It happened years ago on a day I was feeling fragile. I saw the word desarrollar scratched into a subway station wall.
It caught my attention because although at that moment I didn’t know what it meant, I thought, it looked beautiful.
Come to find out, it typographically looked like its meaning and its rhythmic pronunciation had a physical effect on my body, like the word AUM, (something about the alignment with 432 Hz vibrational frequency found in nature to calm the mind). I made that verb my personal mantra and had it engraved on a bracelet that became a permanent part of my wardrobe.
The placebic power of the engraving enabled me to say yes to a challenging offer of a new job as a Corporate Executive Creative at one of New York’s most famous houses of luxury. Corporate was new for me, because for years I had been working as an artist and doing freelance design work on the side.
Those early years had me holding on to the bracelet thru a steep learning curve of new understandings of human behavior.
I was working with fashion’s most famous, learning an enormous amount of new skills, traveling the globe, discovering and eating incredible food. It was a fabulous & exhausting time mixed with loneliness, sleep deprivation, un-healthy living absorbed in a 24/7 venomous world. I felt like I was trapped at a magnificently disturbing party. But I was completely seduced. I loved the work I was doing, I had reached the pinnacle of what I thought was a dream job… yet; years later, it wasn’t the dream I imagined.
I kept trying to wrap my head around a culture that championed what I consider toxic, divisive and destructive treatment and language towards others.
By year 5, I felt hopeless and burnt out, unable to meet the daily expectations of harmful behaviors, yet bound by what I had committed to. I couldn’t figure out how to leave such a luxurious job. So, to try to hold on longer, I made documentary art work of my work day, which helped channel my energies and purge my anxiety.
During a late night at my studio, I noticed a shift in why and what kind of art I was making. As an artist working in industry…I started to see bigger implications of a new kind of relationship with artists in industry. I saw a transformation of the * ”function of art through a new cultural and social sensibility”, I had a paradigm shift. Or maybe it was the silver of my bracelet leaking into my blood stream! Whatever it was, it saved my life.
It was time, I finally had the courage to take off the golden handcuffs and move on to find my place in the world. I spent the next year at the job preparing myself for the next chapter. It was difficult to leave the security behind, especially at age 47, I wasn’t sure what was ahead. *”For most of us, radical changes can be a daunting prospect. Leaving old habits behind and reinventing ourselves someplace new after decades of practice definitely requires courage”. (or a desarrollar bracelet)
Life after being a Corporate.
I spent a few months re-set at an art residency in New Mexico then returned to NY and started a new business; called Project61, which is a collaborative platform that is public, where I can focus on the social implications of working with company projects involving interdisciplinary teams with artists that invite exchange and provokes individual & collective actions towards a more balanced and humane society. I also started a yogic & vegan lifestyle to reverse the damages of that former lifestyle. I began rebuilding myself physically and mentally, “to break old patterns, re-write and create the life I choose leading to more health more joy and more happiness.” Travis Eliot The Ultimate Yogi
Project61 is a 24/7 adventure, and it’s an amazing one. I’m meeting incredible people, sharing what I’ve learned, I’m happier, healthier, I smile and laugh a lot more and have joy back in my life.
I know this sounds like what everybody always says, but It really was worth the risk to follow my heart to find the world I was meant to be in. My desarrollar bracelet helped to remind me every step of the way that I had the courage inside to follow my dreams and to walk away from a culture that wasn’t right for me. I love my bracelet and can happily say, It’s no longer a permanent part of my wardrobe.
“There is only one you in the world, you are the only one in charge of your happiness.”
Desarrolle, a su maximo potencial. Develop to your maximum potential
* Susan Sontag: New Sensibility *Monika Gerber: Ageist