When you start a new project, there are several things that must be considered. Energy, time and interest being chief for the personal creative pursuit. Whether or not it is possible depends on your levels of the previous three and the laws of physics, but that’s the territory of Mr. Randall Munroe of xkcd.com. Anyhow, as my mother says, there is no such thing as a perfect life balance, you always have more of one thing than another. In the case of Faces of New York, I started with a lot of all three major parts, but gradually came to have only interest. Interest is great, it sustains the mind and keeps the little pointy thoughts up in the front where they get the attention they need. But without time and energy, interest is simple idle fancy. Which, as it turns out, isn’t terribly exciting outside of one’s own head. AKA, a lack of updates makes for a boring blog.
So it is, a little over a year after I started the Faces of New York that I find myself in Mexico City, Mexico, beautiful hazy sunshine outside my 17th floor window, pondering how a year came and went, again, and what the future holds. Yesterday I was roused from a nap to find the noisy, but oddly choreographed spectacle of hundreds of riot police in a rectangle bounding what I presume, from the hammer-and-sickle flag, to be an equal or lesser number of some local vocal socialists. There were some calm-looking negotiations, after which the cops formed a sort of enclosed honor guard to the demonstrating masses, blocking traffic on one of the major arteries through Mexico City’s center, while the communists lofted banners and broadcast their message through a truck with a four-leaf clover of huge megaphones strapped to its roof.
Coming here has always made me a little nervous, largely because of the (apocryphal sounding) stories I’ve heard and equally because my Spanish is quite horrible. This time I came by choice; normally it is because no one else volunteered and I am assigned it. You see, since this time last year, I got a new job at my airline. I’m a manager of sorts, a pilot sometimes, and more involved and busy than ever before in both life and work. It really has been an amazing transition, but has taken a fair chunk of my time and energy away from other pursuits. Where before I lived the New York City life sans car, sans biz-casual clothes and worked odd hours, I now have a driving commute to work, in an office, wearing khakis. The polyester uniform remains for monthly use, in all its itchy wrinkle-resistant glory. There is a difference this trip.
Yesterday saw me run downstairs to take a picture of the protest from as close as I dared (which, granted men with weapons, wasn’t very close), walking down Paseo de la Reforma for miles alone feeling calm and at ease, enjoying the scent of spring flowers in the air cleared by last nights severe weather, and getting a totally silent yet strangely intimate shoe-shine from an old man in one of the shaded sidewalk stalls. I stumbled upon a similar-looking protest to the one I saw yesterday far down la Reforma, and can hear the megaphones sounding up again outside as they make their way past my hotel. Again.
2014 is turning into the Year of Confidence for me. Deserved or no, it’s a wonderful feeling. I have more control over my primary job than ever, carrying with it more responsibility and much higher expectations. I work with a team now, people who I am getting to know, who I like and respect greatly, and who can provide counsel when needed. Office politics exists in my life in kind of a dull, vaguely present way, which is both strangely engaging and very mentally challenging. People actually ask my opinion, and sometimes then even listen to my words in a strange turn of events. Entropy has increased around me in the guise of order, and it’s all terribly interesting to be a part of.
I leave you with a few photos from my trip here, hackles raised a bit by the changing tenor of the amplified voices right outside my window – well, a little below it to be sure, these aren’t helicopter protesters here – but with a sense of calm surety that has helpfully filled my life of late. I hope to get more FoNY photos up as the weather improves and I get a better handle on my new digs, so standby for that and, as always, thanks for stopping by.