Tuesday, June 15, 2010

A glorious disaster!

I'm not sure if it is because my business is so new or because I be live in my mandate or because I believe in art but I have no fear of failure, right now in my work life. I'm taking on two projects both very different including rural work and work with first time photographers. On top of the women's video festival, whatever the hell emerges for Nuit Blanche (gotta be gorilla at this point) and the women and art conference and of course grant writing and partnerships to cover all of this! But funny, no fear. So now I have to sit and process not worrying or being afraid, or I can not..... hmmmm.... Michelle

Friday, June 11, 2010


10:00pm Friday June 11th. My first large scale outdoor event is tomorrow at 1pm. Looks like a huge thunder storm is coming through. Weather has been clear for over two weeks on the long term forecast- just popped up out of no where. Made a million calls to find an alternative indoor location- June weddings have gobbled up every resource in the city. Rain date following day- 90% chance of Thunderstorm.... I'm sure there are lessons in all of this... Band, gear, cooler rentals, insurance, volunteers, media, prizes, community partners etc. etc. everything is alllllll set to go. It's all in place for tomorrow. I'm trying to stay calm and cool. This evening I expressed my bewilderment to a friend. What is the freakin reason for this- what is the piece in it for me. I have come up with two possibilities: 1) Attachment- this is a zen lesson on letting things be as they are, not getting attached to an outcome or a result, NOT FORCING IT 2) This is a test of my will and work ethic, and I need to push through and follow through till the end- completion. Success doesn't come easy. HARD work- that piece again... As you can see the zen is very much in opposition to the capitalist European work ethic piece. Is it safe to always side with the zen lesson? I assume that is the safest choose, but you know what they say about those who assume..... Or there is no lesson or reason and that is the lesson- whoa deep! So I'm watching a cheesy horror movie. I'm a Highly Sensitive Person (took the test- highest percentile- that's me) and usually even the cheesiest horror movie will give me nightmares for weeks but I felt I had to channel my energy into something other than worry and fret.....I hope when the movie is over the tension leaves. At ten a.m. my partners and I will decide the fate of the event. It can be postponed, it can be moved. It will take a shit load of media work, re-posting and last minute word spreading......I need to realise that I can not control the rain (damn if only we had those weather control seeds!). Deep breath and an attempt at sleeping after the movie...lol, I'm setting my alarm for 5am as the weather is predicted to change at 3am. I'll have a sense then at least...... uggh this one was definitely not in the start your own business handbook. I'll probably need help with the sleep tonight.... http://www.themeditationpodcast.com/episodes.html?ep=6 amazing free resource that's helping me through this journey...

Thursday, June 10, 2010

A trip to the bank the anarchist kids book that needs to be written!

I told myself I would log the first year of my bizness to inspire others, help eliminate obstacles through resources and to share my journey of starting a biz with no capitol and no reserves. There isn't much out there for folks with no money, no credit or bad credit that are starting a biz. I promised myself I would be candid and honest about my journey. As I have I've had many a secret pull asides by other women telling me that they too have "BAD CREDIT!" (eerie music here). Maybe from an abusive relationship, precarious work, barriers to employment such as mental health or depression, being a single parent, immigration status, trauma, low minimum wage and high cost of living, transphobia, racism, sexism, homophobia, insane student loans( so high that one could had used those funds to instead buy a organic farm on ocean property just outside Halifax, not that I've looked or anything) and my personal favorite, addiction. My personal banking agent, I need not say it, was alarmed to hear that I had bad credit. I came face to face with that look of judgement, you know it all pale with wide eyes. Like a person who still believers in debtors jail (I didn't until like 5 years ago). His European parents had told him to work hard or else, and now here he was face to face with one of them! (horror movie scream here- the blood curtailing kind). That "oh no am I in danger alone in this tiny room with this woman" face. There to pitch a non profit women's art gallery...... didn't exactly lighten the situation.... Okay so I've juggled things, sometimes I've dropped the ball. I've worked my ass off for years, I've had a job since I was a child, worked full time since grade 9 , did summers in the field- have you seen how pale I am- let me tell you about those sun burns. I have bad credit but not because I'm lazy or because I haven't tried. So I'm not hiding it anymore, I judged myself so severely for years and missed opportunities because I couldn't stand up or felt ashamed. Bad credit women of the world unite! Let me tell you there are more of us than them!!!!

The medium is the message

Work up the earliest I have in 6 months. Road my scooter half asleep to U of T. Luckily, it was cold enough to shock me awake. Carol is great, gave me some tips, kept me in my body- no floating away! It was quick and painless. I won't judge myself, I won't judge myself..... Wrote this before I listened to the clip. Our bit is about 20 minutes in.... First media piece, I won't judge myself........... errr..... http://www.ciut.fm/index.php/2010/06/09/worldwide-knit-in-public-day/ http://www.ciut.fm/index.php/shows-2/take-5/

Monday, June 7, 2010

Is anybody out there?

I'll know in a few days if anyone is out there. Sorta putting my ass on the line, my 2nd activity and asking for 1000 folks to come out on a beautiful Saturday to knit. Fingers are crossed. I would be nervous but I'm too busy. So much media coverage leading up the event. Free coverage in the city is such a blessing! Community Newspapers and websites. When things slow down I'll place my list of my current resources here- hopefully to save you time! It's late I'll be succinct, I'm sorta stuck in my mandate. I want to use those lovely enviro corn cups, lids and straws- no plastic. Budget and a lack of donations is steering me to plastic. What does a small start up do when budget and mandate are a world a part? Maybe break the mandate up into smaller more attainable steps so that I still have direction and don't feel so defeated when I don't have hundreds of dollars for cups, lids... lids are a whole other pricey story! Asking folks to BYOcup, but this has been the issue that first pops into my head on those occasional 3am wake-ups. My friend Deb sent me this great piece on communal and group buying- I think the enviro products would probably be an amazing item for such a thing. A simple example can be found at http://www.groupon.com/toronto/deals Guess that will need to be organized as well....... after June 12th. That's all I keep saying... After June 12th. Looks like August will be a slow one so I'll be closing down for the month to walk through forests, float down rivers, organize future events, collaborate and grant write. Is anybody out there? 5 more sleeps and time will tell.......... Nighty night, Michelle van Looy