Tag Archives: self-employment

Unbottled

I’m awash in lazy contentment like a kitty sprawled in a sunbeam. It’s been had a long week filled with accomplishments, lotsa physicality, and a whole lotta thinkin’ goin’ on.

Through it all, I’ve kept most of my stuff bottled up. Writing wasn’t on the landscape this week. Sometimes I put a lid on it all and let things simmer and meld for days on end, like an Italian slow-food-of-love cookin’ affair. Thought-stew. Stewing.

I’ve been organizing my home. Gruelling. 2 days, 48 flights of stairs, 14 Swiffer cloths, a roll of paper towel, a bunch of rags, 95 degrees, and a lot of elbow grease.

I’d actually written about what I expected of the experience, but got was so absorbed in my other work that I never edited or posted the piece.

This is how it began:

Big sigh. I’m on the verge of something I’ve wanted for a long time.

I’ll have the most space ever in all my storage areas. Nothing will be crowded anymore, anywhere.

I’ll have a cardio machine in a non-intrusive corner of my bedroom, my living room even more spacious for working out, and probably have the best floorplan I’ve ever had.

My bathtub works again and I haven’t seen a cockroach in two months. I even pad around barefoot sometimes.

I’m so fuckin’ thrilled I could cry.

Tomorrow starts the Great Ordering of the Steffiverse. Finally, chaos will be banished.

For someone who has a fear of clutter and a penchant for lapsing into mild-mannered agoraphobia, it’s been a hell of a few years on the home front.

My friends who’ve been by my side through The Decade From Hell can attest that my home has matched my life for much of that time. The more I’ve shed of worries, weights, and problems, the more my home has opened up and reflected my personality more than my drama.

And here I am, largely on the other side of that.

***

Basking in mostly order and slack today, I’m in the midst of defining what I want the future to be over the next year, as I figure out this massive application for a self-employment program I desperately want to take, deadline Thursday.

I’ve recently been putting the feelers out, talking to people, networking, all that. I’ve really been surprised in the last couple of days at just how many people have responded positively to requests from me to put in writing that they’d like to work with me one day soon, as required by my application.

Judging by the variety of people I’ve received letters from (and I only needed 2, have 10), it’ll be a really exciting 2011. If I do get accepted into one of the programs I want desperately to attend, I know it’ll throw doors open that only I can be responsible for closing.

I don’t have any doubt in what I’m capable of, I just question how well I’ll do at making that happen. It’s like writing — just because I can form an idea doesn’t mean I can translate it into words on a page, though I may try.

But in creating a new surroundings, I’m hoping to create a new mindset open to new possibilities and inviting of opportunity. It’s the proverbial “starting somewhere”.

***

Someone told me once that purging your belongings to create space is how you persuade the universe to gift you more. You know I’m not Frou-Frou / New-Agey Girl, but I do believe we have more power to create our life than we’re often led to believe, and in a less mantra-ish kind of way than necessarily espoused by pop-guru thingies like Eat Pray Love.

Photo by Ihtatho.

The reason it’s so important to me to get my home under control when it’s in a state of chaos, which was most of the time, is because I really feel it reflects who I am at any point in time. I really do. When it’s in chaos, I know I am too, and that inner-chaos is reflected everywhere around me, visually reminding me that I am actively failing at, well, just about everything.

So, I’m getting there. Every time I organize, there’s less to sort through. I don’t feel I’m done. I can live with less. Over time, I want to explore Less. For me, less will become more.

***

I saw a line on Facebook today — that repository of deep and meaningful [said dryly] social fluff — where someone proclaimed something like, “Don’t worry about people from the past, there’s a reason they didn’t make it into the future.”

I suppose that’s true of who I once was. There’s a reason that version of me didn’t survive. There’s a reason this version of me is in flux.

Simply remembering “there’s a reason” can be infinitely valuable, after all.

Though, I must say, sometimes it’s good to remember not everything needs a reason.

***

Sometimes, you know, I sit back and think, “Hmm, I’m glad I’m a writer. Maybe now I can find some sense [or pattern or direction or reason] in all of this.” I sit down, I write, and, yeah, at the end I’m just as lost as I was when I began.

Like now. I still don’t really have a handle on where my life is going. How could I possibly? I’m hoping. Like when I tried playing horseshoes last week, I had no fucking idea how I’d get the shoe around the peg, but I aimed and I hoped.

Life’s just like that. You can’t know. You can’t be sure. You can’t be decisive. Instead, you just roll with the waves as they land on you, and hope you catch the right breaks when they do.

That’s where I am. I know what I control, I know what I don’t. What I do control, I’m trying to rock. When it all comes down, I want to know I did what I could, and I did it as best I could.

Then we’ll see.

Then we’ll see, indeed.

***

I think September has often been the most change-inducing month in my years. Twice, I’ve kicked off September just being lucky to be alive, riddled with injuries suffered in motor vehicle incidents. Other times I’ve done wacky things like moving to the Yukon. Once I quit a job, told the boss to go to hell, and started the path for losing 70 pounds. Another time I blew my back out.

See? September’s a license to get wacky around these-here Steffparts.

But this year, I’m applying for something that could set me on a completely different path.

Last week, I laid the foundation by creating a new homespace that could allow for order, success, and new acquisitions.

This week, I lay a new kind of foundation in the hopes of gaining education. And other stuff.

Next week, who knows.

And that’s kinda what I love about it. September looms. A season of change. I’m ready for more.

Jumping into the Darkness

Before you read on: I know you MEAN well, but don’t give me life advice right now. You have about 3% of the information you need in order to offer specific-to-me insight. If you’re a friend of mine in REAL life, please talk to me over a beer.

If you only know me online, I love you for caring, but don’t weigh in. Life’s confusing enough without 80 cooks in my kitchen. I’m just thinking out loud, not soliciting advice here. Understood?

You rock. Thanks.

—-

I withdraw, sometimes.

It’s most likely to happen: a) if I’m rethinking my life’s direction, or b) when I’m jarred by a person, thing, or event/series of events.

And it happens.

Recently, a) and b) have happened.

Thus, this past week, I’ve withdrawn. Mostly because I couldn’t really withdraw last week. And I still had a lot I needed to do this week, and a lot of crap to deal with.

But in the moments I could, I withdrew. It was everything I’d hoped it could be. I hope to do even more of it next week.

Someone’s got some thinkin’ to do, and she’s not too sure how much she wants to share.

You already know I’m a big believer in writing your way through things.

Yet sometimes it’s better to get through life with a bump-in-the-night approach. Feel your way through and have quiet faith in where it takes you.

Do not be afraid, blindfolded grasshopper.

Bump-in-the-night’s a pretty solitary experience, though. Putting it out there for public consumption is a pretty foolish endeavour. Some things are just better left inside some days.

“Do I go this way? Do I go that way? What’s it feel like? Did I step on a bug?” Yeah, foolish to share.

Sometimes thoughts seem like stars being born. An idea appears as if out of nowhere, just an inkling in a semi-dark mind. Nebulous in its power and growing, slowly gaining clarity and discernible features as it comes into light.

Sometimes life events are like that, too, and to really learn what we’re being taught, we need silence and a little time alone in the dark.

Lately, I’ve sorta been hanging out in my own private darkness, looking for a lightswitch.

Last week, I did a big new thing. I officially became self-employed. Finally legally laid off for good-for good from my old employer, I took the jump and now my new work for them is in the form of Self-Employed Earnings. The exact direction I want to go in is a little hazy, but I’m off to a new start.

It’s a scary leap in a million ways, a jump in the dark with no safety net. Pretty terrifying, regardless of the fact that I deep-down think I can do it.

I mean, I know thar be no monsters, but sometimes when I turn the lights out, I get a little scared at night, y’know? It happens. The curse of being imaginative.

In the bold new world of 24/7 and epic personal schedules, it’s pretty easy to ultimately realize the only person you can ever really, really count on is yourself.

That’s not saying I don’t trust my friends to be there for me — that’s just me learning the hard way that their lives can get in the way, too, and I won’t always know why at the time, so instead of feeling like they’ve let me down, it’s usually better to have a self-sufficient plan of getting through things.

Sometimes self-sufficiency is the only way to go.

When it comes to things like self-employment, it’s really all about you. It’s about you putting in the work, getting it done, capitalizing on connections, and living up to the hype. You can have all the fuckin’ friends in the world but if you’re selling shit product, doing shit work, or delivering shit service, you’ll land face-first in the dirt every time — and rightly so.

This time I have to do it on my own, but I know that if I do provide great product, awesome service, and I do my work like a professional should, then not only will I have success, but my friends will have nothing to lose from supporting me.

Some people take business referrals very seriously, and everyone else who doesn’t SHOULD. Who you refer reflects entirely on you. They’re great to have a beer with but offer no business scruples? That’s on you. They screw your friends over in the end-run? On you. They flake out? On you.

I refer few people. I’ll be honoured when I see judicious people doing the same for me.

But, that’s somewhere down the road. I’m new to this.

For now, I’m figuring out my future and it’s a very strange and difficult path. Designing any kind of career based on the internet and writing for it is a pretty harrowing thing these days. No one knows where it will lead. So, I’m a-thinkin’ life over — and what I bring to it all.

For me, it’s a follow-the-heart do-what-thou-wilt moment. There’s a door open to me and I’m not really sure what’s on the other side of it, but I think I can take it. I think I can kick its ass and take it.

I just need a moment alone to find that in me. Don’t we all?