roles running this growing business that just makes me feel like keeping it all to myself. like somehow talking about it, discussing it, critiquing it, makes it less mine. or perhaps makes the success of it less mine.

but then there's that thing i was talking about before, the thing where sometimes i can't separate my business from my not-business, and so talking about other things is getting harder, too. questions are piling up all around me, on top of me, tangling themselves in my hair, sliding in under my feet, and i feel like i just want the time and space to pick each one off my like a tick, hold it in my fingers for a moment, maybe look at it under a microscope, and then pinch it dead. it's a strange job to want to do oneself and i realize that it would be a job more effectively accomplished by more than one person, but i'm stubborn. something very deep down inside me is stubborn.

i get it now, though, things like therapy. coaches. impersonal advisors. even mentors. i get it that sometimes it seems easier to turn to someone who is neither related to nor affected by your decisions. someone to whom you can hand just one or two ticks. someone who can help you write a recipe or form a word.

or maybe you don't need a therapist, you just need a blog.