Its a holiday but I decide to work today after spending 2 days straight with my lover. Instead of going to the office I go H-O-M-E. I need to ground myself after a weekend of flying. It’s interesting – my lover grounds himself with me and I fly by being with him. This is why the partner yoga comic is such a good illustration.
My first instinct is to organize all the condo paperwork. I need to slow down and upload this information into my brain. After scanning all the accounting records since 2005, I see that my maintenance fee has increased 62% over 5 years, and I am slowly becoming aware of the job the president has been doing singlehandedly. I am understanding her psychology and I can see that she has been resentful of this work she does for no pay, and worse, I can see how she has been compensating herself. Plenty of fodder for the case we are building against her. And a good lesson for me not to follow in her footsteps.
I still need to upload all the legal letters and notices posted by the president on the bulletin board, but I am exhausted by this subject and I realize I can use this first exercise to look at my personal finances since 2005, when I started my company. I write checks for the Shark ($125) and the assistant ($165) = $290 – $1512.50 = $1311.50 leftover. My goal is to save $1000 so I have $311.50 to re-invest. So I check the details for the Art Whino art class – $40×4 to rent a zipcar, $30×4 for the class and $50 for materials. But it seems like a commitment I can’t make right now. I already started the belly dancing class on Thursdays and I have plenty of work between my three clients. And I need time to produce mash-up videos.
I head to the Cafe in order to let this information simmer as I walk. I will work on my music client there. The Cafe suits the work. Gyspy asks if she is sending me too much work. I decide to use the opportunity to say no and I wish she would send more so I can make more money and quit the Chocolate Factory but right at that moment the Internet dies and I can’t send my message. I take it as a sign, since I just finished telling the angel, who randomly emailed to say I popped into his mind, that I had no intention of staying in DC but I am trying to be aware of the signs. Six months and then I wanted to return to Miami for grad school. A year later, here I am, because my work is not done and the universe hasn’t opened up a clear opportunity yet. If I am to grow, I need to stay put.
The Cafe is overcrowded since today is a holiday, so I leave and walk to the organic market to buy food. Another Red Chakra activity. I buy hormone-free meat, a few different Asian sauces and a bottle of wine.
I feel good as I walk with my bags of groceries back to The Urban Ashram. I decide I should cook dinner for the Planetary Citizen before he leaves for his next trip. Thursday after belly dancing sounds good.
When I get back to the apartment, I take a bath. I want to meditate on birth control. The Planetary Citizen is right that we should be careful. I don’t want to be pregnant before we are ready. But I don’t want to inject myself with hormones. Should we just stop having sex until we are ready? That seems ridiculous. We are already in a relationship. He suggested an IUD. I guess I need to research this.
I also want to meditate on how I can go to SXSW, Miami, Key West and London in March without quitting the Chocolate Factory.
Am I just supposed to stay put?
After the bath I return to organizing condo docs. Why am I investing so much time in the condo? Do I think I can re-develop it into an energy-efficient student housing complex? I decide at that moment that if my intentions are to gentrify, I will make sure that it remains affordable. I need to print out the arbitration form so I go downstairs. There are 2 people on the computers so I take the opportunity to call my brother. He tells me he is developing a financial forecasting app and his wife is designing a calendar for family activities. They are so inspiring. They are so intentional and conscious. He tells me I am thinking like a developer since I want to create a system that allows me to work less. This is amazing to hear from my brother. This was my mission last year – to balance out my right brain with my left brain.
I print out the forms and review them back in The Urban Ashram. I write down all my questions so I am prepared to talk to the other board members.
Exhausted with that, I return to the music client. I decide not to send that email to Gypsy. Instead, I start composing an email to the music client about my ideas for the web site and could he pay for me to go to SXSW.
And since I am not going to the art class, I can focus my energy on things that are already in motion rather than starting something new. My habit. It’s important to stick with things in order to watch them grow.
I am also relieved because now I can just do my work and get dressed for the Planetary Citizen’s party. I have an hour before it begins just when the Underworld texts me that they are discussing the arbitration form. I feel so good that I prepared all day and I am able to speak intelligently about everything. I am also able to delegate the next steps to them rather than taking on more than I can chew. I feel satisfied that I spent the entire day working on something that I could have closure on before relaxing with the Planetary Citizen and friends. Cutting the bread is exactly what I need to do. I feel helpful and I love being in the kitchen like an earth woman.
The Planetary Citizen covers me in kisses periodically and I chat with his best friend about the odd choice of The Sound of Music for a soundtrack for the evening. We both agree it’s gay.
I walk to Busboys and Poets to work on my client web sites.
Energy and Equity by Ivan Illich
US is now spending $1.2 trillion on energy per year.
You have to make big investments to get big returns.
6 quads of energy to power a hurricane.
So many metaphors. That’s why I am here. I am learning how to consciously manage the energy of my body so I can teach it to others. Is this why I passed by Foley & Lardner on Friday night? I remember feeling so weird as I walked to the waterfront to meet the Planetary Citizen and friends. I had to call the Freedom Fighter to feel relaxed before seeing all these new people. I remember how I felt when I spotted the Planetary Citizen across the way. My heart skipped a beat and I started shaking. There is no doubt that I am attracted to this man- not just because he looks good. He is good. He is everything I want and I just want to get along with him the best I can with minimal drama and majority good times.
I said the same thing about the Shark two years ago. And he dumped me. I was too intense. I need to back off the Planetary Citizen. He is an addiction. I am fine on my own.
I head to work in a relatively good mood. This stability is nice.
I tackle all kinds of issues first thing and I am feeling confident. It occurs to me that the systems thinking training tomorrow could help me manage the Chocolate Factory better, and that it would be OK to be completely honest with the Red Queens about what I would like to do. I ask if I can work Saturday instead so I can take class tomorrow and I am met with instant negativity by both. One suddenly springs a web team meeting on me. The other starts asking questions about things she didn’t follow up on. These people have no interest in my personal development or what I bring to this organization. It’s such a different attitude than the High Femmebot’s. The difference is that the Chocolate Factory is paying my bills and the High Femmebot is not. I try my best to negotiate my time and Red Queen #1 won’t budge even though we never discussed having a meeting. I point this out and she says it’s been on the calendar and everyone else can make the meeting. There have been so many other times other people have asked to move the meeting to another day and she said no problem. But because it’s me, she won’t budge. She sucks.
I am exhausted by all this planning and plotting and strategizing.
God, I am tired. I want to stop now.
I go swimming with Niki. She is just getting over being sick. She seems so stressed out. On edge. Or maybe she is reflecting my vibe. After the Red Queen’s refusal to allow me flexibility with my schedule, I am on the precipice again. Ready to jump ship into the unknown. But really. At this point the unknown seems quite lovely to me.
So what next? I have enough money to pay rent for the next two months. The Wilson pool is hiring. I am teaching yoga here on Sunday.
I would like to give notice tomorrow morning and go to the systems thinking class.
I got accepted to Converse College but I wouldn’t be working with Dan Wakefield, the very reason I applied there. It’s because I am pursuing fiction and he is a non-fiction professor. Blaaaaa!
Should I try to switch to non-fiction?
OK. I did it. I resigned from my job. This does not mean I am not working 40 hours a week for no pay. I need to monetize my writing. I can do this. I have 2 months to figure it out.
That’s me being unrealistic. If I learned anything at the chocolate factory it’s that everything is a process and takes time.
Purple Chakra Saturday
I wake up and tidy up the Urban Ashram. I am eager to get to Qualia to add text ads to my Boomtown Fever script. This is how I am monetizing my writing. I have to make money from my Art now. There is no messing around.
I order a latte, my usual, from Owen. I recognize the girl standing next to me but I can’t remember her name. She talks to me first.
“Carol! Great to see you.”
“You too! How is the alliance?”
“Oh I don’t work there anymore. When I saw you I had actually gotten a new job at O Power.”
“Oh my gosh! I love them. They came to our office to give a presentation. I actually just resigned from my position this week!”
“Oh! What happened?”
“I just needed more flexibility. They are really old school there. I was used to working in cafes like here and they wanted me to be there all the time.”
“O Power is hiring a marketing director. You would be perfect for the job.”
“But I would have to be there all the time, right?”
“Yeah, you would.”
“I have so many ideas about yoga and energy efficiency we should still talk. And Niki and Sam are coming over tomorrow to do yoga at my place. You should join us!”
And so, there was the clear sign on my path that I needed and I didn’t even see it…until 24 hours later…
White Chakra Sunday
As much as I want to be a full-time writer, I know I need a job to pay my bills. I need more guidance. The intention I had set was to work for a man who doesn’t want to date me. I still need stability. O Power is where I will work next. This was the clear sign I had been waiting for. And it came because I took the first step!!!
Red Chakra Monday
I wake up feeling positive. My life is changing for the better. I don’t feel miserable anymore about where I am spending my day. There is a light at the end of the tunnel…finally. After 12 months of…well, no, it hasn’t been darkness. It was a fabulous learning experience. I feel OK doing everything I am asked. I don’t have to fight anymore. The politics are over now that I know this is not a long-term relationship. I know now, for sure, that I am not meant to interract daily with the same people/same person. This is detrimental to the longevity of the relationship and this is why weaving in and out with the Planetary Citizen (and everyone else) is the most important element to sharing our lives with each other.
I followed my to-dos with motivation and thought – the lawyer we talked to on Thursday wants to charge us $250/hour to settle this thing with the Condo Witch. We have to shop around, regardless of the Condo Fairy’s impatience. It’s the right thing to do. So I call one of my Miami business contacts, and she answers the phone!! How fortuitous that she is working as a consultant now and has the time to tell me that our mutual friend’s law firm is the best in condo law. In just a few minutes I am emailing him for a quote.
As they say, “Dont underestimate the power of knowing people” and “Dont burn your bridges.”
This is my focus at The Chocolate Factory for the next two weeks. I am keeping my bridge despite all the negative experiences I had with my supervisor and so-called teammates. And I wish them the best.
I go up to the NAHJ office to ask about the conference in Orlando and if there will be a student program again. He mentions several times that he wants Spanish speakers and people who aren’t troublemakers. These are not my qualities so I won’t apply. I will send him an email to say so and thanks for letting me know. I have to know where to invest my energy now. No more messing around.
Been thinking about the Planetary Citizen on and off all day. On the metro to work I felt this extreme melancholy. I know part of my decision to leave my job was to ensure my future with him. I told him I wanted to be around him. Why? He is the father of my future baby. But if we are to be parents, do we work well together? We are more apart than together. Would we get along if we were mostly together? Given my track record, I am not good around anyone on a regular basis. I get sick of people. Shit. Am I destined for eternal solitude? Would I get sick of my own child? Or could I create a scenario where the PC is not a full-time dad and I am raising our daughter among our adopted family members? This means I would be permanently linked to his girlfriends. I have my own sisters – Silvia, Niki, Lizandra, Carol, Lavonne, Vera…
Orange Chakra Tuesday
I head to the Chocolate Factory first thing in the morning to focus on editing the Cookbook. I am a superstar as long as I stay inside my own brain. I take a “break” at Caribou to talk with Capital Institute about their goals for their web site. I am super prepared and give them more than they expect. I feel confident. I don’t edit myself. I speak my mind freely without worrying what they will think. It is a relief after a year of trying to be someone else at the Chocolate Factory. Why couldn’t I be me? Because every time I was, I got squashed and the opposite of encouragement.
Yellow Chakra Wednesday
As I walk from Qualia to the metro, It occurs to me that if I won’t be heading to the Chocolate Factory anymore, where would I go? What would I do? Go swimming? Take a walk? Go to a museum? Visit a friend? Work on Ethical Markets. Work on OPower. Work on Capital Institute. Read. Make a music video. Teach a yoga class. Cook. I have plenty of work to keep me busy. And engaged.
Green Chakra Thursday
I go with Carol to the 9:30 club to listen to some “old” rockers play music for a charity event. Dave Navarro is on stage. We bang our heads to the music.
“That video isn’t appropriate for this venue,” I say to Carol. “They should have edited it to more rockin music.”
Carol perks up. “Thats what you should do! I know people. I know everyone in the clubs. You can show your videos!”
“That means I gotta step up the quality! I make my videos for small screens, not big ones!”
I think of Chris. He is the video editor. We are collaborators. If I want to make money, I would sell his stuff. I am a good sales person. I can make the money I need to live my creative life by selling art.
Blue Chakra Friday
Now that I am on my own again I must be conscious about maintaining work-life balance. I always loved being free during the week and working on weekends. This is because I prefer to spend my time with independent thinkers, not the mainstream weekend warriors. I also have to stay grounded and not let any little thing distract me. Dwayne invited me to go snowboarding the weekend of March 12. This sounds good to me. My immediate reaction is: I wouldn’t be able to afford it. My new, positive reaction is: yes, I can afford it by making sure I continue to do all the things I hated at my job – for myself.
I was making $3,800/mo there. This is NOT that much money! I can replace this income with the opportunities I started cultivating in January.
Rent my apartment – Call Caitlin. She changed my mail scenario. She was just supposed to pick up my mail and send it to me periodically but then she used her judgment rather than asking me first to tell the mailman to start forwarding my mail here in DC. This reminds me of the store and the Red Queen. I used my judgment to hire Mark to fix the store in an effort to help her and she got all pissed off because I made the call without her consent. My intentions were good just like Caitlin’s were good, which is why I am not going to yell at her.
Purple Chakra Saturday
I wake up. This is the most I can manage most of the morning. I am exhausted after a week of straining, strategizing, planning, computing. I still have no sense of my finances and how I will replace my Chocolate Factory income…probably because I haven’t spent quality time with my spreadsheet. Can I really afford to go to Japan? Can I really afford to go to grad school? Should I start applying for flex jobs more aggressively? Could I apply for these jobs and outsource the work to others? I am a project manager, after all.
I have planted other seeds that need tending. No need to plant something new. I need to write back to Dan Wakefield and think deeply about this fiction vs. non-fiction debate. I read his bio and those of the other faculty at Converse. His stands out. He has turned his novels into films and TV series…exactly what I want to do. It would be amazing to work with him directly rather than workshopping with students at the same level as me….and possibly subjecting myself to more disrespectful energies that I don’t need or want in my life. A low residency program would allow me to write from any city – San Francisco, New York, DC, Tokyo, Orlando, Miami, Buenos Aires, Rio…
So I tell Dan that the web site says he works in both fiction AND non-fiction. Couldn’t we work on both genres? Why should we limit ourselves to one?
I am already throwing my weight around. After a year of doing what I am told, I am ready.