Friday, April 19, 2019

5 Years Later: What Have We Learned?

Lately, I've been a somewhat reflective mood. March 1st was literally 5 years to the day when life as I knew it in NYC changed permanently. What shall we call it? The day my ex-husband decided 100% I had no human worth or the day I fled for my mental sanity? Well, whatever you call it a lot of things have changed & I keep marveling at how things have turned around.

For one thing, I've figured out exactly how to structure my entertainment career. I had exclusive representation then realized it wasn't for me. Maybe it was just the manager I had but I felt like there was too much controlling nonsense going on and I'm not the type who needs Superman to swoop in and save her. A manager contact I actually know said I likely don't need a manager, just a good agent. It felt like where every attorney clamors to get the big law firm job, you get the big law firm job then you do it & realize it's not what you had in mind. In my case, I felt like I was being repressed and having my sense of self-sufficiency taken away. I felt like I was being forced into a mold that didn't fit who I am & I don't want to do a career based around what I'm not. I want a representative who accepts and likes who I am. Somebody who's not going to tell me to hide my film company experience or my law licenses or my producing abilities or get attitude because I'm not some idiot. Someone who's not going to try horning in on things I did by myself or expecting me to placate the insecure assholes who want me to dim my light so they feel better about themselves. I realized I'd rather have my own film production company and create my own content but you need money to do that properly. You'll make far more money doing legal work than you will waiting tables. Recent conversations with sorority sisters who also work in decision making parts of larger companies in the business also made me feel better about this choice since they agreed that I shouldn't have to hide my legal background or my film company experience on my own website and personal social media pages. I'm even getting that creative spark back to start doing writing again & have ideas on what I see going on that nobody is addressing or speaking my voice on. A suggestion to do standup is also something I'm giving real thought to and wondering if I can get receipts if I'm charged for open mic so I can deduct those as business expenses.

I've also been able to afford things I wanted to get and been able to feel more whole again. Getting clothes that were too big for me altered (still working on that). Got renter's insurance, set up an IRA again, got savings accounts, did LASIK and my cosmetic dental work and even got DVDs I didn't get in the big DVD split. Life feels less like deprivation to me now. I even got a new official legal bag and a baseball style jacket and a short sleeved hoodie (things I'd wanted for years & couldn't find). Since my legal hustle has improved and I've made better entertainment contacts, things feel like they're looking up. I've been going to yoga when I can, have a kitty cat around who likes me (not quite like having my own but she is a lot like one of my old kitties in her own way; I'm probably too busy to keep one at this point anyway), have had friends and FWBs who take me out on occasion, fixed problems in my room and living situation I thought would never happen, etc. There's always going to be room for improvement but it feels like many of the problems I've had to deal with aren't impossible to overcome. I even have far better looking in terms of romantic prospects though I'm holding out for Mr. Big Stuff at this point since nobody's come close to surpassing him and I don't think he'd have bothered apologizing to me before if he didn't care at all. He seems a lot like Captain Horndog in the sense that no matter what I do or how hard I push him away, he's just not going to let me push him out of the ring that is my life. I don't feel like a lot of people have that kind of spirit and temerity to deal with the redhead even if she's told you to fuck off, leave her alone, that sort of thing. Part of me feels like maybe he won't ambush me with saying he's going to take up with some other bitch; I know I couldn't do the "let's be friends" thing since I'd really feel resentful of not being given a true shot and like I meant absolutely nothing,

I've been contrasting the new normal with how things were 5 years ago. I still remember it but it's very surreal to me now. I had no means to be independent, I was living in the Scarface mansion, this might have been when I met this really cute guy at an event and he was wowed by me being able to drive a pickup truck after I'd done that out of mere necessity (getting the cat who lived there his cat food since no one else was around to get it and there was no other vehicle I could use for that purpose), I was full on in Phase One of the divorce & had no idea if I was going to be around after October 13th of that year. Months were endless for me, I felt like a ghost and I was fighting to keep things that were just slipping away and vanishing. It also felt like I'd just woken up from a coma when I went to the Scarface mansion & everything had changed.

The perfect symbol of my life is the Cadbury Chocolate Creme Egg.

When my whole "Sex & the City" lifestyle first started, I was eating tons of those. I was staying in the East Village and saw them in the nearby CVS on sale. It was "Chocolate!!! Must get!" Those were something I was able to get and having them helped my emotional state a lot. It's literally super chocolate, a must for the chocolate fiend. Anytime I saw them on the cheap, I bought at least 3 of them. They also got me through 2015 when I was dealing with being on public assistance. I hadn't really had them so much before that whole situation happened.

This year, I go to find those and can't find them to save my life. I look online and no such luck. I can't even figure out what happened. Did they get discontinued? Were they recalled? Why can't you find them? Anything else just pales by comparison. It's made me annoyed but it's also felt like the end of an era, the era of me feeling cheated and wronged from what happened to me. Sometime last year it just felt irrelevant but now since I've been able to do for myself more and get things I've needed for ages but hadn't been able to do in years past, it feels like the scales have balanced out and I don't have to feel cheated and deprived anymore. I also feel like I've survived the worst and anything else that comes my way is far easier to deal with. How can you possibly tell someone who's survived the things I have that she needs to be concerned about what the rest of the world thinks of her or that she's got to cater to someone else's self-esteem problems? On what universe would that ever make sense? I also keep hearing and reading about situations where people followed their hearts, charted their own paths and it led to success. I'm just wondering when the heck I'm getting MY due on such things. As I said, there's still room for improvement though things are far better than they were 5 years ago.