vrijdag 22 juli 2011

"Prinsessen paa Ærten" 3.0 - the Princess on the Pea 3.0

One day, it occured to me I could also choose to embrace my inner princess, instead of always telling her off. I used to think she was overly sensitive and should stop whining about peas everywhere. Just get on with life, go back to bed, go to sleep. She did give me bruises, though. Ask anyone. I used to think "I bruise easily".

I tried loving her, but wasn't very succesful. Until I tried curiosity. Once I started eyeing her with a gentle, yet curious eye, the love came. Easily and abundantly.

The princess dabbed at Twitter before. But it wasn't until February this year, after I took her to a LinkedIn workshop, that she told me how very much in love with the chit chat microblog website she was. She had enormous hopes and ambitions for the possibilities it held for us. Skyhigh, really. I kept reminding her that it's important to meet people in real life, too. And I was a bit worried that all our time would prove utterly wasted. Like the energy we spilt at Hyves.

This time around, however, it was different. Little surprises started trickling into our lives. Just online, at first. But big ones, too. Who knew I'd be up on the Amsterdam Stadsschouwburg stage in March? The people we met were really great online, and even better offline. We started receiving unexpected solutions and answers to problems. Especially when we mustered up enough courage to show some of our innermost, vulnerable stuff. Or things that had seemed just, ehhr.. trivial before. In short: we had a blast. We managed to crack some serious real life problems using Twitter, too. Some stuff with our mortgage (she doesn't want to go into detail).

Finally, she and I started seeing eye to eye on the purpose of chit chat. I had always felt I wasn't all that good at it, whereas she seemed to produce endless tsunami's of chatter, more than anyone in their right mind would want to listen to.

We discovered simultaneously, that chit chat is a vital part of getting to know someone and making them feel welcome just the way they are. In a way, chit chat allows my inner princess to find out more about the other person's inner prince(ss). And when those two hit it off.. baby your a firework!

Best of all, the effect of these surprises was, that they were beginning to spill over into our everyday life. And the princess, I guess, decided she wanted a bigger part of my everyday life. She was making herself heard - louder than I ever could, myself. She'd ask for things, demand things, stubbornly refuse things... often, I almost felt embarassed at the things she dared do and say. But strangely, no-one seemed to mind. At all! Even better, people started smiling at me more and listening to me better.

She told me to draw this sprout, I'm unsure what it means exactly. She says, it is important to check for oxygen and heart in every situation. And fertile earth. If there's not enough of either one, change it. If you can't, let your feet take you out of there. You'll know. Just ask her friend inside of you.

If that means a U-turn: do it. I had an extreme aversion of U-turning that still bothers me at times. Keeps me from turning around before the point of no return. Usually, doubt sets in long before that point. The sooner you listen to the whispers of a doubt, the more energy it will give you. It's not always necessary to know what's ahead. It is essential, however, to heed those doubts. Even if, especially if, it takes courage to act upon them.

I drew this series last Tuesday, as a preparation for my business pitch. I am working on a business plan that somehow does not want to materialize in a concrete product and market.

Later that morning, the jobhunters listened to the story as I showed them the drawings. One woman made that exact critical remark: what's your product, your market? Who will buy what? Then, another jobseeker, a guy, told us to him the story is about culture change. How companies are trying to change from a supply- to a demand-driven market, and how this story could help make that change.

Listening to the dialogue unfolding, the princess was breathing, deeply inhaling the oxygen. Feeling the heart. She's still somewhat uncertain about the earth we need, but breathing heartily.

However, I myself have made a U-turn. My old boss called and I was happy to accept his joboffer. And, more importantly: so was my princess.

So-oh... at this point, I am not sure if I should pursue starting up my own business. I decided, I am going to sit in that uncertainty for a bit. For a month or so. Also, I am telling the story of the Princess on the Pea. So there it is.

And as a final thought: maybe it's not just about the princess, but also about the pea? Finding the right soil for it to grow, bloom and produce little peas? This thought makes me extra happy that my little boy found a couple of peas on the plants we planted a few weeks ago.



PS I'll be writing and tweeting much more sparsely the coming months, as I find my way around my brave new life with job AND twitter.