Today is also Day 6 of winning over insomnia and anxiety. Because I have been able to sleep, the dreams are back. Because the dreams are back, the forest is able to speak to me again more directly. Because I can hear the forest again, I am able to gather enough strength to fight back the anxieties and terrors of real life.
The first night that I won was because I let everything go. In a sense, I gave up. I surrendered and stopped. And it was what gave me a kind of release that also allowed me to find the last safe space in my head where I can close my eyes surrounded by silence.
The day after I had enough energy to find a stable center from which to navigate the hours, which was also a refreshed perspective from which to survey and review all the devastations of my life so far.
It became a simple goal of keeping and protecting that center, day after day. At night I had to surrender and let go, to be absent and invisible to the anxious thoughts, nagging worries, and the heavy, heavy dread.
It helped a little that on that first day of winning I was aided by a timely small paycheck which helped me settle a few real-life things. Unpaid bills have an unusual strength in breaking through any calm. Perhaps I will be overcome again towards the end of the month but I will use the time between now and then to be stronger and maybe I will also be lucky to get another paycheck.
I am literally surviving on empty, living dangerously day by day, everything hinged on chances and good luck.
On the other hand, in a strange sort of way, I have been living as I had wished — with only my art and the art shop filling my days. Except that the income part is not yet happening.
Last week I launched a new shop on a local e-commerce site which is supposed to offer easier and better access for anyone. It’s like setting up shop in a mall — there’s more than enough customer traffic and people who visit are primed to spend. It’s convenient because people will go to the site regularly and my shop is no longer out of the way in another site. The main challenge is to be noticed and picked among the large crowd of sellers.
It all goes back to bringing in my own crowd. So at the core, the objectives remain to build my own reach and creating interest and pointing them to the shop which is located in a place that they are already familiar and comfortable with. The whole “build it and they will come” is not a sure thing because I have built so many shops in so many spaces both online and offline and those who actually come are still dependent on how many I was able to reach beforehand. It all boils down to who and how many you know. This is usually my cue on regretting my severe lack of social and network skills and lamenting the disadvantage of being an introvert in an extrovert society.
So anyway, today I will do shop work. And studio work. I hope I do. I hope I am not distracted or interrupted. I have about nine dayjob sideline potentials that I could pursue intensely and I know I could win them all and make money but it won’t be easy money even if it appears that way. I used to think that’s my easy money option but in truth, it is just a default option. It’s not easy when I start breaking out in hives and hyperventilating when I even contemplate actively pursuing any of it.
So today I will try instead to apply all I’ve learned on marketing and advertising to my art shop. But I need funds, as always. It’s a tiring daily refrain, this constant need for funds.
I am currently watching a Korean drama titled Hello, Me and it was like watching a version of me but without the love story angle (and fortunately without the being-the-cause-of-your-parent’s-death angle) only the failed adulting. No job, no money, no home of her own, living day-to-day, nothing to show for her long years while everyone else in her generation has progressed through the milestones as normal adult humans do. (Could I maybe have the love story angle, please?)