This Is a Test

Ever feel like life is testing you?

Like it’s asking you, “OK, now how positive are you?” as it slaps another problem in your lap.

You have a bit of a freak out, and then tell yourself to breathe and think of the best case scenarios instead of the worst. But really, what’s running through your head is just “f#####¢k…. now?? I was just starting to get things together again.”

In my mind, this is what 2014 looks like:

I will produce another short film, this time take it to Cannes, and other film festivals. I will make a documentary for the 168 Film Festival this year, though probably not attend. I will make a little trip to Hawaii sometime between January-March, and return to Paris in May, for Cannes. I will continue working on my web series idea, but with everything else going on, it probably won’t happen this year. After a few months in Paris, I’ll hit the road/sky/sea and do a little traveling, returning to L.A. by the end of the year.

But this is how 2013 is ending:

Very slow with the background work, only 2-3 days a week and nothing so far this week. I think it’s hiatus already. I’m spending the rest of the year at home, which I figured would give me time to write scripts and music (oh yeah, forgot to put that in there. I want to get songs done this year, and perform while traveling!). My mom ended up in the hospital last week, and is in rehab maybe even through Christmas, which makes me kind of wish I could be around to keep her company or help out or something, but tickets right now (thank you, Christmas….) are at least $800. That and the fact that I can’t leave my pets alone means I’m sticking to my original plan. Then yesterday I get an email from the tenants of the mobile home I own, saying they’re giving their 30 days notice. After almost 2 years. Seriously?! Mid-month, right before Christmas?! You’re kidding…. So now everything else I thought I could focus on takes a backseat to not losing over $1000 next month if I don’t get someone in right away, and over $2000 for February if I still don’t have someone in there. I only make a little over $2000 a month and have nothing in savings except the $300 I just started a savings account with yesterday for the tenants’ deposit refund. I was just starting to relax about the money situation. And between you and me, I don’t even have the money to give them their deposit back, so I’m relying on the next tenant’s deposit for that. It’s been a horrible year, financially.

So. I’m a little overwhelmed and want to hide under something, but I know I can’t. I know every moment now needs to be spent trying to earn money and find new tenants. I don’t know if I’ll get this short film done. The person I was going to write with just bowed out because she has her own financial crisis right now, and even without these tenants leaving and potentially losing me money I don’t have, Cannes is not looking like it’ll happen this year. Maybe next year….

I’m a little tired of this one-thing-after-another pattern. I just wanted some time to settle in, earn a little money, and move forward again.

I know I shouldn’t freak out and sob over something that hasn’t even happened yet, but the stress of knowing what the worst case scenario is and how it affects the rest of my year is kind of a downer. After the last two tenants I had periods of 2 weeks to a month where the place was empty, and I lost a lot of money. This year… I don’t have that money to lose.

But I’m trying to manage my reaction. Instead of “whaaaaayyyyyy?!” I’m trying to breath and think, “OK, it’s just something that needs to be done.” And it means I just have to work extra hard if I want to survive, and also fulfill my creative goals. The more crises I have to deal with in life, the more prepared and calm I will be for future ones, right?

I’ve also been listing some of my things for sale on eBay, and etsy, and in addition to earning a little money (about $200 in the past month, yay!) I’m also clearing out my life a bit. With this extra pressure on for the holidays, it’s forcing me to look even harder at what I own and what I can part with. So that’s a good thing.

But perhaps it’s all a lesson on inner peace… something you keep no matter what’s going on in your life. Something I’m still working on finding…. 😛 I don’t believe that God sends hardships, or sickness, or sorrow… but I also haven’t quite found the secret to overflowing blessings and abundance. Perhaps Matthew 6:33 is the secret….

But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

I’m trying, I’m trying….. 😛