"Strategic Reinvigoration": Map
The purpose of this live document is to map the strategic vision of September - October 2022 in a process-project I am calling "Strategic Reinvigoration". It is a somewhat ironic document in that its structure may seem silly in its function and in tone but I am an earnest human and I (Jules) do earnestly hope the document will aid me. As a producer, these documents had at least the subtle psychological effect of helping me feel accountable, and purposeful - even though much of their contents were rarely executed.
Throughout September - October 2022, I will attempt to rewrite longheld narratives of my self and identity.
To overturn four (4) major narratives that have constructed my identity to now:
"I cannot drive."
"I cannot finish a play."
"I am not able to move my body on a consistent basis."
"I am not able to generate a satisfactory income."
"I am an unlovable worm."
To complete at least nine (9) hours of driving before 4 October.
To complete a draft of Lockout before 15 September.
To write 3 songs and a scene breakdown for Fraser Babies before 4 October.
To establish a movement routine which is sustainable before 30 October.
To file taxes before 30 October.
To stay present with each of my complex needs and to prioritise my wellness above other stated objective.
If the objectives above are met, the following additional objectives will come into play:
To build portfolio of songs and recordings of previous performances
To shoot headshots or artist photography
To secure accommodation until February 2023
The process for achieving said objectives will require a mix of self-discipline, community accountability, and professional support.
In this document, I will detail my plans for achieving the above objectives and make 2 close associates and/or team members aware of its existence.
This process blog will provide some level of public accountability even though I have no intention of drawing attention to it in any way. I intend to contribute to the blog at least twice a week in the form of personal reflections, image or video documentation.
As a person living with multiple comorbid mental health diagnoses (ADHD, panic disorder, GAD, social anxiety, depression, PMDD, and binge eating disorder), I have only recently come to terms with the notion that I am living as a disabled person whose needs are complex and ought to be managed with care. As such, developing roadmaps for my life trajectory has not been as simple as I would have liked. Add to this the realities of pandemic, war, economic downturn, and climate catastrophe; and the complexities of living in migrant diaspora culture as a queer femme artist.
Some key concepts which underpin my exploration in "Strategic Reinvigoration" include:
Sovereignty was never ceded - I acknowledge the custodians of the land on which I explore my self and identity, the Gadigal people and Darug people. The land on which I practice is stolen land. There is no action I take which is not in some way informed by dispossession, genocide, and brutality.
Scientific mindset - recently I tried to understand for myself why it was that self-improvement science irked me so much. I thought perhaps that it was that I'm not a 'science person' but I realise it's not. It's that the scientific mindset that I've grown to admire through my years in institutional academia is one that's predicated on profound unknowing. The philosophy that a researcher's primary intent is to explore and understand, not to capitalise, optimise, and maximise. We seek to find out about the expase of the universe and the fundamentals of a particle for the sake of curiosity, not for the improvement of ones own circumstance. Although it seems somewhat ironic for this project, I do genuinely seek to be guided by curiosity and humility.
HAES and weight-neutrality - I was first introduced to this approach and field by sociological researcher Lisa Bernhardt, a coursemate at Oxford University. The practice of intuitive eating and movement resonates with me and my history with my body. It also resonates with my distaste for any culture which fixates on: the size and shape of bodies as key indicators of worth and desirability; the size, strength, and flexibility of bodies as key determinants for whether or not a person is granted or denied quality healthcare; women's bodies, intersex bodies, and trans bodies as deserving of disproportionate scrutiny, negative attention, and violence.
Irony and play - I acknowledge the irony with which I embark upon this strategic reinvigoration. The very systems of oppression which I sit beneath, those of the corporation, capitalism, the bureacracy of government subsidy, patriarchy, and toxic individualism which run through the language and structure of this document, are the systems I am attempting to use for my own 'invigoration' as a queer, disabled, femme, person in a marginalised and colonised body. I am however, also, a privately educated person with a postgraduate degree and a Sun-Mercury cazimi in Aquarius. And so my use of language and logic is informed by the imbibing and subsequent chaotic regurgitation of systems passed down to me through my colonial education and capitalist upbringing. I also don't think I'm out here trying to upend the patriarchy and decolonise the joint. I just want to see if I can finish a damn play.
"Strategic Reinvigoraton" will be deemed to be successful on the completion and measurement of the following indicators.
Nine (9) completed hours of driving.
A completed submission draft of Lockout.
The submission of three (3) songs to music producer Chloe Macaulay-Keung.
The submission of a scene breakdown of Fraser Babies to dramaturg Miranda Aguilar.
The following indicators may also inform the success of "Strategic Reinvigoration":
Increase of +1 in over 50% of variables in self-efficacy assessment before and after the project period
Increased social interaction e.g. 3 in-person social interactions per week
Support that is currently available to me includes:
The Joy Offensive team
Screenplay development support
I may also engage the following:
Personal trainer or exercise physiologist
I will also have access to the following resources:
Mental health helplines
A pre-allocated personal expense budget to 31 December 2022
That the process blog will draw unwanted attention and its tone will not be taken in the spirit of play, artistic irony, and personal experimentation.
That objectives will not be met and the narratives detailed above become entrenched rather than overturned.