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I just got back from a great dance weekend where I got to contra dance, English Country Dance, waltz, and catch up with many friends who I haven’t gotten the chance to talk to in a while. This community has been a constant support to me and gets to the core of my creative life, which is music and dance in a GLBT context. In the story of the past few years, I’ve been exploring other parts of my life, and I’m now looking to see how I can integrate this part of me that has been  secure back into my life.

That, and I need to get back into dancing shape. I’m a sore puppy today, and I even tried to pace myself. I guess that and I’m not 25 anymore. More transitions.

What really touched me is that I connected with two friends, one who just started a new job and another unemployed and looking, and they both mentioned that they read this blog and have gotten either techniques, context, understanding, or all three. I try to bring whatever insight (or crazy idea) I have, and it’s nice to know that others have gotten benefit from it. I never know who reads this blog, so it’s nice to get some positive feedback, as that gives me impetus to keep writing.

As usual, I like to see this in the broader context of how each of us shows up in the world and makes an impact. It made my day that I found out others appreciated what I had to say, and that it made a difference in their lives.  You never know what it is that you have to offer will make a difference to others, whether it’s the knowledge you share, or the acknowledgment that you made a difference.

So, if this blog has helped you, let me know, and what ways are you making a difference to others?

In the past day, I’ve seen two very inventive videos of people who are doing the things they love and sharing them. The first is a video by Emerson College students where they are doing a lip psyching video to a compilation of Lady Gaga songs. It involves over 400 students and was basically a campus tour as the showed all the facilities but also demonstrated the skill sets that they were developing in their studies (namely performance, video production, editing, event coordination, etc.). I’ve worked with a number of students that I see in this video and it’s amazing to see what they’ve accomplished. It’s also starting to go viral around the world too.


The second one was a music video of musician performing jazzed-up Christmas carols, but only using different iPhone and iPod apps. They replicate hand bells, guitars, conga drums, and numerous other instruments.  The performance is great, and really shows off their technical skills.

This reminds me a lot of the video of the band Atomic Tom that performed and recorded a music video on the subway using just iPhones for both the performing and recording.

What do these all have in common?  These people are demonstrating to the works what they have to offer others professionally. You don’t have to wonder what they can do, as they are showing it off. You don’t have to go and ask these people of their value; it’s right in front of you.

What does this have you do with your career? Everything!

Most people I work with hide what they have to offer the world, or at least make it so difficult to find out this information that people never see it. It’s either so cryptically written in a resume or an interviewer needs to ask so many questions to find the answer that the news of your value never gets out to be seen.

If you’re going to be happy in what you do in your career, it needs to cone from the capabilities that you have that you love to do (and are skilled at!). Are you a good writer? Write things that people can actually see (instead of keeping it all locked away on your computer or journal. Really good at organizing? Organize something that people in the world will experience. And mist importantly, after you’ve done it, let other people know about it! Your reputation is built on your works, and other people will be able to say good things about you to others (like hiring managers) in the future.

So, what beautiful, creative things about yourself are you keeping from the world?

As those who know me realize, this was the first Mother’s Day I’ve had since my mother passed away in September 2009. I was lucky enough that I had the diversion of performing with my rapper sword dance team, the Gay Blades, at the Lilac Sunday event at the Arnold Arboretum in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts. There were dance teams from all over New England and some as far away as Toronto. We did well and got to not only perform a new dance for the group, but also got to do the Abbots Bromley Horn Dance.

It didn’t hit me until I was driving out to my father’s house. When I got there, it was sort of what I’ve come to expect as the new reality of my father and sister in the house. We discussed our trip next month to Newfoundland (we’re going to visit Renews, the small fishing village where Dad’s grandparents emigrated from in 1889), his upcoming knee replacement, and our continuous search for relatives and connections before we get there. It’s been a really tough year for my father since Mom’s death and this trip has been one thing that he has had to look forward to.

A lesson I took from that is that we can only deal with the present and what we can do from here. My Dad’s doing it in his own way, and I’m trying to do it too. I’m on day 8 of antibiotics (it turned out to be a sinus infection) and so looking forward to the summer. While I can make plans, I have to deal with the present reality, no matter how difficult or unpleasant it can be. I’ve been served recently by my study of the Getting Things Done process. Which has helped me focus on tangible steps in order to move my life along.

How are you dealing with your current reality? What’s the next step for you?

Ken Mattsson

Ken Mattsson

Ken Mattsson

I am a career consultant who specializes in the connection between what your spirit wants to do in the world, and how to marry that to the work that you do in order to support yourself. While I work with people in all fields, I specialize in working with "creative entrepreneurs" and the LGBT community.

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