I’ve gone 36 years living by my gut, and cackle at the idea of a 5-year plan (and wonder at the people who have said plan and wind up with all the broken relationships, legal disputes and life crises that the rest of us do). Well, sometimes our choices – including ones made by people who have 5-year plans and people without – can be the wrong ones. Ar, I know we’re all supposed to learn from every new experience and make G&Ts with our lemons and blah blah but I just don’t feel like that right now so stop hassling me.
I once had quite a good small business that I gave up to work on a magazine. My boss offered our team more hours and money to turn it into something shithot and ready to go on the newsstands, and after much careful consideration I jumped at the chance, thinking oh boy, what an opportunity!
A year after this happened I’m watching all the work I’ve done wash away. We’re in the middle of a godawful merger process and complete rebrand of the organisation, which means that every day I go into work and am told the sky is green, and when I finally concede that it is green, am told that there is no sky. In my professional opinion (hem hem), the people in charge of this process have neither the experience nor the management skills to make these decisions and pull it off.
So I’m currently looking back on all I’ve achieved in the past 2 ½ years in my career, and letting it all go. I can see all the efforts, months of planning, discussions, compromises and above all, creative energy going down the drain. Right now, I’m coming to terms with it and I feel SAD SAD SAD. For someone normally so focused on professional, straight-up behaviour, I’m feeling mighty emotional about the whole thing I must say!
I am however determined not to sweep this year’s events under the carpet. I’ve been on the horns of many dilemmas in the past, and after the debris washed up, have tended to sweep it all away as ‘a bad year’. Once I move on from this horrendous situation (sooner, not later) I’m going to write some amazing article or book or Theatre of the Absurd play about office politics and people who operate with no moral compass. It’s going to be freaking awesome and I will NEVER have anything to do with these fucking pricks, or people who work like them, ever again.
The good side of this of course, is that I’ll have the mental energy to start writing again! Hurrah! And of course while some things are crap, others are also golden – I’ve mysteriously wound up with a cracking gent, the first person who’s seen daggy old Boo what with her foot in mouth and Dance of Anger and frizzy hair and bad eyesight and still thinks there’s something smashing there.
On a side note, I enjoyed the Ita doco on Australian Story tonight, and liked what she said about making mistakes (regarding the failure of her own, self-named magazine and surely a bigger and far more crushing public failure than the one I’m looking at):
“All successful people have made big mistakes, every one. But it’s what you do about it afterwards, how you keep going on that counts.”