excitement · finance · learning

“You know nothing, Jon Snow.”

4.13.18

On Wednesday, I read an article online about investing and the author suggested a book title.  I went to Amazon, found the book, but poked around the “Other Suggested Titles” section and saw one by Tony Robbins — yes, motivational speaker Tony Robbins wrote a finance book, two in fact!

There was something about this intersection of financial and personal growth that appeals/appealed to me much more than a dry, or avid, or Greek-speak, or “for dummies” book on money.  This is ALL NEW TO ME, and along the way, it would be nice to have someone who’s enthusiastic about the information, but also espouses values that align with mine: personal development, gratitude, giving.

So on Wednesday, I used my Audible “credit” (as in, you paid $15/mo for this) to buy the audio book of Money: Mastering the Game, and started listening.

On Thursday, I bought the hard copy, now at my bedside!

I am LOVING this.  I am loving all the new information, trying to understand how these things are working, feeling excited to open the door to a world that not only felt closed off to me, but that I didn’t even know was there.

I’m brushing the mean and meager concepts at this point, reading a bit, asking J the difference between a mutual fund and an index fund, reading more.  I love Robbins’ way of writing/speaking in his book: he curses(!), yet he also doesn’t presume that I, the reader, know anything about personal finance and doesn’t write his explanations in a righteous, pedantic manner.

This. Feels. Accessible.

And what he stresses again and again is that the “game” has been somewhat written to be overcomplex so that you rely on people to do it for you who take a huge chunk of your earnings.  He’s not anti-Wall Street, and explicitly says so in the book, but I’m in the “debunking the financial myths” section, so he’s certainly focused right now on not giving away your power because it’s all too much to follow.

He’s psyched by what he’s saying.  He’s psyched by the possibilities for the reader.  Which is to say, he’s psyched for me.

And, damnit, so am I.

(NOTE: when googling Tony Robbins just now, up come articles that say he’s embroiled in MeToo controversy.  I just want to acknowledge I’ve seen that.)

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action · change · community · deprivation · excitement · expansion · faith · fear · work

Undocking is not the same as Unmoored.

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A friend of mine was a CPA working in the corporate world.
She was making good money and working long hours. And was not happy.
She gave up her apartment, put her purged belongings in
storage, and moved to India for 6 months, studying at an ashram, with no need
for income or work, except inner work.
Then she came back to the States.
You can’t pay your bills with enlightenment.
She found that she had to create a middle-ground, and now, 10
years later, runs a private practice counseling others toward their own
financial/spiritual balance.
I have a feeling I’m about to embark on a similar journey of
finding my middle-ground between financial independence and creative
expression.
Well, I guess I can’t really say embark, when what I mean is
“continue” to simply push the boat out of the harbor. A boat isn’t meant to
stay moored, and you’ll never find out what its strengths or weaknesses are, or
what your skills as a sailor are if you don’t leave the safety of the dock.
To be concrete: I have informed my job that October 31 will
be my last day there.
And the options that I have before me are less than
concrete!
I’ve known for a while that it’s time to move on. In support
of that notion, earlier this year, I not only put in for my own promotion at my
job, but when I was told, “No resources for that,” I went on an active job search,
engaging the help of friends to revamp my resume, made networking dates, and
went on many interviews.
I was even offered a few jobs. Jobs, that perhaps before, I
would have taken.
But the jobs offered, I came to realize continued marching
me up a ladder and on a path that didn’t feel like where I wanted to go.
Despite my “big realization” many months ago about wanting to
move in the direction of an executive director or program director position… I
began to find out more about what that kind of job and life would mean. And it
would mean more hours of my life than I want a job to be.
I found, through that job search, that I don’t want a bigger title with a mildly bigger salary.
That the trajectory on which I am positioned and was looking to be headed was
not one that ended in work-life balance. In a non-profit, there is rarely such
a thing!
So, in came the notion of the “fulcrum,” endeavoring toward
a job or jobs that generated more income with fewer hours. Leaving me the time I
need to create.
When was the last time I picked up a paint brush, or even a
pencil? Have I worked on that essay my aunt suggested I submit to publications?
When was the last time I could really call myself a poet, despite my Master’s
degree in it?
Time. I discovered I wanted to literally buy myself time.
And so, I began to vaguely think about career paths or jobs
that would be in that direction. Then came the High Holidays at work… and the
play… and a halt to any developmental thinking.
But, the holidays are nearly over. It was finalized that
there can’t be a different place for me where I’m at, and after too many days
crying at or after or on the way to work, I am making a leap … not of faith,
but of action.
With the faith that my action will lead me to something
different.
For the past 16 years, since I was 16 years old, I’ve been a
secretary. I’ve adjusted more margins and input more data than there are guidos
in Jersey.
And so I am doing what conventional wisdom says never to
ever do. I am quitting without a job lined up.
I have had a professional-direction conversation nearly
every day since my decision, am having and have had coffee with people to
bounce ideas off of and to network with. I have closed the browser window when
I find myself looking again at jobs that say “Administrative” anywhere in the
title.
I have been in a rut, and the only way to un-rut yourself is
to lean into the discomfort and the growing edge of change. To watch when I’m
teetering into despair, into habitual job search words, … into a Netflix binge,
and to push myself onto the high ground again.
Another email, a sudden “crazy” idea, a phone call for some
more information.
The experience I find most different about this job search
than all my previous “quit with no plan” moves, is that I feel supported by my
current office and all the people I’ve met there. This doesn’t feel impulsive, even though there’s “no plan;”
everyone at my work supports my move, and though they’re sad to see me go, they
have every faith in me that I can do whatever it is that feeds me.
I am reaching out to so many people I’ve met there. This
isn’t a “here’s my two-weeks’ notice” email, as I’ve done a dozen times prior.
This is actually slow and supported in many ways, and I feel it that way.
I am nervous, of course, but I am excited. I feel glad to
notice that my brain is coming up with ideas that might be viable that would
have been totally out of the box, and therefore dismissed, before. I’m not
looking for another 40 hour a week desk job. I am finally willing to look at a
patchwork living.
This is my own “move to India” move, though maybe it’s
closer to the center of rational than I know. I’ve never been willing to have a
few jobs and put them together for a living, because I thought it was too hard,
or too undisciplined, or too “artist.”
I’ve been afraid of judgment: my own, my family’s, my peers’.
I’ve been afraid to try to cobble together a living, because that “sounds” so
hard.
But for 16 years, I’ve worked the 40 hour job. I’ve had the
regular pay-stub with the paid-time off and the health insurance. I’ve had the
computer log-in and the number to the copy machine guy memorized.
I’ve done “normal.”
But, dears, I’ve never exactly been normal.
Here’s to Voltaire’s Candide-cum-internet meme:
“If we do not find something pleasant, at least we will
find something new.”

acting · adulthood · calm · connection · excitement · health · performance · theater

Wow. Wowie Wow Wow

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(Christopher Walken on SNL; check it out if you don’t
know; too funny)


You know when they (I) say “Both/And”? That life is both
this, and that. It is inimitable and gripping, and sallow and challenging? That
life is “everything all at once”?
That you are both excited for your new callback and getting
dressed to get a possible melanoma removed?
Yeah. Both/And.
So, that’s happening right now. In a little while.
I went to the dermatologist about a month ago to get a
strange new mole checked out on my back. She told me that that one was nothing
to worry about; that, in fact, it’s the kind of mole you only see on fully adult
homosapiens. So, I asked, then basically, this new mole is a Rite of Passage
Mole? That I’m officially an adult human, now? Wow. Weird to have your skin
tell you it!
You, Molly Louise, you are now officially an
adult. Instead of a parade, statue, medal, or email from the Universe, you get
this nifty little mole on your back. Holler!!! Luckily, I think it’s kind of
awesome and funny, and I’m really not concerned about the aesthetics of it –
it’s not gross or repulsive or anything. It doesn’t have a satellite moon
orbiting it or have a hair growing from it. – although the Derm said that a
hair is usually a good sign that a mole is not malignant.
(It’s this an awesome
blog topic!)
“BUT,” she said. …
“This other one…” and took out the little 6-inch ruler she
kept in her white lab coat. “Well, this other one, …”
Yeah, that one’s kind of new too, in the last year for sure,
I told her.
So, today I have it taken out. Which means, they have to dig
all the way through ALL of the layers of skin into the fatty flesh below, and
take out, like a dowel in the earth, a cylinder of my skin. Yum.
It’s a small thing, it’ll only leave a centimeter of a scar,
but for a few days, until the stitched, sewn-together skin around it heals and
seals together (our bodies are amazing), no heavy lifting or working out the same way.
Meh. C’est la vie. Small price to pay for solace of mind.
Although, when I told someone when I found this out
those few weeks ago, that it was a possible skin cancer thing, they said, oh,
no big deal, that’s simple, they gauge it out. Done. … Well, I felt like that was a tad insensitive. I mean, this was coming from another young
cancer survivor!
I’m not “worrying twice,” and it is something you just take
out (I think – I don’t know – I’m not Googling anything until the doc indicates
I ought to). But, it’s still a (what’s “less than worrying”) – Ah, concerning, it’s still a concerning thing. So, I’m concerned.
So I get it checked out.
I think my Rite-of-Passage Mole might be on to something.
And, further in the Wow category, this acting
thing. Wowie wow wow, man.
It’s so fun. Sure, I talk about the isolation it offers when
you’re practicing lines alone, auditioning alone, but, the camaraderie that it
leads to, is the point. The opportunity to turn the light on in an audience, to
share something with someone else, is the point. And this is the path to that.
I’m stoked.
I have no clue if this is beginner’s luck, if anything more
will happen, if I’ll circle around the drain of “aspiring actor” for years.
But, SO WHAT.
When I think back to what it felt like on Saturday to join into the
lobby of a group of folks, stand around awkwardly in a room with
other aspirers, to have my name called, and to walk down the dark aisle of the
near-empty theater. To stand on a real stage under real lights, state my name and my piece, and
perform it. To have the director say, “Very nice. Thank you.” To then walk back
up that aisle less than two minutes later, and gather my purse and walk back
out into the amazing Berkeley Spring day?
Well, I’ll tell you:
Wow.