Getting to sleep isn't difficult when I've had three or four hours a night, week after week, month after month. It's staying asleep, keeping the demons groggy enough to remain silent until dawn, that's the challenge.
Beneath the façade of Facebook, it's scary down here.
It's mostly the money. Being single again at this stage of my life doesn't thrill me, but that's not what's keeping the sandman at bay.
I'm a solution-based person. What to do when solutions evade, playing hide and go seek with the problems? New associations, personally and professionally, with fresh starts, promises, hopes and dreams seem to disappear into the darkness before I'm finished bragging about them.
When I'm in faith and turn it over, get out of my own way, do the footwork and let go (how many clichés does it take to make a point?), I allow for miracles to happen. How the hell do I do all that when they're taking their sweet time arriving? While the bank balance decreases, the kids' needs increase, and my fear is on parade?
Almost everyone I know is in the same or similar shape.
I need new friends.
I work. I rarely stop working. As a creative, figuring out how to monetize those efforts takes a lot of creativity.
I have a literary salon, which has birthed a creative community. Its value and impact has exceeded my dreams. Even though it now garners a respectable ticket price, the time required to make this easy-flow production soar is not commensurate with the income it provides. How to grow it? Brilliant minds and generous souls have lent their talents and their dollars. I keep adding layers and new branches to further empower others and increase its viability, yet still remain stuck a long way from fulfilling my family's financial needs. I've been thisclose to breaking through more times than Kardashians marry.
I'm trying to chart a path to a future with meaning and promise... with legs that will endure, that won't put me at the mercy of the economy, a boss, or a younger version of me.
This thing that I do feeds my soul and is of service to others. It's the culmination of everything I've done... what I do well... what I do best. It feels important, perhaps my legacy, an accomplishment that may yet teach my children that if they do what they love the money will follow. Can't you please oh lord, let that shit start now? Would it spoil some vast eternal plan if I were a wealthy man? (Cue Fiddler on the Roof.)
We have a home, a car, food and clothing. Everything is fine right now. Why do I take so little comfort in that? Are the voices that scream, "Enough already, you'll end up with nothing!" the right ones? Or are the cheers of support that encourage me to keep doing what I love and trust that the money will follow? Who am I to believe when it's not just the voice in my head that's screaming, but also my ex, and my own mother? They have a lot of suggestions of what I should do and even more about what I shouldn't... which is basically everything I'm currently doing.
My feet are on the ground. My eyes are shut wide open. I apply for job-jobs just about every day. A full-time mom for years, my resumé is older than I am. My talents are worthy enough, but difficult to market because there are holes in my skill set. I don't want to learn no stinkin' Excel. It's not that it wouldn't serve me, it's just not my area. Why isn't what I do enough? Why aren't I enough?
I am enough. My sponsor says so.
Once upon a time, the want ads provided innumerable solutions for those willing to bend and compromise a bit. Now, even stripping away prerequisites, searching everywhere and applying to everything can still yield, "No thank you," or worse... nothing. Nada. Zilch. Nicht.
Is that the universe's way of keeping me doing what I'm doing?
Fear is not my default. It's where I go when I let "them" in. The worriers. I take on their disbelief. When I stay in the now, in action, my dreams move closer. When I entertain all that can go wrong, something inevitably does.
I will not go quietly into that scary, dark night, where fears lurk, insecurities thrive, where problems are monsters and solutions evade.
I'm turning on the proverbial light. Starting my day, even if it's at 4 a.m., knowing that it's mine to make work. It's all that makes sense. At least until another solution presents. I don't believe in sitting around waiting for things to happen. I have to do everything I can do to facilitate progress, but when I've done all I can think to do, all that's been suggested, I have to stop and breathe and listen for the next direction.
Hope is where the heart lives. Fear is where sickness, pain and failure dwell.
It works personally as well. I have to suit up and show up. Always ready for that exact right person to cross my path. I'm not dressing for a date whenever I leave the house, but I can't afford to look like a real housewife of Loserville, neither.
My sponsor oft reminds me of a line from The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel..."Everything will be alright in the end. So if it's not all right, it's not yet the end."
Not the end.
Follow Vicki Abelson on Twitter: www.twitter.com/vickiabelson