I have a confession to make:
I’m a creative control freak.
But I swear I had no idea.
That was until group work started…
I’m in recovery now.
Will be till the end of July.
I’ll be better then.
And I actually already am.
It all began on day one when I was assigned to Group C (C for Control — don’t think I don’t see what you did, Marc). Thrust into a group of complete strangers with three hours to make something; I managed to, well, manage.
“How was your first day?!”, mum asked.
“Great!” I said. “I took control of the group so well!”
And it was great.
But then it slowly started to not be.
I started to feel different.
Weeks later a partner “popped” to the bank for four hours leaving me to scamp solo for the rest of the afternoon. As I sat there holding my sharpie I longed for it to be sharper, so that I could murder my partner upon his return once he’d finally done some work. Angiety. (When anxiety turns to anger).
A week earlier I had wandered the back streets of Brixton with a group who, without a care in the world, wandered. You read that right. We hadn’t even started filming our video and it was due the next day, yet they still wandered. We might as well have been strolling down a Costa Del Sol promenade licking ice creams there was that much urgency. When we finally arrived back to POP, I had a melt down. Minus any ice cream.
“We don’t have time for this”
“We need to start”
“We need to create”
“We need to hurry”
“We’re running out of time”
“We’re not thinking quick enough”, I silently screamed.
In other words, “I am not in control”.
I’ve cried tears of tiredness.
Tears of fear.
Tears of uncertainty.
Tears of panic.
I’ve suppressed urges to micro-manage, silenced my fears of failure and pretended to be calm when inside I’m freaking out — all in one conversation.
But why? You might ask. Why in a creative, playful, fun working environment do I feel the need to control myself, others and the situations I’m in? My two pennies worth:
A lack thereof.
In the process.
Stress, anxiety and attempts to control are mere ruptures of trust.
Because to truly trust a person or thing means to rely on it. To believe they or it have got it covered. Take the train I’m currently sitting on. I trust this train to get me home. I believe it will get me home. I am relying on it. It’s the train’s job to get me home, not mine.
Same goes for the driver. I trust him to drive the train, I believe he knows how and I am relying on him doing so to get me home.
Without trust, there would always be a lot of extra work to do. I’d have to cycle from Brixton to Croydon home (but even that would require me to trust the mechanic who built the bike, so I’d have to walk). I’d then have to buy an allotment and grow my own food because I’d never be able to visit a supermarket again without trust in the supermarket producers. And, of course, I’d have to move out of my house because that means trusting the builder that laid the bricks, let alone the people in it.
In just over a month, SCA has taught me just how important it is to trust and that, sometimes, you don’t even know you’re not until it’s too late and things start to break and burst.
So trust me, trust.