As To Be In Plain Sight

Last week I visited the Denver Art Museum with two of my sisters. We wandered through Embrace!, a project showcasing one-of-a-kind traditional, conceptual, sculptural and digital installations from 17 artists.

Lawrence Weiner’s installation, As To Be In Plain Sight, caught my eye the moment we entered the building: enormous bright green letters embellished the white wall between the third and fourth floors of the Hamilton Building. Each time we rounded the staircase to the next floor, I glanced up at the statement. It was absolutely in plain sight.

It was vibrant, unmistakable on the white walls.

I am not in plain sight.

As social a creature as I am, I keep much sheltered in little corners of my personality, heart, life.

I am in one of the most fertile, exciting spaces of my life. Right now. NOW! And I’m holding myself back by not being in plain sight—not owning who I am.

This is particularly true in my search for work. While grad school is my top priority, I still need to work part-time. I’m extremely fortunate because I can be picky about work: I quit a “good” job because it wasn’t in line with my career. I’ve declined other job offers because they weren’t in line with my career. But I’m still figuring out what my life-work looks like. I know it will change and evolve. But boy, do I have the energy right now to be working, building, innovating.

I need to put myself in plain sight.

I haven’t asked for help from friends, peers, colleagues or new acquaintances. In fact, I haven’t even shared with many people that I’m work-hunting. Part of it is fear that I am unqualified for the Super Awesome Work I imagine myself in; part of it is not knowing what the Super Awesome Work looks like.

I know that both of those fears are insensible. I’m highly qualified. And I need to just start working.

I’ve kept my skills, passions and ideas out of sight. How on Earth could I expect to find work that I love if I’m not revealing myself? *sigh* I am so featherbrained sometimes.

The moments, the phrases, the spaces in which I let my guard down and move forward are the times when I encounter opportunity—and when I grow the most…sometimes uncomfortably, but always upward and outward.

My first step is to ask for help. And to share my skills, my areas for growth, my passions. Writing this post on the stone walls of the internet is another step (thanks for reading! :]).

So begins a new intention. Here I am.

As to be in plain sight.

  • Good Show, Cali. Not just for all the “oh, way to put it out there” -ness but knowing yourself enough to know.
    Most people haven’t got a clue what lurks behind the rhythm in their chest, much less the cojones to say what might.

    • You always have deep insight, Kendall. Thank you.

      You’re right — it’s more than just laying it on the table. I *could* just write this post, pat myself on the back, and never do anything. Of course, I’m not hard wired that way. What I usually do is NEVER put anything on the table, work behind the scenes, and miss opportunities and help I might gain from opening myself up. Duh. I’m learning…slowly.

      I really appreciate your comments–always.

  • Good Show, Cali. Not just for all the “oh, way to put it out there” -ness but knowing yourself enough to know.
    Most people haven’t got a clue what lurks behind the rhythm in their chest, much less the cojones to say what might.

    • You always have deep insight, Kendall. Thank you.

      You’re right — it’s more than just laying it on the table. I *could* just write this post, pat myself on the back, and never do anything. Of course, I’m not hard wired that way. What I usually do is NEVER put anything on the table, work behind the scenes, and miss opportunities and help I might gain from opening myself up. Duh. I’m learning…slowly.

      I really appreciate your comments–always.

  • Les

    Cali,
    I have exactly the same issues with myself. I have a good job but it’s not what I want to be doing longterm. And, I’ve been sort of pigeonholed for so long I don’t know if my skills and knowledge will transfer easily to a non-healthcare related job. Consequently, my desire for change is mitigated by fear of the unknown.

    Thank you for sharing and helping me see that I’m not alone in feeling this way. Rock on, my friend!

    • I’ve certainly had many conversations with people (in all stages of their career) about the feeling of being pigeonholed. I think that’s pretty natural, especially if you’ve spent a fair amount of time in a particular field. Those skills ARE important and valuable…unfortunately, those skills don’t always satisfy our soul.

      I recently watched the documentary “Lemonade” (you can find it on Hulu). The stories shared in the documentary are a good kick in the pants to move into, through, and out of that “fear of the unknown.”

      Camaraderie is always valuable. You rock on, yourself! :)

  • Les

    Cali,
    I have exactly the same issues with myself. I have a good job but it’s not what I want to be doing longterm. And, I’ve been sort of pigeonholed for so long I don’t know if my skills and knowledge will transfer easily to a non-healthcare related job. Consequently, my desire for change is mitigated by fear of the unknown.

    Thank you for sharing and helping me see that I’m not alone in feeling this way. Rock on, my friend!

    • I’ve certainly had many conversations with people (in all stages of their career) about the feeling of being pigeonholed. I think that’s pretty natural, especially if you’ve spent a fair amount of time in a particular field. Those skills ARE important and valuable…unfortunately, those skills don’t always satisfy our soul.

      I recently watched the documentary “Lemonade” (you can find it on Hulu). The stories shared in the documentary are a good kick in the pants to move into, through, and out of that “fear of the unknown.”

      Camaraderie is always valuable. You rock on, yourself! :)

  • Kevin

    Thank you for the inspirational thoughts. How many people never give a moment’s thought to their life-work? I think you are on the right track.

    • Thank you for the encouragement, Kevin!

      I think TOO MUCH about my life-work! Ha. :) There are approximately 348 things that I would love to do. Today. I need to choose something and move forward.

      I appreciate you stopping by!

  • Kevin

    Thank you for the inspirational thoughts. How many people never give a moment’s thought to their life-work? I think you are on the right track.

    • Thank you for the encouragement, Kevin!

      I think TOO MUCH about my life-work! Ha. :) There are approximately 348 things that I would love to do. Today. I need to choose something and move forward.

      I appreciate you stopping by!

  • jen

    It’s so very true Cal. Doing this is so very hard for me but not doing this is like living by going through the motions. Keep going! Loves.

    • Going through the motions is fun…for about 5 minutes. :) Thanks for the encouragement, Jen! <3

  • jen

    It’s so very true Cal. Doing this is so very hard for me but not doing this is like living by going through the motions. Keep going! Loves.

    • Going through the motions is fun…for about 5 minutes. :) Thanks for the encouragement, Jen! <3

  • I think you and I are about in the same spot. Don’t EVER hesitate to count me as a reference if you need it.

    • Thanks, Kyle — that really means a lot to me. We need to get together soon. Perhaps we can have a brainstorming session! :)

  • I think you and I are about in the same spot. Don’t EVER hesitate to count me as a reference if you need it.

    • Thanks, Kyle — that really means a lot to me. We need to get together soon. Perhaps we can have a brainstorming session! :)

  • i am also not in plain site. i think our lives are running parallel to each other, but in different fields & states:)
    you seem to be doing amazing though, even if you don’t feel like you’re reaching out. it’s probably sort of how when you first start working out, you can work out for 2 months & see no results at all, then all of a sudden your muscles are showing, the weights dropping & it’s amazing. it’s just getting to that point you know.
    i loveeee reading your snacks posts too!
    hugs!

    • Hey Jamie! Thanks so much for your comment. It makes me feel a wee bit more sane.

      I agree that our lives are running parallel paths. We need to connect soon…or at least Skype. :)

      Your workout analogy is perfect. Absolutely perfect. I’m sticky-noting that and reminding myself that I will “get to that point.”

      Thanks for the inspiration, m’dear!

  • i am also not in plain site. i think our lives are running parallel to each other, but in different fields & states:)
    you seem to be doing amazing though, even if you don’t feel like you’re reaching out. it’s probably sort of how when you first start working out, you can work out for 2 months & see no results at all, then all of a sudden your muscles are showing, the weights dropping & it’s amazing. it’s just getting to that point you know.
    i loveeee reading your snacks posts too!
    hugs!

    • Hey Jamie! Thanks so much for your comment. It makes me feel a wee bit more sane.

      I agree that our lives are running parallel paths. We need to connect soon…or at least Skype. :)

      Your workout analogy is perfect. Absolutely perfect. I’m sticky-noting that and reminding myself that I will “get to that point.”

      Thanks for the inspiration, m’dear!