Tension… grrrrr…. | March 8, 2011

“Scandal” has a color and it is plastered on my fingernails.  That has nothing to do with my post except that the fresh paint on my pointers is the reason behind my painstakingly slow typing.  Which you wouldn’t know anyway…  but now you do know and can appreciate my labor of love.  On with the blog!

I hear about transition frequently.  It’s one of those “hot topic” words around here.  I generally neglect to acknowledge transition in my life because it is so frequent that it has become  one long wave.  This is coming from the woman who lived in 12 places in 6 years and had about as many jobs.  I know what I’m talking about.  But this last transition introduced an element that I hadn’t experienced to such an intense degree before: TENSION.  I’ve been feeling it for a few weeks now, but was only able to put a label on it last Friday.  On Valentine’s Day I started a new job with Bethel Media.  (That’s the media department of Bethel Church, in case there’s any confusion…)  I am a part time camera operator, video editor, and lighting expert for them.  I wholeheartedly anticipate and relish going to work.  I thought my desired niche was in editing, but I’ve found working behind the camera quite fun.  One of the production teams’ largest tasks is filming and streaming Bethel’s church services.  It’s exhilirating doing a live shoot (and a little scary, considering how many people I know will see it).  That was an unexpected discovery.  I really can’t say enough about my coworkers and bosses.  They’ve all been so welcoming and helpful in every way: from answering my stupid, “Uh, I’ve never done this before”s to stopping by the sound booth before we shoot just to say “hi”.  The whole department is in a transition and we are all figuring out how to be a production team that is based on relationships (God’s kingdom) instead of money (the world’s system).  It all sounds wonderful and like a dream come true, right?  So you want to know where the tension is.

#1:  I realized this today while I was getting the mail.  I had just gotten off the phone with one of my bosses and  I backtracked through my cranial log all the jobs I’ve had the past few years.  They go like this (in receding chronological order)

  • Graphic designer.  Self employed.  I sat in my room or a coffee shop and made things on my computer.
  • Nanny.  Chauffer, to be exact.  The kids needed to get somewhere, I took them.  Almost no supervision.
  • Optician.  Worked there for a year.  We had three employees and for six month there was no manager.  I usually worked alone.
  • Nanny and Nanny again.  Two families.  Young kids.  Me watching them, doing some heimlich maneuvers, and playing “food fight” with plastic food.

That covers my job history since September 2008.  Two and one half years exactly.  That is two and one half years of ZERO team work and next to NO supervision.  Suddenly I find myself thrust into a job situation where team work is essential and team relationships are nurtured and encouraged.  Throw in one manager who is a total verbal communicator (I’m the ultimate internal processor) and me being in strange waters working in such a professional production atmosphere.  Did I mention that I’m pretty independent anyway, so I hate not knowing how to do something and having to ask?

#2: I alluded to the large learning curve.  Large is an understatement.  Sure, I have some media background, and have had a bit of training, but I feel like a Kindergartner going to the 3rd grad class on accident.  They’re using pencils while I’ve still got one of those fat crayons that teachers give to little kids in my hand.  I won’t go into too much depth here.  Feel free to use your imagination.

#3:  Busy.  I have some set hours now.  I’m busy and re-learning how to schedule my time (one perk of self-employment is flexible hours) and say, “no” to things.  This is a good tension.

#4: Media vs. Outreach.  This is where I first identified the tension.  I’m still an intern.  The only reason I had decided to stay in Redding was to stick around next school year and continue to help in the outreach department (then, a few weeks later, I was recruited for this job.  Sneaky, God.  Sneaky).  I love media and my job and want to see the whole Hollywood system rebuilt.  And I love outreach and the church and traveling and teaching and preaching and equipping people.  Shoot.  How?… Wait, maybe… Ugh.  I’m only one person!  How can I have two such different passions?  And they’re both desperately screaming for my attention, affection and time.  I got to the point last week where I was so exhausted, just from life, that I couldn’t make one more phone call or send one more email. And then I had a conversation with someone who shed some light on my plight.  I met with the man who oversees all of the interns.  Each intern meets with him a couple times throughout the year.  He started our conversation by saying, “What can I do for you?”  I was prepared for any question but that one.  I paused and what spilled out, more to my surprise than his, was all this jumble about feeling the tension between media and outreach.  When I paused for a breath, he said without pause, “Don’t choose.  Never choose.”  I stared; he continued.  “Life is too short not to love who you are and what you are doing.  Do both.  It will fluctuate at times where you will do more of one or more of the other, but if you really love both, then never choose.”  He inquired a little more about the practicals of the situation like finances and whatnot, but in the end his advice remained. It took me by surprise and has definitely stuck in my mind and replayed several times.  I know the execution of doing both things will be a bit messy, but I think will be worth it.

That’s really all I have.  No pretty, ribbon-tied summation.  I’ve been feeling a tension, I identified it, and now I’m doing a tight rope walk.  Or maybe a tight rope dance.  I think I’m going to need a lot of grace and this thing will end up looking more like a crazy dance than a walk in the park.


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