Saturday, March 31, 2012

stop the world and crash with you

When your worlds start colliding, you know you're in the right job. She said it casually, tossing it off with a laugh during a conversation about work and volunteering. The truth of it, though, immediately resonated with me.

My worlds have been on a collision trajectory since late 2008, when I left my real job and struck out on a freelance exploration voyage. As a freelancer, my volunteer commitments are never really very far removed from my paid gigs, my leisure choices tend to overlap with my professional interests. That's true for most of us, of course, particularly as the 9 to 5 job becomes increasingly anachronistic. But a freelancer is always (and never really) working.

This city of one million plus often feels like a small village to me. My circles are increasingly overlapping, and each new involvement generates another, and it all makes perfect sense. Civic engagement, it seems, truly feeds itself.

Oddly, one of the spin-offs of all these worlds colliding is that I am finally seeing the point of Twitter. Another wise woman once told me that Facebook is for connecting with people you know, Twitter is for connecting with people you want to know. I find myself tweeting more and more all the time, using it as a tool to connect with people, and increasingly with organizations, whom I want to draw into my universe. And unlike Facebook, Twitter hardly ever makes me scratch my head and wonder what they hell they were thinking, with those suggested connections.

Have your volunteer gigs or other civic circles changed over the years?


The McIlrath Family said...

Just did my first tweet. Not sure how it works exactly but I guess I am about to find out. I have been following my nephew on Twitter so decided it was time to join in the fun. I agree twitter makes a whole lot more sense than the facebook nonsense.

I used to volunteer for Project Literacy but then it started to feel too much like an extension of my work and I decided to put all my efforts into my students.

Karen said...

I love how wonderfully your escape from the world of 9-5 has turned out. You've really found your calling.

LOVE that you brought up Twitter vs. Facebook. When I first joined Twitter, I didn't see the point. It seemed pointless and a waste of time. Now? That's exactly how feel about Facebook most days and am remembering why I left last time...

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Good luck in the Twitterverse, Toccata!
There's a fine line between volunteer gigs that reflect your professional skills and those that are too close to your day job. I hope you find something that fits.

I've been really lucky, Karen. Had a few lean years at first, but I think I am finding my stride.
I still use Twitter mainly for work purposes, but it's all work, isn't it?

Allison said...

So glad to see you embrace Twitter! I find it's a great source for news, and especially music. Discovered so many artists I wouldn't have before just by tweeting about music.

I don't really volunteer much these days, and I should, but I find that the museum sector, at least in the lower mainland is very small - everything overlaps and everyone knows each other. Good and bad.

phlegmfatale said...

It's odd for me. Many of my blog friends have folded up their blogs and gone exclusively to Facebook. I have an account there and a twitter account, but my blog is still the thing I like best. Then again, as long as I work where I currently do, I definitely don't want to cross the streams.

I work for a "faith-based" company (in name, if not in practice) and I'm certain I'd be fired for putting potty-language out there.

I wish I could be doing something more creatively aligned with my personal life, though, and I'm happy that you've struck that balance. :)

mister anchovy said...

I use Twitter a good deal at work and less so personally. In my job it's very handy and useful.

The only thing I post on Facebook are my blog posts. I do keep in touch with a small number of people that way, but mostly I don't think it is a very interesting space.

I'm attached to my blog. I don't know why exactly. Is it true that a lot of people are bailing from blogging and using facebook instead? If so, it seems to me that makes the blog space more attractive.

Reading your post, I immediately thought, this giving up the 9-5 business is pretty attractive and if I could make a living doing all the things I really love to do, I think I'd be ok with that.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

I still don't use Twitter that much as a news source per se, Al, but it sure works for keeping me in the loop on local happenings.
Small circles can be tricky to maneuver.

I don't blog as frequently as I used to, Phlegmmy, but it's certainly someplace that always feels like home. A place where I can park my thoughts, regardless of how lunatic, wordy or potty-mouthed those thoughts may be.

I never considered it that way, Mr Anchovy, the blogosphere is becoming more exclusive. It may be somewhat passe, but the people sticking with it are dedicated.

LesleyG said...

This has really made me think. I've always thought the volunteer stuff I did had little to do with my paying job and more to do with who I *really* am. But now I can see little bits and pieces crossing over. Who knows, maybe in a few more years it'll all be one.

And, yes, Twitter can be good for all kinds of reasons. And only annoying if you let it, I think.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

The overlaps tend to start with bits and pieces, Lesley. After a while the Venn diagram gets pretty crowded, though.