Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Learning to share... responsibility

"Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their labor."
Ecclesiastes 4:9

I was a bit of a theater kid in high school... Ok, I was a lot of a theater kid. I did a number of shows, a few solos on stage (yep, I can sing), a few dramas, and tried my hand at directing a few times. And I loved every experience that I had during that time. 

But I loved choir most of all. 

I don't think I ever told anyone back then, because it seemed a little dorky. But there was something about working with other people on creating something amazing that appealed to me. I loved that there was no one person who was responsible to make the sound come out well. We all had to work together- we had to do our part, and cover each other if someone wasn't making it, and in all the competitions that I was part of, I remember always being judged on how much any of us stuck out. We had to be united- one voice. 

I haven't found a choir since I left high school, sadly. Life has gotten in the way a bit- I've had a job, and up until last may, classes, and other passions have started to take hold (hence this blog). But I still miss that unification, that team spirit. I've discovered that I can be a team player if I trust those I work with, and that I like it a lot better than doing it all on my own.

The problem, if you couldn't guess, is the trust thing. I have a very hard time trusting anyone to do things right. For that matter, I have a very hard time trusting. Period. Needless to say, I've done too many things on my own. I just didn't think they would get done right. 

A few months ago, after watching a family friend who I respect take charge over another project that her busy schedule couldn't handle, I realized what path I was wandering down. Here was this woman who needed to have things done right. As a result she couldn't have help. She was way over booked, over tired, and under appreciated for the wonderful person she was, because people think of her as "bossy and pushy." I had a vision of myself in fifteen years, alone, working too hard on things that other people were perfectly capable of doing, or at the very least, helping with. And I didn't like what I saw. 

And there was more. I love people, and I love their stories. And I suddenly understood that by never letting people work with me, I was missing out on their stories. I was missing out on them. And I knew that I didn't want to miss out because of myself. I wanted to be part of a group again. 

I didn't find a choir, unfortunately. And I didn't change overnight into someone who delegates well. But I did make small improvements, starting projects with some of my friends- the kind that utilize all of our talents, and that have a much less vivid outcome- I was tired of getting tied up in right and wrong. And I started to give people responsibilities when I lead things, without checking up or checking in all the time. I suspect there are some friends who think that I do not love them anymore. But in reality, it's just the opposite- I had to love them enough to let them do it their own way. 

Life is not meant to be perfect- life is the opportunity for us to get together and know other people. And I am embracing each new project that I am part of - the ones I have started, and the ones that I am only helping with. For example, this fall, I'm going to start working on some photo journalism with some friends. I don't take amazing photos- I am a writer. But that is what I have friends for. 

The more I think it over, the more life strikes me as a choir. We all have to sing in the same key if we want to make something sound right. We have to know our strengths so we can cover others weaknesses. We have to know our weaknesses so that we can ask for the strong to help us. And when we work together, we become unified- one single voice, floating on the wings of the wind into the distance, the ends of the earth... eternity. 

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