Wednesday, July 25, 2007

"Half my life is over and I have nothing to show for it" (rambling)

So I fell asleep in the middle of watching Sideways and woke up at the part when Miles(Paul Giamatti's character) talks to his book agent - Evelyn.

He asks her how his book is doing.

She does her best to let him down gently and ends up calling his book:

"One of those unfortunate cases of, a fabulous book with no home"


Miles goes into a wine-swilling rage.

Eventually he calms down and explains to his friend Jack (Thomas Haden Church)
Miles - "half my life is over and I have nothing to show for it. nothing, I'm a thumbprint on a window of a skyscraper. I'm a smudge of excrement, on a tissue, surging out to sea with a million tons of raw sewage"

Jack - "See right there what you just said...that was beautiful... I could never write that"

Miles- "Neither could I. Actually I think it's Beaukowski(sp?)"


Although I identify a little with Miles - at best, my life would be 1/3 over and conversely, I think I've accomplished a ton in the past 3 years. It's been a struggle and I've learned a lot.

What does this have to do with finance or personal finance you ask? Not a whole lot I can think of other than I think that exchange is pretty funny and for the past several months - probably close to 8 months & counting - I've had a book manuscript written, but not edited at all.

I have shown the book to exactly '0' book agents and parts of the book to maybe a total of 2.5 friends. Yet, I keep getting this weird feeling or at least premonition(whispers from God?) that if I would just make an honest effort to get the book published, it would do fairly well and alleviate at least some of my financial concerns.

I think what keeps me back is I have a fear of success more than a fear of failure. I think of all the bad things that could possibly happen if I were to get a book published rather than the good things and the fear of those bad things happening paralyzes me into procrastination. This not only goes for my writing exploits though it also goes for many other aspects of my life where there is risk. I guess my hatred of the spotlight and direct attention makes me much rather prefer and cling to mediocrity than to try and excel. I've always been much more satisfied with being 2nd or 2nd-to-last because I had the assurance that at least I was not the extreme and thus not the focus of scrutiny.

If I truly applied myself and made different choices from say high school on, I have little doubt I could be:
  • making $100,000 a year - or
  • living in a more comfortable climate
  • working full time as an artist and still putting food on the table & paying the rent on time
But, In hindsight, I guess everyone has opinions and ideals of what they could do or could have done if they had made different choices.

However, into every life a little rain must fall. Who knows - if I had stayed in Ohio initially rather than Chicago, I could have quite possibly be making $100,000 a year but to be honest the thought of giving up those 3 crazy years in Chi-town and the great memories that come along with them - I don't think I'd be willing to part with them for $100K and a job I hated.

Living in a more comfortable climate like say Arizona or Florida would be nice. But would I be stressed out and overladen with debt? I have friend who lives in one of those states now and although he probably makes more than me he rents and pays more than triple for rent what I do.

If I worked as an artist - would I be able to deal with the unspoken criticism I would definitely receive from friends and family? My extended family especially is very materialistic and I'm not sure If I could be civil at family gatherings if they asked me how the 'art -thing' was doing as one cousin or another talked about the house they bought or the promotion they just got.

Wow - this post has gone on much longer than I intended. I'll end it by saying 1/3 of my life is over and I have quite a bit to show for it - 2/3rds is left to go and I can only see it getting better and better.

1 comment:

I can not believe my eyes! said...

My extended family especially is very materialistic and I'm not sure If I could be civil at family gatherings if they asked me how the 'art -thing' was doing as one cousin or another talked about the house they bought or the promotion they just got.


As humans this is one of our bigest weakness, caring about what other people think.