19 January 2009

Happy Revolution #9!

I've been working in a web agency as a project director for almost a year now. Almost a year of a monday to friday, 10 am to 7pm job. And so with that kind of schedule, I get to live "my life" in the evenings and during the week-ends. Except of course, I couldn't really enjoy my free time fully, as I'm usually exhausted or stressed and my mind is too empty to be able to think, move or act upon what I'd love to do.
It's the first time in a long time that I feel a huge gap between my work life and the rest of it. Usually my work life is blended with everything else. And even though some of the project I'm working on are gratifying and interesting, I can't really make them my own.
So it's been a fragile balance all this time, a silent fight to keep on doing things even though my deep soul is not into it. Cooking feels like a small victory, and so are spending time with my boyfriend, keeping my home tidy, going swimming, climbing, running, strolling in Paris, shopping, meeting friends, going to restaurants or movies.. I don't know when was the last time I could enjoy an exhibition in Paris.
Answering my friends emails is painful because I like to take my time to do that, so my inbox tells me I have emails that are few months old...
Blogging, well... if you're a regular reader, you might have noticed my poor frequence..
I feel out of the loop on so many things, starting with my own field, hard to catch up with everything that's been going on. The more I feel isolated, the more I resent distant communications and the Internet becomes at the same time my main way of keeping in touch and my main source of frustration for not being able to keep up the pace.
I have so many projects I'd like to take care of, bringing Superficiel up to date for one, making it a real organization..
Preparing events for Dorkbot Paris is always a rush, a last minute thing but thankfully there at least there are other people who are running things too..
And my art projects: I have two exhibitions to prepare in the next 2 months and I'm finding myself stealing minutes here and there to actually just think or conceive but there's no way I can make something meaningful like that.
So at the end of the day, I smoke my frustration in few cigarettes, sometimes with a glass of wine, in front of my computer screen, reading the news or watching some entertaining shows, hoping that the solution will come that can tell me how I can balance things right.
For a glimpse at the enormous website that has sucked the life out of me in the last months, you can log on 6 milliards d'Autres, a very successful project of the French photographer Yann Arthus-Bertrand, that is also running as an exhibition at the Grand Palais in Paris. As I started working on it, I felt some resonance with the RAW project because it aims at bringing awareness on lives of strangers around the world, and I think it achieves that quite well, although it's strongly mediated and edited which of course was the one thing we wanted to avoid in our work. But you should have a look at it, if only because it holds really interesting participative tools like collaborative translation.

-- Joëlle

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26 May 2008

Before June or a remake

Time... time... time... such a true cliché..
Today i read Madjid's blog and it made me think of my current situation, it's not completely similar but we've taken up a new job at about the same time and we both disappeared from our blogs around then as well. Recently, he wrote that he was reading Balzac and so I was as well. It's an interesting way of keeping in touch, of keeping a social link, it's very ambient, very backgroundish. I'm aware of what he's up to, I can relate to episodes of his life, without even voicing it to him, without active friendshiping. Same as when I read Cati's blog. It's all done in some strange silence, echoing in a common memory.
Some weeks ago, I got a Facebook request from a high-school friend - we haven't been in touch for 15 years or so. But we didn't send each other any specific messages. We're on each other friends' list and somehow that's enough. We know we're "there".
On my AIM list, I see people everyday, I don't talk to them but they're there. It's soothing and frustrating at the same time. Or rather, it's soothing some times and frustrating at others.
I thought for a while that I could do art, research, design, earn money, have a rich and diverse social life, travel, live with my sweetheart, learn how to sing, practice yoga, take care of my home, be there for my family and friends, cook, blog, go to exhibitions, keep on learning, have kids, stay fit, keep my promise of putting up a website for the records I got for my 33rd birthday, volunteering for the Dorkbot, read, sleep at night, altogether in a harmonious and successful way. Instead, when I feel this is not possible, I surf for HOURS on the web, or I watch delightfully tons of movies and Buffy episodes because it's the easiest and quickest way to relax.
Of course, this is my modern Western privilege to have. My job isn't in any way breaking me as a human being, and I just have to work more or less 8 hours per day, for the right pay. In another time and place, I could be working just to survive, to support my family, to hope that it would take my kids further up the social scale. Something about misery my grandparents and, on a smaller scale, my parents did experience. Something that makes me think our president hasn't got the closest clue to what is work.
Then of course, that's when you wonder about progress, hope, existence, purpose.

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30 April 2008

Before May

Well, today is the 30th of April - I feel compelled to publish a post before tomorrow, so I can tell myself I still blog regularly, or at least once a month!
I must say it's been hectic in the past weeks - many things to juggle with, including a brand new office hours job, which has been fun so far but that definitely put a strain on my schedule habits.
I have to find the time for doing many things and I must say that at least 2 beloved activities like cooking and blogging are still in need of me adapting to my new life... While another beloved activity that is... shopping does enjoy very well the perspectives of regular income.


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