Believe, Baby

I’m blogging so much because I don’t want to write my book. You realize this, don’t you?

That’s okay, it’s just temporary. I’m adjusting. Going straight to work on the book is too ballsy psychologically — it’s accepting I’ve really been laid off, and it’s acknowledging that I have choices I need to make about my future.

It’s also terrifying financially, because writing a book TODAY likely doesn’t pay for two to three years, if ever. But we don’t talk about “if ever” because I’m choosing to believe the hype.

Have you ever read my writing about believing the hype? Possibly the single most powerful line I’ve ever learned off a talkshow, that’s what that is.

Patti LaBelle was on an episode of Oprah that was all about Fabulous Women in their 50s or something, and the question du moment was, “If you could tell your 35-year-old self any one thing, what would it be?”

So, Patti grins and goes, “Believe the hype, baby. Believe the hype.”

I’m TRYING to force myself to have this point of view where I believe I’m All That, Yo, but it’s difficult. Let’s face it, some insecurities take a lifetime to get over. I’m working on things. But getting tossed from a job, even if it’s by a boss who’s so upset her eyes have been red all day, doesn’t do a lot to prop up the self-esteem, no matter how channeled you are into running with the unemployment opportunity.

This week’s about transitioning — it’s about resting and chilling, getting in touch with silence and not talking to people. It’s about thinking about things I want, and little things I need to accomplish. Mostly, it’s just finding focus, cleaning house, and recharging batteries. And lots of baking. Oh, lord. Step back from the flour, lady.

Not sure I’ve explained the particulars of my situation to y’all.

I’m in the awkwardly strange situation of being in an open unemployment.

I’m laid off indefinitely; they have three months to get enough work to give me my job back, but someone else has seniority. On July 1st, I either will be back at work or cut a fat severance cheque. If, however, I was to take a new job before that 3 months, I’d lose severance. If I decline to return to the job when I’m offered work again, I lose severance.

The uncertainty of this time off makes me wonder how committed I can be to it. It makes me think about choices I have to make. My bosses know theirs is the last job I ever want. Everyone knows I want to write a book.

I’m not good with uncertainty.

You tell me a thing’s a certain way, I’m head-down and moving on, man. Tell me what is, and I’ll show you how to accept it and get over it. But keep me in suspense, have me living in the unknown of this-way-or-that? A part of my brain’s always chowing down on the potentials to try to process the invariable “what ifs” that come with.

But when it’s What Is? Pfft, I’m down with that. I just need to know, then I make a plan and run. Otherwise, my focuses scatter and I’m a twitchy scattered fool too.

For now? All I can do is reduce the chaos around me as I try to figure out the direction I’m supposed to go in.

I’m pretty sure that direction is writing.

It doesn’t make it any less scary to be “pretty sure” of it. I’m fucking terrified.

Writing’s easily the hardest art to pursue emotionally, and that’s biased, sure, but every other art has buffers between you and it. Art can abstract and be only an aspect of a view into the artist’s mind. Photography reveals nothing of the picture-snapper. Music can be picked apart in 20 different ways and can be liked and disliked at the same time. “Great vocals, but the melodies sort of suck.”

But, writing?

There’s nothing HERE but my words. That’s IT. Hi, reader! See? Nothing. Me, you, my words. That’s what we got, that’s all that’s there.

Emotionally, signing up to write a book at the same time I’ve become unemployed and can’t afford a life at all, it’s just kinda like agreeing to take a long dark walk into the deepest parts of my mind that, y’know, I’m more than happy to avoid. All alone — very, very alone. And when I want a break from it? I’m too broke to take social breaks — just getting out of my Cube Ghetto costs $4.50 return.

I’m not scared of monsters, I’m scared of long dark walks in unrelenting caves. Like writing. And I’m scared of not having excuses. I gotta put my money where my mouth is. I hate that.

Work — the 9-to-5 rat-race kinda dealio — is an excuse. “Oh, I never do X anymore because of work.” It’s such a time obligation and mental distraction that it’s easy to buy or sell the “got no time, I’m a workin’ stiff” excuse.

Take work out of the equation, then what can you blame when you avoid it? Nothing.

You know what I got?

I got no excuses. You, me, the fat lady in the street, we all know it. I got no excuses. I got time, I supposedly got the will, I got skillz. I just ain’t got no excuses.

For now, I have the “but my house is a mess!” excuse but that’ll be dead and gone by Monday, I imagine. Don’t worry, I’m stretching that out.

Then? Yeah. Onward.

Belief in yourself is easier when it’s not the only thing between you and the street. I’m not well-monied. I’m one of those people who’s two cheques from the street at any given time. This city isn’t kind to the lower-income sorts, and fear’s something I’m pretty in touch with right now.

But I still got belief. Do I believe the hype? Nah. Not yet. But I believe discussion’s merited, and that’s a start.

[Oh, and I’ll point out the PAYPAL DONATION button top right. And if you think I’ve got gall for doing so, just remember who’s doing the writing. There’s nothing wrong with me believing my work possibly might be worth something to you. I’m also pretty aware not many people have money to give these days. There’s nothing wrong with me point out a link, is all.]

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One Comment

  1. alana
    Posted April 8, 2010 at 3:16 pm | Permalink

    You tell me a thing’s a certain way, I’m head-down and moving on, man. Tell me what is, and I’ll show you how to accept it and get over it. But keep me in suspense, have me living in the unknown of this-way-or-that? A part of my brain’s always chowing down on the potentials to try to process the invariable “what ifs” that come with.”

    i find that i’m the same way…i wonder if it has anything to do with having ADHD. i’m in a strange place in terms of school, work and “relationship”. i’m constantly repeating the hype to myself so that i will come to believe it wholeheartedly.

    …and if you lived closer to the ‘peg, you’d totally get fed once in a while ;)

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