Saturday, October 26, 2013

Big Picture Stuff & Trying to Define Success

Thursday would have been my father's 60th birthday; if you read this blog regularly, saw that entry or know me in real life, you know he died in June. I was trying to keep the day free since I wasn't sure how I'd feel. I ended up being asked to do paying work so I spent some of my day on that. Then my husband asks me, the sick woman he gave his cold to, to do dishes & other domestic tasks (I'm pretty sure he also asked me to make HIS tea even though he swore he didn't).

Actually had a great conversation with the person I'm doing paid work for. He pointed out some things that are completely accurate from my vantage point & it made me feel really good to hear it. It was further confirmation that I'm exactly where I belong & am no dummy here. My therapist also read the Yelp review I wrote on her (which was 100% truthful) & she told me yesterday that I am a writer.

My husband & I are finally going to go to marriage counseling. I'm proud & happy that he admitted there are problems in this marriage & he took the initiative to set that up with someone who may be compatible with who we are + take our insurance. I definitely think his stunt last week was a turning point, at least for me.

One big thing I absolutely won't put up with from anyone is abuse; emotional abuse is most certainly included in that. I had to put up with enough emotional abuse from my father & then I was a child who had no say or options to leave (though I did tell my mother when I was 7 that she should get a divorce & probably kept saying that over the years or asking why she wouldn't leave). As an adult, that is simply not going to fly with me from anyone. I don't care if you've been married 100 years or 100 seconds; no one deserves that. I have a lot to say about where I see problems and what I will and won't put up with.

Today's conversation kind of further proves that no one should dare accuse me of living in a delusion when I say my entertainment pursuits are going to pay off & that I'm just where I need to be professionally speaking. It's one thing to hear it from the world at large; it's another to hear it from your family members or your relatives. Calling my career a hobby or me delusional on this one is extremely offensive & means I won't be dealing with you since that shows me you've got zero respect toward me as a person or for any creative talents I have.

It seems like a lot of people in my life are in the midst of major transitions & changes. I sort of wonder if I'm going to be one of them in the near future; I honestly don't know how things are going to go but this status quo isn't going to cut it. Between me & my sister, I wonder whether these men think that because our father is dead they now get to treat us like shit since he's not around to kick their butts. If they think that's the case, they'll be in for some very sad realities.

I'm also the type of person who never hung around bullshit. My affection for a guy faded very quickly if I was disrespected, lied to, or the guy did something horrid. Now I was more often the dumpee than the dumper but when I was feeling oppressed or angry or hurt & the guy never acknowledged or respected my feelings, I was out the door. I also never tolerated anyone's attempts to control me or tell me what to do (I still won't). There's one definitive sign that it's over: when you're crying after you've had sex with someone. Once you do that, you have to face the fact that it's over & done.

As I told a friend of mine, if this marriage ended I'd probably never want to get married again. I wouldn't be helpless & figure my friends won't let me cede to that feeling but I think I'd only want open marriage if I ever got close enough to anyone again to want even a slight commitment. I'm still shocked I got close enough to my husband to have a relationship with him since I never was able to do that with anyone else, even when I wasn't looking for Mr. Right Now. I'm not even sure I ever looked for Mr. Right since I felt Mr. Right was a myth.

Now for some reason the Biography channel is showing that old show Confessions of a Matchmaker, which I remember watching years ago back when it aired. I think my husband may have found it. I was watching an episode where she's trying to help this guy who is a "deluded" musician because he works in a music store & is trying to be a rocker. He'd apparently had an album but they didn't go into too much detail about what he did, if he had gigs, what he was trying to do, who he knew, anything like that. The matchmaker was just dismissing him as delusional because of his age (within my range, by the way) & because of his day job in retail.

It's been my contention that success isn't something with a quantifiable definition, especially in the entertainment field. You can make money at it but not be famous & you can also be famous but broke. You can win awards, get great opportunities & have lots of contacts while having to take a day job. I just don't define it by money & if you did that in entertainment, most of the people in it would be "failures" by that definition.

Recently, I read this book about the oral history of Nickelodeon's early days. One fact I learned was that a lot of people doing the shows many of us know and love form that time were working for passion, not money. I don't think anyone would have called those people "failures" back in the day & I'm sure most wouldn't now.

See what I mean about success not being defined by money? At the end of the day, I'm pretty sure it's what each person personally defines as success. You might think I'm "successful" but perhaps I don't, just like I might call myself a success even if someone else wouldn't. It sounds a little New Age but I do think there's no real quantifiable definition of it, just a perception that everyone has to define for themselves.

Oh, and let me also say that I think the people who define success by a paycheck are the same people who have zero creative talent, would never get the opportunities our innovators get & may very well know this fact (while also hating it). The people who don't think that way are a breath of fresh air to people in my industry, let me tell you.

Since getting back to this post a few days later (my schedule is literally that insane these days) I'm still in the midst of waiting for what life is going to bring. I guess in some way we all are.

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