01 October 2023
30 September 2023
Big, deep breath in. Big, deep breath out... cause I'm having a hard time getting started on this thing that I'm trying to write about... where to begin . . .
|[Untitled] Light Paintings I|
I've never considered myself a dreamer.
I'ma very logical realist. Stoic. "Stone-cold Tiffany," à la my adopted brother's assessment.
And yet, I am reaching, aspiring toward, dreaming of a life for myself that most would never even attempt, or even think of, lol.
The facts point to me being a dreamer, and I'm having a hard time reconciling my idea of myself as not-a dreamer. The reality is that I've never thought of my professional goals as dreaming, because I've always taken them very serious, like, I'ma doer, not a dreamer.
And yet, that doing is me chasing a dream.
What are goals but dreams that you are actively trying to make yours?
And no, as a young doer, my dreams were never to be rich, never. My dreams were simpler; they were smaller; they revolved around somehow making my own money, an amount enough to pay the bills, to support myself, because I was so physically incapable of doing the jobs that were available to me after being injured on the job at my very first job out of college.
With a partner who has a similar idea of what freedom is, we embarked on our journey to financially free ourselves from the necessity of jobbing ... wage labor. Over the course of our budding relationship, we started three businesses until we realized that we didn't actually know anything about money. We have a lot of oomph, a lot of go-get 'em, too much intellectual energy, etc., but what we lacked was a financial education.
As children of people who never prioritized teaching us about the world of money, how it works, what it is, what to do with it, etc., we were both left to our own devices to figure it out. And we did.
The figuring out took time, patience, an entire overhaul of our lifestyle, etc., but we did it. We educated ourselves, are now financially very literate, and have made huge financial gains, when considering from where we started.
Only recently, did I realize that Billions was a logical goal for me to pursue.
In short, my dreams have always been about the size of my britches, and as my britches have grown, so have my dreams. Logical. Realist. I do not strive toward that which I do not believe is attainable. Which I know sounds like exactly the opposite of what the socialwebs tell you to do. The "millionaire mindset," that "think big, dream bigger," those peppy procrastinators emphasizing believing over doing, etc., etc., &c.
I'm of the mindset that your dreams need to be realistic for both your abilities and your you-ness. Sure, some people can really make themselves into who they need to be to get where they want to go. Most are not equipped for this sort of "life as a mountain to climb" discipline, etc. This does not mean that you should not dream, however. Dream on. But don't be disappointed when you do nothing but dream and your dreams elude you. Don't be fooled into thinking that success happens to people. People make themselves a success. There's no institution that can deem you a success. Institutions succeed by the success of people who have made themselves a success. Without the success of people, doers, there would be no institutions.
And I've finally arrived at a place in my life where I can no longer be the person upon whom other people pin their hopes, because for too long now, I've pinned my own hopes on myself, and so, my dreams and goals, my doing and doer-ness, is nobody's to claim but my own.
|[Untitled] Light Paintings II|
I'm not gonna lie. I was a childhood success. That kid. The One. I didn't even graduate number one in my high school class, but I won all the money for college. And the white kids I grew up with blame my success on my being not-white, I'm sure, the poster child for diversity, etc., but the social climate of diversity in which we are currently existing is not the social climate in which I grew up. I was the one who wasn't on campus my junior year of high school because I was participating in an off-campus/on-location med-prep program for seniors. I was the one who wasn't on campus my senior year of high school because I was done with nearly all of my high school classes, which meant that I was off campus doing volunteer work during school hours (serving lunch and calling bingo at the local senior citizens' center, shelving books in the local library) and attending college classes at night.
I was fortunate enough to be surrounded by other high-achieving females (twelve of us rounded out the top-twelve in my class, etc.), but I was The One. The one who was never around, like a normal student. The one who won all the awards. The one who was the star of her dance studio, etc., etc., &c.
Sure, I was a big fish in a little pond, but I have zero doubts I would've achieved even more in a large pond. In fact, I think that the smallness of the pond in which I was raised ended up being a huge detriment to my overall preparedness for life, actually.
My point is that people rise. And I rose with a certain trajectory for overall life success.
But... despite my childhood success, life is an altogether different type of beast. Childhood is one thing. Adulthood is a completely other thing. And I was ill equipped for adult life. I was basically equipped with nothing to get through adulthood, because I was equipped with zero knowledge about money. And yet, everyone knows, they know, that money is what makes the world go round. And so, as a child with all of the intellectual privilege, even I was not taught about money. Nobody ever thought to teach me about it, because, first and foremost, nobody I knew/know knows anything about money, and so, who could teach me?
Thus, I put all of my big intellect toward the pursuit of learning about money, and I've been learning, along with fellow big-intellect, the bodybuddy/lifemate, for over a decade now.
And what I've learned is that you cannot pursue money without pursuing learning about money first, what we like to call financial literacy.
And so, after my first Act as an adult to learn as much as I could about the world of money we are trapped inside of, I decided that my Adulting Act II would be to apply all of that learning and pursue money, itself. And I made the pursuit official in September 2022 (I made and uploaded a video about two months later, once my confidence in my decision solidified).
Then the wheels really started churning.
We realized that we were going nowhere, fast, in Longmont, Colorado, USA (Nov 2019-Apr 2023). We had taken on part-time jobs in early 2021 to fill the time and make ends meet during the pandemic, and we sorta got stuck in a rut of reading, writing, eating, planning, developing our businesses and forgetting that there is a big, big world out there. So, we decided to re-enter society and put all of our financial literacy to work.
In April of 2023, we relocated to Honolulu, Hawai'i, USA.
In May 2023, if you had asked, I would've said we're on the greatest journey of our lives! In June 2023, if you had asked, I would've said that we made a really weird decision, because I have no idea why we moved here. By July 2023, if you had asked, I would've said, we made the biggest mistake of our lives. By August 2023, if you had asked, I would've said that we made a much larger leap than we had initially thought this move would be. And now, at the end of September 2023, if you ask, I would say that we did what we had to do to get where we want to go. It's in the math.
|[Untitled] Light Paintings III|
I know both how to recognize when hopes are being pinned on me and what that means.
And so, I was feeling anxious, because, in September, I began to feel that hopes, at my place of exploitation, were beginning to be pinned on me. I don't know how else to explain it. I don't have the energy, right now, to create some beautiful metaphor or story to reveal the feeling. That comes later. For now, I didn't know what to do. I knew that my boss ought not pin his hopes on me, because, it's like I said, I am actively trying to not-job there. Actively.
I didn't know what to do about it for weeks. I didn't even know what to say, because what I needed to say makes me sound both crazy and like a megalomaniac. Then a funny thing happened. It was a combination of me finally fessing up to my boss about my coworker/underling (I don't like to use this term, but within the structural confines of a corporation that exists within capitalism-as-usual, this is the most "correct" term, and I prefer it to subordinate) and pinpointing my anxiety. My bosses took me very seriously when I told them about my coworker/underling, and the boss-boss said that they were actively now looking for someone else to help me in my department.
My anxiety was wrapped up in my knowing that my success could actually come over night. Not in reality, as we have been working on this business for the entirety of our adult lives, etc. But, literally, our lives could change over night.
My job is an important one within the store in which I am exploited. And they were without a person in the position for six months. It is a difficult position to fill, because it is a lot of intellectual work. One must be very organized to accomplish the tasks of the job, but it's not so difficult that you need to be me to do it well. Mastering the job takes time. For me, it was about three months. So, based off of empirical facts, I can guess that it will take someone else, who is not me, about six months to really understand, maybe even up to a year to master fully.
When my boss informed me that they will look for someone new to help me, he offered up a few suggestions, and I gave him my opinion. This is when I was affirmed in my suggestion that he was pinning hopes on me. The combination of my boss's support in needing new help and my pin pointing my anxiety, gave me the courage to come out with it. I wrote him a letter reminding him of my personal-professional situation (we, the bodybuddy/lifemate and I had already informed him when he was hiring us, but he didn't care about us then, we were just meager hourly-wage labor-seekers at that time).
Personal-Professionally, our rocket (the business we've been building since 2019 after nine years of financially educating ourselves and playing with other, smaller business ideas) is about to launch. I obviously cannot predict exactly when this will happen, but someday soon, there will be a launch date.
Over the past month or so, when I thought about how our rocket is going to have a launch date, soon, I would fill with anxiety about my job, about leaving them in the lurch, about being unable to fulfill a two-week notice, because MY ROCKET IS LAUNCHING! It's like I said, I do an important job. It's not the most important job, but it's the kind of job that I would not want to up and abandon.
Coming out with it to my boss relieved me of the burden of feeling guilty. I explained to him my situation over a letter, and then we talked about it in person before I left on Friday. It's a hard thing to explain. I felt very egotistical telling him that I think that our business is on the cusp of success, which means that it's very very possible that on a Wednesday, I could potentially tell him that I cannot work next Monday or any day after that. With the current state of the department, a lot of extra work will be loaded onto fellow coworkers who are already overworked, and I am not that kind of person. He heard me, and we agreed on a succession plan, one that accommodates my personal-professional reality, my soul, and his store's needs.
And so, I bet on myself this past week. I put myself out there in a way that could make me a fool, looking foolish like a fool. Cause what if we don't succeed any time soon? What if I speak, aloud, my dreams to someone real, and then I can't make them happen? What if I speak, aloud, my goals, my pursuits, and, in essence, have someone accommodate my potential but very not-there-yet success? It was a strange experience, and I'm still reeling from it.
I feel scared. It was scary to admit to someone in the flesh that I think that I'm going to be a success, so you need to plan on my exit, sooner rather than later. But I don't need to exit now, and I can't tell you when, but I just know that you should not be pinning your hopes on me.
Who says these kinds of things?
Me, apparently. I am the one. The One who says these sorts of things, because, it's like I said, I'm a logical realist. And I'm kind. I'm nice. I'm a nice fucking person. I'm so nice, in fact, I gross myself out.
And who am I to be the one saying that I'm The One?
I am. I am The One.
And it's scary.
24 September 2023
17 September 2023
Another Monfri, bc I wholeheartedly believe that I will not be doing this job for very long (a year, maybe two, tops, not like the 30+ years jobbed by those who have made a career of it, etc.), &so, this 'career-like' job is a bit of a novel experience, imho + a bit of an outline of my jobbing history, etc.
i've never worked a full-time job, full-time before, now.
I graduated from the University of Colorado at Boulder in May of 2010, two years later than my age would suggest I "should've"graduated, but I dropped out after my junior year at Baylor University for reasons that revolved around my misery. As an aspiring artist, born poor, meaning that college had to be funded by student loans, I was in a hurry to graduate, not wanting to add an extra semester to my studies, because, at Baylor, that would be another $20K or so, at the time.
As a high school graduate, I was awarded tons of money to attend school, and I started my college career is a pre-med student, but that was when I didn't know myself at all, and so, I switched majors, the financial death of any poor student. Since I was "behind," I ended up taking three studio art classes both semesters of my junior year, and I burnt myself out. In short, I quit and moved to Syracuse, New York, to dance full-time.
After a year of dancing, my mind had turned to mush, because, for me, dancing is not intellectually stimulating enough, and so, by the end of one year with the dance company for which I danced, I was enrolled at CU to finish up my degree.
I had so many credits from Baylor as a BFA that I had already completed a BA in Studio Art by CU standards. Nevertheless, because college is a complete racket, I had to take "required classes" that had nothing to do with my major on CU campus to complete my major, e.g. a sequential science class with a lab, along with a handful of other things that had to be done in sequence, so all in all, I had two years of classes to complete, but only had about six classes that needed to be completed.
Since my scholarships didn't go into effect unless I was a full-time student, I ended up taking Art History classes to round out my schedule and graduated with two BAs, one in Studio Art and one in Art History.
Then I went off and got my first full-time job sewing alterations on fur coats in Cherry Creek, Denver, Colorado, USA.
And it was at this job that I received my first worker's compensation checks after my boss (the owner of the shop) ignorantly decided to work on a steel pole that was holding up a bunch of fur coats, directly over my head, as I was standing under it.
The four-inch thick steel pipe fell, landed on my head, and smashed my face into the counter in front of which I had been standing, doing my job. My nose broke, and I was diagnosed as 90% disabled due to the whiplash effect of being hit on the back of the head.
Eight months passed as I healed from nose surgery and lived off of worker's comp, attended physical therapy, and tried my best to stay sane. In the meantime, on good days, the bodybuddy/lifemate and I worked on getting our business ideas off the ground because I was unable to hold down a full-time job. I did a few odd jobs between the end of 2011 and the middle of 2013, but nothing substantial, and certainly nothing full-time. I worked a three-month, full-time contract job behind a computer and barely made it through the three months. Computer work really strains my neck in a way that creates non-stop migraines.Writing this here piece, on my computer, is straining my neck as we speak.
And then we went off to Seoul, South Korea, where I worked a few hours a week as a private tutor, jobbed one month in the summer and one month in the winter during Summer and Winter Intensives (if you know, you know), and wrote two books, Red & Blue Make Green and Bromides (I'm currently working on Book Three, working title, The Listmaker), over the five years we were there.
Then we left, and I developed a writing class called Writing Practitioners while we were living in Auckland, New Zealand, and I hosted my five-part series, and then we moved to Seattle, Washington, USA, and I waited tables and hosted a few writing classes there until I quit when I realized that that is not what I want to do with my time, although, I am still available as a Writing Practitioners Captain, because I do like the idea of helping others become better writers, etc. (see A Writer's Rate Sheet). In short, my physical limitations have limited my job options to hourly-wage labor.
Then we moved to Colorado, USA, just before the pandemic hit, and so, I didn't job at all during 2020, because we had learned what we needed to learn with regards to our financial literacy and finally "had money," etc.
Then 2021 rolled around, and I was so bored, that I thought that I'd get myself a part-time job, so I did. I started at the lowest pay rate at Albertson's/Safeway as a Fresh Cut Clerk. I was paid $12.10/hr for about three months before accruing every raise at the fastest rate possible, because, well, I don't want to toot my own horn, but I'm very good at jobbing, because I'm an intelligent perfectionist who is aware of her own intellectual capabilities, etc. In short, I went from the lowest tiered paid worker to maxed-out pay in two years, and I jobbed three different jobs within the same grocery store. The bodybuddy/lifemate, during all of this time, has been jobbing his adorable, tight ass off making ends meet, and even jobbed part-time at a sandwich shop through the pandemic until he got a part-time job with me at Safeway.
Then we relocated to Honolulu, Hawai'i, USA, because we wanted to, and we transferred to a Safeway here.
Our plan was to keep doing what we were doing. I would work part-time in the bakery. The bodybuddy/lifemate would work part-time in whatever night-shift stocking positions were available. But then, an interesting thing happened. The Director of the store asked if I was available full-time, to which I responded, it depends.
My jobbing history informed me that I am not really physically capable of working behind a desk full-time, so I've never sought jobs like that, and my physical capabilities also prohibit me from doing too much repetitive physical action full-time as well. And so, when the Director asked, I was hesitant yet intrigued.
Then I went for it. I said that I'd learn the job and see how I feel about it. It's a job that's a mix of computer tasks and physical labor. It's sorta perfect. After three weeks of training and two weeks of deciding whether or not I could physically do the job, consistently (intellectually, the job is well below my intellectual capabilities, etc., because, after all, it is hourly-wage labor), I finally officially applied for the position, interviewed, and started being paid $23/hr for a minimum of forty-hours a week (it is also an overnight position, which means I am paid a $2/hr bonus between midnight and 0500).
That was the beginning of July. And now it's the middle of September.
And so, I am confident that I can physically accomplish the job, and I job full-time for the first time in my adult life at the ripened age of thirty-seven.
Jobbing full-time is definitely something that I've had to get used to, because, unlike a lot of my peers who have been jobbing full-time since graduating from college, I am only just now jobbing full-time, over a decade after not jobbing full-time.
The upside of my first-job disaster is that the bodybuddy/lifemate and I have been solely focused on freeing ourselves financially, and honestly, this is the greatest gift we could've given to ourselves, and honestly, my workplace injury deserves a lot of credit for our grit.
But since we've been planting our entrepreneurship seeds for over a decade, we are nearing the phase of bearing our fruit, right at the moment I finally have a full-time job that I not only like but also, that I can physically accomplish. Oh the irony of life makes it all worth the misery, doesn't it?
Thus, I am confident that I will not be jobbing this full-time job very long. We've been feeling the g-force of our exponential liftoff since about the middle of last year (2022), which, to us, means that we are very near succeeding at our own entrepreneurial endeavors.
I honestly have no idea what "succeeding" looks like, because we're in the business of bringing to life that which has yet to be brought to life, and so, I don't know what my life is going to look like, exactly, but I do know that my professional life is about to change. I can feel it. I can feel something coming, and I am beginning to feel confident that that coming something is our rocket lifting off, and I've been seriously preparing myself for this liftoff for the past six weeks or so.
All of our hard work toward financial freedom has already paid off. We're financially literate, and money is no scary thing. Our entrepreneurial endeavors, however, have yet to pay out, but I believe very strongly that we are there, right at that "moment of lift," and it feels... fucking amazing.
In short, I jobbed my way through a corporate ladder and climbed from the literal bottom to the top of the bottom (I'm a manager of a department) in two-and-a-half years. I only highlight this because you can, too. There are a lot of hourly-wage laborers who couldn't give two shits about their job, and so, they do them poorly. Sure, they get their scheduled raises, but they are going nowhere, fast. And so, if you want to get somewhere, all you have to do is care about your job a little. Not a lot, and definitely not TOO much. This is not about the inequity of wage labor, because I don't have time for that, right now, although, it's becoming abundantly clear that I need to write about wage-labor, more succinctly, sooner rather than later. I have, however, already created and described a new type of business model that could ease the the pinch on hourly-wage labor, generally speaking. Nevertheless...
Don't get it twisted; your employer doesn't care about you, so don't give them anymore than what's required, but at the very least, do what's required of you. This simple distinction will make you stand out, and you will rise through whatever company you're jobbing for. It's a fact.
And now, I'm in a position that would really set me up well as an hourly-wage laborer for the next thirty+ years, but the timing couldn't be more prescient, because I am also at the very cusp of no longer needing a job or an employer, because our businesses are making our own work for us. AH! The irony. *sigh*
Anyway, I have no point as this was a mere outline. But I suppose if a point needs to be made, it's that, as a poor human on planet Earth, you can job for an employer while you work to financially free yourself. You don't need to quit your job while you pursue your dreams. And you don't need to give up your dreams because of your job.
If you want, you can do it all.
16 September 2023
After the sandwich arrived, they waited forty-eight hours, and then they slept on it.
It's been a year since they slept on the sandwich.
The sandwich knows how heavy you are.
She's desperate, desperate, did you hear me?, to make sure that everyone knows that she's better than the sandwich. Do you know the type? Pretentious, "I don't eat anything out of a can, and I sure as hell don't eat anything packaged, especially my baked goods; they are all freshly handmade, only; well, except bread, I buy the most. expensive. bread."
The sandwich can hear you.
It's always what someone warns you against that reveals to you who they are, for example: the nastiest person will always warn you that the sandwich is nasty; the person who's out to get you will always complain about how the sandwich is the enemy; and the person who schemes to destroy you insists that the world is full, full I tell you, of people who only want to harm you, that the sandwich just wants to spew negativity into the world.
Blessed are the poor, for they are meek, or really, for those in power, it's best that the poor remain meek and powerless, in love with the sandwich, because we outnumber them 1,000 to 1.
She doesn't hate the sandwich; she hates from where the sandwich came.
The sandwich insists that you always listen to the ass-holes; they are confident in their ability to release shit into the world. You were warned.
Being is not enough. The sandwich says that you must also earn your place in this world. Others, lesser beings, say that you are enough, that you, just you, deserve every happiness. The sandwich disagrees.
14 September 2023
DISCLAIMER: Trigger Warning | Suicide Ideation
Linus finishes his spiel for Rusty, Rusty asks, "You scared?"
to which Linus responds, "You suicidal?"
to which Rusty scoff/giggles, "Only in the morning."
To me, it is because of my deep, deep appreciation for this exchange (and my general lamentations with regards to my wanting it all to end, be over already, etc.) that the bodybuddy/lifemate looked at me recently and said, "I read that children of trauma are oftentimes so low-key suicidal, that they don't even think to mention it to their therapists."
I was busy at the time of his stating this, randomly, out loud one day, on my computer doing something or other, and since I'm parked at the end of his desk, having cutout a space for myself on his desk, I looked at him, and said, "Yea. I've never even thought to mention it to any of my past therapists."
And then he sorta shrugged (it's not a shrug; it's a very bodybuddy/lifemate-specific movement that he does with his body wherein others would shrug) and went on with his whatever he was doing before he said what he said out loud.
I've been legally bound to him as his property for some time now, and I've known him even longer. So, generally speaking, when words come out of his mouth, you listen, cause he's a fucking double-air sign.
And then we started talking about how I am, actually, very suicidal in the mornings, no joke. Always have been, and that line, especially coming out of the character Rusty (I don't care much for Brad, generally, but that character, *muah* he played it well) at exactly that moment makes me feel a small kinship with the writer of that interaction. I feel like, yea, the guy who wrote those lines knows. He knows, and then I don't feel so alone in the world. It's also entirely possible that he just thought it'd be a funny line, but whatever, I can believe whatever I want about this cause, at the end of the day, we're talking about a movie.
I never really knew that other people didn't have just a low-boil swirl in their heads about suicide, ending it all, etc. I had no clue. I thought I was "normal," in this regard, but I am not.
I also don't feel ill, because my psychological make-up isn't hindering me from living my life, and it's not debilitating. It is there, though, all the time. A slow, dull nagging.
... nevertheless, "Callin' it quits now, baby, I'm a wreck" ...
This week, we've been monitoring how what we do before I go to bed affects my psychological state when I awake. We've discussed what exactly it is that's happening to me when I wake up, and we've come to the realization that I sleep really deeply, like really super-fucking hard. And so, when I wake, my mind slowly becomes burdened by the weight of me, my life, living, life, in general.
And for me, it's a lot.
I'm not entirely sure why my trauma has affected me like this, and I'm sure if I paid a professional to listen to me, we would nail down the specifics more succinctly, but I digress.
Over the past week or two, my mornings have actually improved, and for me, simply acknowledging my suicidal feelings out loud has really dampened them, given them less power by making them smaller by speaking them aloud, releasing them from the interior space of my mind to be freed and looked at in the real world, and in the real world, my thoughts regarding the taking of my own life, the ending of all this ... is-ness, the wanting of it all to just. be. over. shrinks to a size that looks manageable. It's not scary. I'm not scared; I'm suicidal.
The struggle, for me, is not about whether or not I'm going to kill myself. I will not. I love life. I'm more like the character 22 (I fucking cried my eyes out during that movie, because 22's perspective was so poignant, etc.), not really liking anything specific, feeling a bit lost like I have no purpose, but then the feel of the breeze, the giggles giggled, the fun-ness of life ... I love it.
But my mind makes up all sorts of reasons why it's all so pointless, and I trudge through my day, making my way through a dark corridor where there is a speck of light that catches my curiosity, and so, really, I am wholly grateful that, at the end of the day, I am a curious person.