Monday, March 27, 2006

non-linear thinkers unite

bubble of thoughts
i was making a list this morning and it dawned on me that most of my issues seem to lay with that it is sometimes hard for me to make concrete decisions. thankfully, i can make decisions about clothes and bad haircuts and what to eat for dinner--the dailyness, but big picture decisions paralyze me to a certain extent. i get cloudy. fuzzy. foggy. abstract. distant.

i would love to start a discussion about how you make those big life decisions? above is an "organizational system" i'm developing out of thought bubbles to help me quickly brainstorm and connect my ideas so it makes a bit of sense. does anyone else practice this?

for me it is about not knowing what the goal is, as soon as i have identified it... i can proceed. i am obviously not very linear. i admire my friend christina who decided that she wanted to get her MFA in painting, so she proceeded to paint from Valasquez studies, then moved on to portraiture using a green background and light paint usage, and then gradually moved onto paint thicker portraits with great angles and varied backgrounds. all this to say is that she just kept working towards her goal and perfected it. **side note, upon speaking to her about this she says that she does not FEEL linear and that her process has felt all over the place, as well.

lovely leonie wrote me with no prompting earlier something that warmed my heart in talking about my little hiatuses from blogging... "that she knows i am doing what is best with my heart and art". how did she know i needed to hear that?

i wrote back that i do listen very closely and cautiously to what is right for me, put my divining rod out there in the wind... and that that process is often an inner struggle. i do appreciate that someone on the outside can see value in being thoughtful; a ruminator.

sometimes i think i suffer from a bit of perfectionsim, afraid to make a mistake. it seems unlike me because i am contradictory messy and calm and laid back, but also anxious about if i'm doing the "right thing" and the future, and hard on myself for not having it together!

i must harken back to my former mantra: "go fucking ballistic", meaning to me: don't hold back for fear of making mistakes!
i'm going to challenge myself to mess up some.


christine said...

sab re-introduced the thought bubbles to me a couple years ago, and i love it! something in the act of mapping out the circles seems to free the mind a bit.

i also am queen list maker--i just love making lists--and the last big decision i made (which apartment to take) was done with the good ol' pro/con list.

what helps me the most when making decisions, though, is remembering that it almost never has to be permanent. whether it's work or where to live or the cute pair of shoes i just have to buy, i know that i can change my mind later.

xx! c.

lisa s said...

as a perfectionist i know how you feel!! i also don't think linearly, although i think others might think that i do....

i too make lists lists and more lists... and then??

i have learned not to panic... that even if you make the "wrong" decision something usually ends up turning out right anyway. that you can only have control over so many things and that if you worry all the time you miss the fun. [like touching all the clothes as you walk past them!].

your idea to go bollistic sounds right. and trust your gut. [i'm saying this to myself as i say it to you!!]

Anonymous said...

hello there ms. mati,

ahhhh. we all struggle with setting directions.

keep talking. to your friends, to fellow artists, to your loved ones. i find that it helps clarify.

i also find the work clarifies. working hard helps to identify what is pushing one forward and what is not. that must be the f------ ballistic part.

wishing you well,

Shari said...

hi mati-
this whole process is very familiar to me right now as t and i are deciding on new jobs and whether or not we want to move. for the job part, we have been writing all of the possibilities on index cards. then we write pros/cons on the backs of the cards along with feelings and next steps. soon, we are going to lay them out on the floor and look for any connections or other creative combinations--hopefully increasing the possibilities.

we revisit these cards a couple of times a week...and can get rid of cards as we feel the need (or add cards).

hang in there girl and don't let your perfectionism get the better of you. it is good to remember that if you choose one path and you find you don't like it, you can join up with another. xoxo! shari

thepaperdoll said...

what a wonderful way to organize your thoughts. i make lists all the time but they seem so sterile and i panic thinking i must do these things in this order.
thanks for inspiring me to look at it in another better fitting way. i'm off the create my own messy non linear rambling list.

Goddess of Leonie said...

you rock out dearly.

Abigail said...

I hear you so much right to organise..not only your work, but your thoughts, and life!!?? People keep telling me to make lists..but it doesnt work for me, the stuff is still there in my head, churning around..and NOW I have an extra bit of paper lying around adding to the clutter! *sigh*

Honestly though..I am hoping that these things will just come with practise, and with time. I am writing the lists for now, keeping my filofax open and the right dates looking out...I understand the whole perfectionist thing (virgo!) as well and how frustrating the struggle to make/keep things perfect can be..and sometimes you feel like it is taking you in an un-perfect direction..right?

I am hoping the cosmos really just has it all worked out for us all and we are just being pulled with the tide to good and better things (nice idea/diversion tactic?)... :) xx

tania said...

oh I am a ruminator too! and always afriad of being sent to the principals office.
It all does tend to work aout though and that always comforts me!
not that helpful, i know.
ps- your show looked marvelous!

la vie en rose said...

do it girl! go fuckin' ballistic. that's just the advice i need too. i've never been good at the big decisions either--and i do a lot of procrastinating because of uncertainty. sometimes i just have to leap, trusting that there is no right or wrong--there's just moving.

jerusha said...

omg - i used to do these in grad school all the time - where the standard way was *very* linear. i remember study groups for comprehensive exams (where, like, we needed to know a whole time period of lit), and i'd have maps just like yours to connect everything and all around me people would have lists of titles and dates! i could never remember anything that way. and i still kicked ass on those comps.

i guess the point is that whatever works for you is the way. regardless of the pressure to "be" otherwise.