Thursday, May 5, 2011

Ok So Far

I would be lying if I said that this first month as a self-employed writer was easy. The first two weeks were more about getting a routine down and having my body readjust to less physical exhaustion, stress, junk food, and irregular sleeping patterns. I've freaked out about my identity, my school loans, not being an "employee," health insurance, and whether I should be making all these changes at once.

I've debated whether I should collect another degree, sell or rent my house, stay home and find another sales/service job, etc., etc. I've spent too many hours doing a lot of worrying and watching a bunch of old demons come back to life. I've woken up in the middle of the night to a random religious sermon on television about how your value is not what you have but who you are. This somewhat feisty female minister was preaching to her audience about America's identity crisis epidemic and how we should learn to value our spirits rather than appearances, degrees, titles, and the work we do. The gist of the message is that our identity is separate from what we are attached to or what we were once associated with. We are still valuable and worthwhile.

It was 4 in the morning. I was suddenly awake and willing to listen to the words of a Christian minister. I found myself comforted and smiling back in agreement. It was certainly not a coincidence.

Some of the things that I wanted to get accomplished in the past month haven't been done. I haven't gotten around to getting my dishwasher replaced, my stock options cashed out, my garage cleaned out, my outside bulbs changed out, sorting through my entire house, making it to the gym five times a week, or getting serious about searching for a job. It's mostly because I've been busy writing to keep the same amount of money coming in.

Old demons. Old habits. Old thought patterns that aren't helpful.

Last night I started to laugh because after I convert my 401(k) to yet another Roth IRA account, I'll have enough to live off of for two years. Not that this is a license to get lazy, but I realized that I should stop putting so much pressure on myself. Maybe it's not a coincidence that the money is there. Just perhaps I really am supposed to focus on writing for the next two years.

I've applied for a few jobs in the past few weeks, but not many. The few that I have applied to I'm overqualified for. Positions that require a bachelor's degree are paying $12 or $13 dollars an hour. It doesn't help that I have an MBA, five years of sales experience, seventeen years of customer service experience, and so on. Eventually I'll find a match, but right now I'm not driving to Denver for $12 an hour when I can write at home and earn anywhere from $20 to $30.

This morning I drove across town to drop off a job application and resume to an organization that makes a difference. My brother actually takes some of his life skills classes there. The position doesn't pay more than $13 an hour, they prefer someone who can speak Spanish, and it is only 36 hours a week. Still, I figured I'd give it a shot because being involved with an organization that makes a difference is something I'm drawn to.

Of course it wasn't any coincidence either that I saw a car parked in the parking lot with a certain license plate attached to it; right next to another one with a set of numbers that seemed to whisper "don't give up."

I think that's one of the dark sides of humanity. We try to sabotage our own happiness sometimes. We can't quite accept who we are outside of a certain fish bowl or two.

So I drove out of that parking lot, Kesha cd blaring through my side door speakers. And I started to laugh again. Obviously the universe thinks I still need to be reminded of what I should be focused on.

Yes, the plane tickets are still reserved with a certain destination. This new life-I haven't had it long. But it gives me what I need and I'm happy. It's only been a month. Why not give it a chance?

The other night I dreamt I was in an airport. It wasn't just any airport. It had movie theaters and banquet halls full of the most incredible gourmet breakfast dishes. Blueberry pancakes, oranges, strawberries, coffee, good china, and fancy servers. But I wouldn't eat. I just wanted to get on a plane that I couldn't find. No matter which line or gate I went to, I still couldn't reach the one that would take me to the destination printed on my ticket. None of the lines really led anywhere. You just had to keep going. Even though you couldn't see the end, you had to trust that you would eventually get there. You had to believe.

I woke up before I could see the end or find my plane. Sometimes even when you have a ticket, you never reach your intended destination. So what if I never reach my plane? So what if this ticket turns out to be useless or a waste of time or a false illusion? I'll still end up somewhere.

And like the tag said on that blue van that passed me on the bypass this morning, I'm "ok so far."

1 comment:

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