But I do have a feel for things in the realm of communication, group process and emotional expression. These are the areas where I have spent my personal and professional energy. And I have come to believe these arenas are going to be just as important as permaculture, bicycle repair and defense. I am counting on this in fact.
I hope to develop a career that will span pre-, during-, and post- collapse if there could be such a thing. I hope to become and educator and facilitator for communities concerned about peak oil, and relocalizing their energy, economic and food sources. That is why I am educating myself about peak oil and going to workshops about facilitation. I have a long way to go but I feel this is my calling.
My journey went something like this: read peak oil bulletin boards. Get totally overwhelmed. Try to figure out what I should do to prepare. Read threads about jobs skills that will be valuable in the future. Totally freak out because I am not cut out to be a butcher, a baker, a candlestick maker. Have an aha moment based on I what I learned from What Color is your Parachute? People have skills with ideas, with things, and with animals/people. Me, I'm squarely in the people skills category. But none of the jobs that were being described were people skills!
I was stumped by this. My first thought was OMG! My skills won't be needed. They will be a luxury we can't afford. I am going to have to do work I don't like. Misery, etc.
Then I had another aha from my feminist days. The idea that women's work is basically unpaid labor. I thought--these folks are assuming that their mothers, sisters, daughters are going to take care of the people stuff "for free." That they will just give, without expecting to be compensated, and that they will have to do work in addition to this in order to survive.
(I don't mean to imply that men aren't expected to do uncompensated work, I am just explaining my process.)
Somehow this realization enabled me to assert the value of the people skills. Given the stresses that communities will be under, they will probably be more important in the future. So how could I be helpful here? Given that I don't have a lot of experience in close-proximity community living, how could I make this my vocation?
That's when I began my adventures exploring the realm of intentional communities, and one thing led to another and now I am taking facilitation workshops emphasizing cohousing issues.
What brought this whole topic up for me, and gave me the courage to write about it, is a post by Paula Hay on her adaptation zine. (She also has a blog.) She talks about being a woman at the Local Solutions conference woman at the Local Solutions conference in NYC this last weekend.
One of the "real stories" of the Local Solutions conference, from my perspective, was a surprising theme that kept cropping up among the people with whom I spoke. It seems that among the Peak Oil grassroots--or at least among folks at the Local Solutions conference--there is a desire to hear from more women working on Peak Oil and Relocalization. I heard more comments about this than about nearly any other issue, I assume because I am one of the few women engaged in publishing Peak Oil-related information.This is an emerging theme and I (and Paula) would love to hear your thoughts.