I think I may have become a grownup yesterday.
Either that or I’ve ascended to a higher spiritual plain. Okay, probably not. I sat with my legs crossed with my hands on my knees for almost five minutes last night trying to float because I was really getting into the spiritual ascension theory. This is why belief is so powerful, because the only thing I keep thinking is, “I shouldn’t have tried to test it. I should have just decided I am a higher spiritual order of soul now and RUN WITH THAT.”
One of my friends and I have a theory where we think if we just pretended to have all the answers and told people WHAT’S WHAT and derided people who questioned our awesome answers we would be a lot more popular. At least online. I don’t think being that way works in a “real life friendship” sense, but with my anxiety and occasional freak out that will cause me to miss your get together in favor of driving by and having a panic attack I’m not a great friend sometimes. If you invite me somewhere and I’m late? Check your driveway or street, I’m probably sitting in my car willing myself to move and go be a good guest.
Mostly I think I come across the same way online. A few deep, random thoughts and a whole lot of doing the best I can and hoping someone else can learn from my successes and mistakes. I am not going to pretend I know more than I do. I can’t lead anyone out of poverty because that’s where I am. I’m happy if we can walk through it side-by-side though and be equals. It’s all I can do.
Back to being a totally mature human being….
Is This What Makes Someone Grown Up?
Yesterday was kind of a rough day when you do a highlight reel. I lost two clients and got a critique on one of my stories I use as a litmus test to see if someone is going to critique story or if they are going to critique the style of the story. I know, I’m thinking about writing fiction again. It happened because this guy and I had a three hour phone conversation and it made me realize I love telling stories. (I know you know I love storytelling, but…I’ll get back to this down further in the post. Someone told me I can’t keep going off topic in the middle of other sections of posts.)
On the bright side, one of the clients had convinced me to try and write something I do not write and so I gave it a try, she called it “unusable” (I’ve never had that happen. Milestone!) and I am thrilled I never, ever have to do that again in my whole life because now I know the answer to, “Do you write Press Releases?” is “No.”
The other client is a friend and she was subcontracting something to me and her client knew (because my friend is a good egg and has integrity) and did not like my writing style. I am not one of those awesome chameleon writers who have ten different writing styles to choose from. I have, maybe, three. Fun, professional, and conversational. If the client didn’t like it, I can’t imagine how I could do it a different way. But the client wasn’t unhappy with my friend and my friend wasn’t unhappy with me and, really, a situation where two people are not right for each other with no hard feelings is the best possible poor outcome. If my friend needs something in the future she knows I’m here for her and everyone is okay. Well, except her because now she has to do it herself which was a weight I felt happy knowing I was taking off her shoulders.
I do wish I had been able to help her with that burden.
The press release incident and the style incident (they might both be style incidents, come to think of it, but the press release client did not give me any other feedback) have a lot of things in common. I was not the right person for the job based on how I write and the requirements of the client.
Those situations both happening in the same day was a little overwhelming. Strange, too. Both situations I would probably have been devastated about in the past and used as a springboard to feeling not-good-enough for days. Yesterday I was able to step back and realize that there are things that cannot be changed and doing my best was all I could do.
I didn’t feel heartache, panic, or loss. I felt relief at one situation and sad for the extra time my friend would have to spend on work in the other.
In fact, I have been up two hours and sharing this story with you was a natural priority over checking all my bank accounts and freaking out. There is no need to freak out and there is nothing I can do right now. I checked all my online writing places once this morning and will try again after I hit publish. (Or maybe now, since I’m thinking of it.) Yep, still dry. I’ll keep checking, just in case.
Both the press release client and my friend paid for work they received. So I’m not out anything and I never count on writing income before it’s hatched. I find it works a lot better to be thankful for the extra work when it comes instead of focusing on being disappointed every time it goes.
Let’s talk about something completely different…
Investing Stuff I Found Online
I used to work for an Investment Bank in downtown Chicago a long, long time ago. I was there for the merger of that awful Santa Cruz organic beverage line with some bigger company, I got a green Game Boy when they first came out in colors when some other company went public. (I was a secretary. We got stuff sometimes. I got a Tiffany & Co. bedside water pitcher and glass once for the office Christmas gift. Red letter day, that was. I owned something from Tiffany’s. Sure it was a water pitcher but I convinced myself it was the coolest water pitcher in the world.)
The other thing that happened was the Google IPO. They didn’t run it but everyone at the office talked about it. It was my Big Miss™ in life. That dutch auction I couldn’t figure out how to participate in. Oh if only I could go back, right?
But one of the links on that blog I linked to is this place that does not charge you to buy or sell stocks online. I find that weird and haven’t read into it a lot more but plan to. I don’t like gambling but the stock market – even though it is gambling – is the only way to really increase wealth. I guess I would mitigate my risk with a mutual fund, but then I saw they have THIS THING:
So I’ll be keeping an eye on that and trying not to freak out when I get an email letting me know I can participate in one. Also they have stock accounts with no minimum balance (they said you can start with $10!) I have to do some more research on loyal3 because that all sounds too good to be true. Okay, the IPO doesn’t because if you pool money and then loyal3 buys the shares it makes sense. Fee-free stock purchases? That’s the one I don’t understand.
Have you heard of LOYAL3? I need to do more research. Every time I consider buying anything, ever, I’m going to be thinking, “Could I put this $10 into a stock account instead?” That could really make me a paranoid shopper. Yikes!
(This is the continuation of the storytelling stuff in case you were scrolling down to find it.) While I love telling the story of my life right now because this is kind of the ultimate Choose Your Own Adventure™ book I’m in there is another part of me that wants to tell other stories. Stories that are not my own but are my own.
I’m making no sense.
Maybe as a therapeutic way to regain control over some forces outside my front door that are completely beyond my control like weather and work schedules, writing my own stories would give me that sense of peace. Fiction is a way to be honest in the context of someone else’s false life created by the author. (Yes, I’m honest on this blog. I don’t sugar coat, but I also don’t post about my kids’ poop color, so it’s a give and take with level of honesty. I think we’re good at the money-but-no-poop level, yeah?)
But with fake characters they could feel whatever and I could see how the character worked through those issues. Perhaps it would help me find other ways of dealing with in-person issues that arise like they do for all humans.
I just want hundreds (possibly thousands) of dollars to take classes at LitReactor. I’ve wanted to for a couple years now. I’m sure they’re worth the class prices. Ah well, another thought to put on the shelf for another time.
Not to be completely self-centered, but do you think my complete lack of overreaction to losing clients means I’m an adult now? Or do you think that it’s just hidden, waiting for the wrong moment to jump up and make me feel horribly inadequate as a writer and a human being?