Good Guys vs. Bad Guys
For years I downplayed my family’s financial status, mostly influenced by the culture of political activists I was surrounded by. When you are immersed in an “us vs. them” where the “them” is people with financial wealth who oppress and plunder, of course your inclination is to do everything you can to distance yourself from the bad guys.
Now the days of self-imposed poverty are gone. I realized that I wasn’t doing anyone a service by denying the access to social and financial network that I have. Not facing financial priviledge does not get rid of economic disparities in wealth distribution in this country.
And, I don’t believe in good guys or bad guys any more, just people. People who are complex and damaged. Which is why I hated The Kite Runner but loved Shalimar the Clown. But musings on the representation of relgious hardliners in the Middle East is an entirely different blog post.Hopefully one I’ll write soon.
Saying it Out Loud
So even though people say it a million times a day on TV, and in conversation with each other and it’s one of the fundamental story arcs of every movie and song, I still have a hard time publicly admitting:
1. I want to start a business.
2. I want to be financially successful.
3. I want to run it as the sole owner, for now.
Clearly, I should not have been awarded that American citizenship status when I was 18. Because what’s more American than wanting more? Than wanting to be rich?
I seem to have a lot of challenges connecting with a basic value that’s all around me. And I think it’s overly simplistic to blame it all on the years that I was surrounded by scruffy burn-the-rich punk rockers.
I thought the process of starting up this business was going to be a cerebral one of getting over the hurdles of learning about marketing logistics, learning to use computers and things I could train myself in.
But turns out it’s been mostly about:
1. Peeling aside all different shapes and forms of guilt that cling to me for a variety of reasons.
2. Feeling like I deserve it.
3. Feeling like I’m capable of it.
4. Being okay with making mistakes and falling on my face a few times along the way.
Number #4 is the most debilitating. Because one small sway of feeling like I might not be 100% “together” and on solid ground triggers every story of failure I have about myself in about a nanosecond. Is that how fast the Enterprise travels at warp speed? It’s that fast. Except instead of some good looking captain, it’s like some stinky, putrid sharp tounged monster giving orders.
“Make it so.” (That’s what Captain Pickard would say when he gave orders to his crew)
And then I’m back to believing I can’t pull this off successfully.
Finally, The News
A few weeks ago I told the lovely people at my paid day job that I am planning on leaving by the end of the summer to go back to teaching film and video production and to build The Flickering Light into a viable business and create a part time paid position for myself.
I entered my business plan into a local competetion earlier this year and recently found out that I’ve made it to the third round as a finalist. I have to go make a presentation to the panel of judges in a few weeks. If I win, I not only get a chunk of money, but I get a stamp of approval that will allow me to walk into a bank and get a loan. In otherwords: I’m incredibly close to making my dream of five years come true. eek.
Here I am in the meantime in crazy limbo. Full time until June 30th, part time the rest of the summer, a mortgage and student loans hanging over me, with no solid work lined up, yet. YET. And holding frequent negotiations with monsters so I can not feel “bad” for wanting to be successful.