Foundation for a better life and making dreams come true

I have 2 basic dreams:  to establish myself as:  1) a vocalist/musician;  2) a film script/novel/blog writer.  I wanted to be a musician and writer as a child, but my belief that I was stupid, ugly, uncreative, unlovable and undeserving got in the way.  I couldn’t change those beliefs until I went bankrupt 8 years ago.   In that place of having nothing I faced the truth of my self esteem and what I believed about myself.

I set about doing the inner work I had to, to be able to change.  I also began to sing, play piano and write again.  Gradually, as I changed on the inside, my creativity developed, and my desire and ability to have healthy relationships.  Now I’m rediscovering my mojo, reconnecting with my dreams and people, and starting my life over, with the same dreams but a better foundation.   I’m claiming my life back.

This is what I’ve done on my own so far:

Singing: I’ve developed my voice with some lessons, but mostly on my own.  I have a jazz repertoire of about 100 songs, but I’m developing my own compositions too.   I play piano (classical for my own benefit, and am learning jazz) and acoustic guitar (only have a cheap one).  See my blog of August 24 for more on that.

Writing:  I’ve completed a TV series with colleagues;  I wrote a novel Meeting Robert de Niro (working title) then adapted it to a screenplay, which I got to Robert de Niro (haven’t heard from him, though).   The script ended up being better than the novel, so I need to rewrite the latter.   I’m on the 5th draft of my 2nd script, and have 2 others partially written plus 2 in early stages of development.  I’ve started on a book about my bankruptcy experience, what it taught me and how it benefitted me.  Finally I’ve started a crime novel, which will be the first in a series.  I also write this blog, and post articles on Searchwarp.com

Not having money has stood me in good stead in a way up to this point, because it’s forced me to focus on developing my – music and writing.   I’ve had help for survival up to now, and haven’t needed many material resources but now they are starting to be important for me to take the next steps, as I move out into the world.

Recovery from bankruptcy (to read the story in 6 parts click here) included overcoming my fear of the world, and beginning to earn again.  I  have some work that brings in money, but it’s often not enough to sustain me very well (I live off about US$650 – 700 a month, which includes $400 for rent), and definitely not enough to pay for equipment.

This is what I need right now:  I’ve quoted approximately.
1.         Good quality condenser microphone (Rode M3); US150
2.         Decent guitar (Tanglewood); US$400
3.         Piano overhaul (pads needs replacement); US$500
4.         Good quality digital camera (for my blog, and to earn with iStock);  US$600
5.         Good quality video camera (also for blog, and to earn with YouTube); US$600
6.         More memory for my computer;  US$60
7.         Cost of sending scripts to: Oprah, Charlize Theron, Matt Damon, Jim Carey, Gavin Hood, Sol Kerzner, 5 other US producers, Sandra Bullock, George Clooney, Renee Zelweiger.  US$630 – $45 per script
8.         Paper and cartridges for printing scripts and manuscripts US$210 – $15 per script
9.         Decent anti-virus / spyware etc.; US$519
10.         Get my car fixed (service, starter motor, new tires, and rust fixed); US$600

These items will give me better earning capacity, and allow me to take the next steps in moving forward in my two chosen arenas.  I’m looking for help to create a balance in my life between financial independence again and the development of my dreams.

If you have a suggestion, or something you don’t use that you’d like to pass on to me, I’d be so grateful.  If you want to donate some money that will also be wonderful.  Click on the “donate” button and follow instructions.  Choose your own amount.  I don’t get to see your bank or credit card details, by the way.

Thanks for reading this.

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Am I entitled to back-up?

I keep going back to that question whose origins I understand, but the answer to which I haven’t been able to make my own yet.  When people have such terrible circumstances they’re allowed to have a response to their pain, they’re allowed to have others offer them money, food, even if they don’t need it.  Am I entitled to back-up whether my circumstances are comparatively much less dire?  Am I enough just as I am to deserve the nurturing and protection and support I long for so that I can learn to do it for myself?  Can I have all this without being punished emotionally?

Today I must phone my mother to ask if she can pay my rent.  I know she won’t say no, and she might even be okay with it and nice about it.  But I also know that the next time we speak I’ll be her emotional punch bag.   I feel so small and vulnerable when I talk to her.  She won’t look at the work I’ve done in these last 6 years, what I’ve achieved.  Refuses to listen to my side of the story re my bankruptcy, even.   I can’t seem to stop wanting her to want to listen.

Up until about a year ago, 100% of our conversations were about her.  I was just the listener, and she did all the talking.  I know everything there is to know about her and her life, her challenges, her triumphs.  If ever I tried to talk about myself, she would get this physical reaction – a compulsive yawn, couldn’t stop herself.   And at the earliest opportunity she’d redirect the conversation back to her.   I’ve learned to claim time in our conversations, but I have to be aggressive to do it, and she still doesn’t really listen or remember anything I’ve told her, because she resents my aggressiveness.

In our relationship, she is the one who’s supposed to get all the strokes.   I know she genuinely doesn’t see it that way.  The one thing she does remember is that I need to ask her for money!  I am grateful for all the help she’s given me.  She’s not wealthy, she’s got a fixed income and no investments that I know of.  I am grateful that she does what she can.  I don’t feel good about taking her money at all.  And I’m not grateful for what I have to pay emotionally.

My heart’s jumping about again.  The problem between us is that I want her to change.  I know that.  She has the right to be who she is.  The journey, the challenge, is mine, not hers.  It’s hard to accept.

My new novel and script are doing great. This is the first time I’ve done so much ground-work on the story before I started the script or the book.  I wrote and rewrote the story a gazillion times, and the characters’ bios, then I expanded the story and wrote out the dynamics of all the scenes for the script.  I spent 7 months on that.  It’s really paying off.

I look forward to the day when I’m independent from my writing.  Yessir.  But some nasty sneaking suspicion lies within me that that day will come when I can give myself permission to not take emotional abuse because I need back-up.  When I can really believe it.  At least I’m on the way.

Jim Carey said when he was a kid he won a bicycle in a lottery that he didn’t take a ticket in, and it was the first time he realized miracles can happen.  Well, the same thing happened to me, I won a bicycle and I hadn’t bought a ticket, but I didn’t make the connection then – you know, that I don’t have to make it happen, I don’t have to be abused to be rewarded.  It’s just taking me a bit longer to really understand it, is all.

Can my dreams come true also?

Everywhere I look I see or hear people saying never give up on your dreams.  It’s hard to believe mine will ever come true when there’s such a gap between them and my every-day reality, and when it can be so hard for me to meet my simple needs.

The debate in my head doesn’t help, either, because it’s usually won at the core of me by the message I’ve had since I was an infant.   You’re not allowed to have what you need.  Forget it, it’s never going to happen for you.  You’re not enough, you don’t deserve it.  Keep on dreaming if that makes you happy, but it’s not going to help you.  Don’ t think you can change this, you can’t.

Intellectually I know where the message comes from but my intellect is powerless to even touch my conviction at some level that other people’s dreams can come true, but not mine.   I know it doesn’t even make sense, why should I be singled out by the universe in this negative way?   It’s like a negative narcissism.  I’m the only one in the world whose dreams can’t come true.

That’s ridiculous.  I know it’s a contamination.  There are plenty of people around who get what they need, whether they deserve it or not. Maybe the problem is that I still believe I’ve got to work hard for it, that unless I do I’m not good enough.  That knowledge isn’t helping me today.

I woke up this morning to shame and humiliation that I had to borrow money to pay for a  cardiologist.  Even writing this is hard.  I know shame and humiliation are about fear of being punished – being scorned, laughed at, hated, ostractized.  Some small part of me felt pinned under that fear.  It still does.  My heart is jumping about all over the place.

The humiliation of poverty.  It’s crippling.  My car is old and rusty now.  I met an ex-client and his wife who invited me to dinner with an architect we both knew.  I arrived in my car, and parked behind their Mercedes outside the restaurant.  Their faces dropped.  After dinner, they hustled me out of the restaurant and then went back in, and emerged with the architect and his wife.  I hadn’t left yet.  They wouldn’t even look at me as I got into my car and pulled away.  I held onto my dignity as much as I could, but inside I felt crushed, dirty, worthless.

I can still feel it today.  And in my head is the voice of my pig parent what’s the matter with you, you think anybody reading this blog is going to be sympathetic?  They’re going to say this is boring, this woman’s a victim.

The only thing I know to do is to just shut my mind to that voice.  I know it comes from what I internalized when I was small that I was stupid, ugly, unlovable, worthless – and a blight on people’s lives. I know now that it was a lie then and it still is.  And maybe somebody reading this blog would laugh at me, but that wouldn’t be about me, it would be about them.  And there’s just as much possibility that somebody else will read it and think I know what she’s talking about because I’ve been there.

I know all this intellectually, but today I don’t really know it – not emotionally.  I wish – I hope – that somebody does read this and respond.  It feels like I’m writing to somebody and not just to myself… Well, I’m not going to give up.  I’m going to carry on working on my film script, my thriller novel, my bio.  One foot in front of the next.  One day at a time.  That’s about all I know how to do.  Doesn’t feel like enough.