Holding on to your Value


Tonight, I saw a poll posted by the community manager of The Unmistakable Creative community app. The poll question posted was: “What are you hoarding for yourself that you could be sharing with others?”

I consider myself to be a creatively flexible person. I’m going to rephrase the question: “What value are you holding onto that you need to be sharing with others?”

Here is the explanation that I wanted to give, but there’s just not enough room to elaborate in a polling question. And I didn’t want to be that person that left a comment as long as many of my past blog posts! (Thank you for reading, readers!)

First, I look at the word value and here’s what comes to mind-what are my skills, what

Sure, I could share share my value with others. My question is “should” meaning, why am I not showing up in the world?

When someone asks me what I do, I always default to “I’m a Title Examiner.” I.E. I give out my job title as what I do. The nice thing, from my perspective, is that no one knows what that really knows what that is. It shuts the conversation down about what I do. Introverted me loves that we get to switch the conversation to something else.

When I say I’m a title examiner, people are looking to put me in a box and classify me on a socio-economic scale. People want to say-this is who you are, this could be how much money you make, and that will determine how this person fits into my world-are they above me or below me.

What if the question was rephrased. Instead of “What do you do?” someone asked “What do you value?”

On the rare chance that I have a conversation with someone new, I never ask them what they do. I really don’t care what they do for a living. I care more about them, what is important to them, their lives, what do they value? I think where you put your energy says a lot about you. Kind of like putting your money where you mouth is.

Often what we do for a living and what we value or where we put our energy at are 2 different places. Yes, I put 40 hours a week in at my job. Yes that does take energy. It’s my job that pays the bills. Let’s go deeper. There’s so much more to me than my day job. What’s your side hustle? What are you passionate about? If passionate is too strong of a word, maybe say what are you working on right now for fun? Even, what do you like to do for fun? What do you do in your free time when you’re not working for someone else? What do you do for you?

Do you spread your joy with others? Do you share your value with others? Should you? I think you should. Should you share your value with others? In this case, what you value and what your values are may go hand in hand-if you have a value that could cause harm then I would recommend channelling your energy into something else. There’s got to be something. If you value guns, maybe could you channel your energy into something positive-teaching people how to use them responsibly.

Here is some of my value, what I’m passionate about right now. And this will change in the future. I know that and accept that. For instance, in 2012, I was really passionate about being vegan. Time has gone by, and that is something I’m not passionate about right now. I’m ok with that. I’m the one that has to be ok with that change. If someone else has an opinion about it, then they are welcome to think it and preferably keep it to themselves.

After work and working out, I feel really drained. My energy goes out the window. Work requires a lot of focus for me for 8 hours. Once I’m done focusing, I want to do something not-so-focused. That’s why I have a hard time working on art, like drawing and painting. Those are new activities for me that I do not consider myself good at. I’m still learning and it takes energy. After work I like doing something I’m good at-I like to move. I usually go to the gym after work. If I don’t, I fall into a pattern of going upstairs, getting into my bed and watching television. Brain rotting away. Nothing good is going to come from me watching tv.

I give myself permission to go to the gym. I’m really good at going to the gym. Movement is pretty easy for me. Dancing taught me physical movement. Even if I’m bad at something physical, I almost always enjoy it. This is where I flourish and thrive. I love the feeling I bench press a heavy weight.

This whole blog post feels like me just talking. I have no focus. I’m all over the place. I can’t figure out what I want to say or talk about. I just keep typing. A lot of this is garbage. Will not be on this post. Will not make the final edit. Writing something down is easy. Going back and editing it is much harder because I have to read what I wrote. It’s like giving a speech and going back and listening to myself talk. That’s the painful part. Because I’m constantly judging myself. Thinking I sound like an idiot. I hate pictures of myself because I don’t like how I look. However, in that moment, before the picture gets taken, I’m having fun. It’s not until someone says, “hey, let’s take a picture” that I want to run out of the room. All I can think about is how I will look and what people will think and say. If I concerned myself with that all of the time, I would never leave my house. I’d never go out and have fun. And that would be a sad thing for anyone. We all need joy in our lives. We all need to have fun.

I give myself permission to wander. I let myself go because I know I’ll come back to myself.

Bulding understanding and empathy for others. We like what we know. We like what we’re comfortable with. I’ve found that experiencing new things can change how I think. I do a lot of things alone because I’m that person. I think, “well so and so won’t like this. I have no friends or no one to do this with. I’ll just go by myself.” And I show up. I show up by myself. I don’t get lonely or feel awkward when I go into explorer mode. I’m too busy taking in new stimuli to care what other people are thinking of me. There’s so many new things going on that I don’t get a chance to process.

A case for trying things alone. Why not learn who you are? Experiencing things on your own can be lonely. But you never know if you don’t try. That’s how I got into going to the opera. I started going by myself. I was in college. I got a ticket for “For The Love of Three Oranges.” I did not enjoy myself. This opera was not a good choice for a first-time opera goer. Oh my. I don’t think I ever want to watch that opera again! But the important thing was that I showed up and gave it a go. The second opera I saw was Puccini’s “Madama Butterfly.” This time I went with my mother and we had a blast. By going to the first opera, I built up a tolerance for sitting through a long opera. I exposed myself. My body knew it could take three hours, music, acting, foreign language and subtitles. That’s a lot to take in. The sound is different too. Opera singers are not usually singing into a microphone. That’s pretty amazing when you stop and think about it. When I go to the Lyric Opera, I sit in the heavens because that’s where I can afford to sit. I cannot see the actors faces or the detail in their costumes. But I can hear their voices. And wow, their voices are so beautiful.

What I’ve found is going to see the same opera several times has helped me really get to know an opera.

Or knowing the story helps. I’d seen the musical Rent before I saw Puccini’s “La Boheme”. That means “The Bohemian.” Rent is a musical about starving artists and the lives they lead. So is La Boheme-starving artists, a love story and the lives they lead. Yes, the music is stylistically very different. The sound is very different. But the stories are the same. Having seen Rent made watching “La Boheme” a little easier to absorb. I knew a bit about the story as I was watching a different version of it.

I read “Emma” before I watched the movie “Clueless”. “Clueless” is based off of “Emma” by Jane Austen.

A lot of the things in our culture came from somewhere. It’s important to go back and explore where those things came from.

I know there’s a nugget of wisdom in here somewhere. I only hope I find it!

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