Friday, August 6, 2010

Work Diaries

I have been thinking about my career lately, as a major change is taking place: Nazra for feminist studies is finally in action and is implementing several projects, although I have been waiting for this for long time and Nazra team went through long hard time to reach this point, but my happiness is not complete, not only because of the obstacles we are facing like the governmental bureaucratic and security constraints or the possibility of the societal backlash to any feminist activism but the reason of my incomplete happiness is very personal

I feel bad because I am losing passion; I am working with no motivation. All the things that used to inspire me seem ineffective and sometimes even do not have the same meaning it used to have. This feeling was my great fear, that I will be working not for a cause but I will be a practitioner who seeks secure employment and revenue. I do not like anything I am doing, I hate being busy with logistics and administrative or publicity tasks, in addition to that I do not have any motive to do the tasks that I love liking doing research and writing.
I know that when your endeavor is a long trip you might loss direction or loss passion, however this experience is really tiring and it raises many questions, and that is what I am feeling, and that is not only depressing but weird as well, I am not mid level career woman or well established to feeling bored or and to lack motivation, in addition to that I function in the module that I chose and participated in its creation and it is my safe zone, also there are many goals I want to achieve and ideas I want to tackle.
Currently I am just seeing the empty part of the glass, I magnified the problems and I can not see anything else. I do not need talks about the feminist cause and the difficulties we should anticipate or talks about thinking positively. I need to feel the same feeling I was feeling when we started.
I know that the fundamental difference between an activist and practitioner is the passion of the activist, and that is what I am losing
I do not have any solutions and I do not know when these feelings will end, what I know that I really want to wake up in the morning with fresh mind and cheerful spirit, ready to make a difference


eduardo said...

Hi Fatma, sorry to hear about your frustrations and I hope that it is just a temporary state. I hope you know that you are doing a great job, and you and your team have a lot of supporters around the world, for what it's worth. It was great to meet you and please don't hesitate to call on us when you need support.


Fatma Emam said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Fatma Emam said...

Thanks Eddie for the kind words and the support, I know that this is a phase that will pass and it is result of the environment we are functioning. The spirit of the team is what make me sure that I will pass this painful phase

Doaa said...

Painful phase, losing passion, ..... Big words girl... We are working on the things we love and sorry some admin work and coordinating activities will not harm from time to time. And here you have Eddie from the other half of the world giving you support... you are so demanding ya Batta,,,, D.

Doaa said...

Big words ya Batta, some admin and coordination work from time to time will not kill anyone, at least we are working on the things we are devoted to.



Anonymous said...

Hi Fatma,

I think it is very brave of you to post your current feelings in a public way, so please know that that is an overcoming in itself.

You should also know that you are so not alone in your feelings. The issues that us activists work with everyday are draining, tiring, and challenging in every possible way. This is very true for a lot of jobs, but because these issues are so personal, it is very easy for your life and your job to become quite blurred. The way we answer the phone, write an email, buy our supplies, normally tasks that shouldn't require a great amount of thought, also become consumed with the very issues we are trying to address. No wonder we are tired and burnt out!

So for this, don't berate yourself for feeling like your flame is extinguished. As you said, it is a painful phase, but you will get through it. Your flame is a bit dim right now, but it's not gone. Find something, ANYTHING!, to motivate yourself again. It doesn't have to be activism oriented - just something to lift your spirits and raise you up. You need a break sometimes and that's totally ok. Go on a trip, find an unusual job, learn about the oceans!

Believe me, by taking a break from work isn't an abandonment of the cause - it's making sure that you come back! Because you will. Find your passion for SOMETHING and it will all come back. You just need a kickstart again :)

Best of luck to you!

Fatma Emam said...

yeah big words, did not mean it wallahi, this is how i feel, however to be honest enough i am glad and excited with the exploring taboos project and it is reaturning the good mode to me

Fatma Emam said...

dear anonyomous
thanks for sharing your thoughts with me , i really apperciate it
luckly i will be tarvelling soon to recharge my batteries, and even the everyday work seems nicer because seeing the change you make and the persons who support you is a real bless

Fatma Emam said...

dear anonymous 2
i know that this pain is not eternal and i have harsh scales for passion and loving what do and by days the routine will be more torable and less stressful

Rose Margaret Deniz said...

My dear Fatma, activism, for better or for worse, comes with a public and personal side, so I can imagine this will make you feel conflict at times. It is this very public aspect that holds me back, though my personal feelings make me very much want to be part of bigger causes. I admire you for taking on that challenge. It sounds like you're drained of energy doing things that feel are distracting you from the passion you did (and will again) feel for your work. Take a little time every day to do something you love - maybe something non-work related. A story. A conversation.

I hope you feel rejuvenated soon! And maybe you don't have keep doing things the way you've been doing - maybe now that Nazra for feminist studies is in action, you can change some of your responsibilities? Also, you might not have the same feeling you did as when you first started -- you have changed along with Nazra, and there's nothing wrong with that. Sometimes it is okay to start with great enthusiasm and move on to something else when you know your heart has changed.

Sevgili, Rose

Fatma Emam said...

thanks Rose, i share with you many thoughts, and i agree that change of the tasks might be helpful, however we have to admit that this possibility is a luxury in the current sitution within the small strutcure of the NGO,
this post was like a torch to shaw me where i am and what is the next needed step to adjust my work and continue with better spirit