Monday, 17 November 2008

Experiments in how to live #3769

After what is a strong contender for the best weekend so far in bcn, today the inevitable happened: Monday rocked on up. With it brought the necessary evil of work. So if you will indulge me, I'd like to discuss my present take on that old chestnut.

When I first moved to bcn I spent a long time figuring out how I wanted to support myself. There were lists, diagrams, bar graphs and pie charts. Drawing upon lessons learnt from my varied, extensive and commitment-phobic employment history, I decided I would be happiest by cobbling together a collection of sources of income, rather just having one steady job. So I sorted it thus.

The most fixed element of my working scenerio is being a canguro (literally a 'kangroo', i.e. babysitter) for three families. Basically I get paid to hang out with kids and talk to them in English. As a result my colouring-in and plasticine skills are getting pretty strong! I also blag a bit of English teaching. And last but by no means least, I research fashion trends for a forecasting company based in NY. I'm their 'man' in bcn (except I do womenswear). It's very flexible and fits nicely around my other work, and general weekly whims and desires. It's ironic that someone who doesn't buy new clothes spends so much of her time in clothing stores and changing rooms! Here I am in my natural habitat:

Now, I could warble on about the down sides of my self-cultivated employment situation, but the main point is that I feel I've achieved the level of freedom I personally need for my mental health. And although it can get pretty tiring and a little lonely, flitting around the city as I do means I have a connection and relationship with the city that I think it would take office-bound peops a lot longer than four months to achieve (no offence office-bound peops). It provides me with the opportunity to make fascinating discoveries (e.g. I know where you can buy the TINIEST croissants possibly known to man) and provides constant visual stimulae that sometimes I like to record:

PLUS, when my sewing stuff arrives, the application of a little more self disaplin and time management should result in a whole lotta time for creating. That's it in a (chest)nutshell.

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