Like a typical Aries, I rammed my way onto the Internet, pranced around a bit, and now I'm standing here by myself, feeling a bit uncomfortable.
My last post was in April.
I have reached that PIVOTAL moment when I realize I've been at the top of the key for almost four months and I see no way to the goal from this location. Nobody is open. I'm not playing with a team. No forward movement going on here.
Getting stuck is not uncommon. Not probably for anyone, but I've seen it happen again and again in the mission-driven -- and often nonprofit -- work of dismantling power structures, working towards social justice, shifting resources, and -- in the efforts I am most closely involved in -- stopping sexual and domestic violence before it starts.
Some talk about RESETTING as that moment of clarity when you recognize you have made enough mistakes that it might be better to CLEAN THE SLATE and start anew.
The intended purpose of this blog was to share current ideas coming from the work that I share with my consulting clients. I think some of those ideas are important ones, and that you could morph them into better ideas of your own; use them.
But another reason for this website was to let my work speak for itself; to illustrate:
"Look how smart I am."
"See how cool this work, and the people I work with, is and are."
"Don't you want to do this kind of thing with me/us, too?"
So, yeah, being honest, part of it was feeling the need to have a web presence and a brand. I wanted people Googling my name to find a bunch of innovative ideas and cutting-edge projects and novel insight.
But my DO-OVER moment comes from understanding at a deeper level that those ideas and projects and insight are not mine to share. Not solely. Maybe, also, I don't need a brand.
I think a good PIVOT includes a reflective self-assessment of how one arrived in this moment. So, here goes. I got here because I am passionate about my job. I want to keep doing what I am doing. It gets me up in the morn: along with the people I love in this life, it's why I drink my coffee.
My overriding reaction to the work I that do is a feeling of gratitude that people invite me into the work that they do.
A close second reaction is a sense of pride that for so long, so many, have worked so tirelessly to ensure that my children and others' might live in a "better" world. A world where less harm is done by rape than the world I grew up in; and that one day, this kind of harm will be eliminated entirely. My pride tells me that the work to eliminate sexual violence and other manifestations of oppression is as important and as exciting and as share-worthy as any other work being done anywhere else on this planet.
And finally, I have strong feelings of urgency that the changes we need are within our grasp.
As Wendell Berry says, "what we need is here;" but we have not always harnessed our collective energy. I feel like current and existing resources can be better directed. And, a part of that is truly like it says on my About page: academia.com tells me that almost every day people are Googling my name, finding and reading research papers based on work I did fifteen years ago.
Yesterday, somebody from Whitley Bay in the United Kingdom read about my Master's thesis. It makes me sit up straight and massage the back of my neck: I have so much more to tell you, reader in Whitley Bay! For every post you see, I have two more with materials from completed projects waiting in my DRAFT cue.
But, today I let gratitude override the sense of urgency. I will try to be quiet in heart.
I will continue to work with collaborators, friends, clients, and work partners to see which/if/when/how to make those materials and ideas available for others to use. But, with eye clear, I see why posting them up on a website entitled sharonmwasco.com may not be quite as exciting to others as it is to me.
Here, for now, I can share my own musings. Like:
A few days ago, we started a team meeting by sharing our "spirit animal." It's a get-to-know-you icebreaker activity that goes around. I've recently taken to heart the feedback that this saying diminishes and misappropriates Native culture. An alternative way to open the conversation in a way that allows people to connect and share would be to use the concept of of Patronus, from the world of Harry Potter.
My answer, because I love them so much, was otter. Later that night I found myself looking up the symbolism of the otter online.
Something Imelda said jumped out:
I'm skeptical, but I guess I'll try a bit more blog-chattering.
Maybe you'll appreciate this otter trying to show you its awesome little stone.