Thursday, August 15, 2013

Bookkeepers Don't Take Chances

I'm an author surviving as a bookkeeper. I stumbled into this career niche working for CPAs. They cultivated my detail laser and reinforced my perfection mania--breaking me of teenage laziness that lingered through my twenties. They also developed a natural number fascination.

When I moved to Boston, I was paid twice a month. Rent was more than one paycheck so the second had to last four weeks (minus the extra bit for rent). I entertained myself by watching every penny. I bought an account book and tracked my expenses with the enthusiasm of fantasy football geek.

Renting cheap movies was my only indulgence. I spent hours roaming the aisles of older movies and discovered some kick-ass titles during that time. Juggling adult expenses for the first time, I nodded before the sage advice to save my pennies for big purchases, to invest in my retirement first, and to always pay my savings.

I think these are wise tactics. But they're not conduscive to being creative. In fact, they rely on fear of tomorrow. All the energy goes into enjoying retirement or worrying about catastrophe. I think denying our every whim is positive but we can go too far. I believe we can even call down some of our worst fears and make them reality.

Now there's an interesting topic--the power of the mind. Isn't that what positive thinking is all about? The strength to kick fear off of your dreams?

Now let's ponder Kevin Smith and Clerks. He maxed out his credit cards to produce that little film and the rest is history. That story is my ice axe as I claw up a very steep slope.

Being creative requires leaps of faith. It requires scary steps without knowing if there's a net. It requires dare-devil living. It requires endurance while the world says, "SEE, I told you so!" 

It's always the worst before the best. Or that's what they say. And the only way to know for sure is to push yourself past your limits.

I'm an intuitive person. Every Myers Briggs test I've ever taken scored a with-a-doubt "N." I trust my gut but the world will mock you for doing that. I had to trust it enough to quit my job to move back to the Midwest, pursuing three loves: love of writing, love of family, and potential true love.

It felt right, so I leapt. The tumble down wasn't always pleasant but I love the new view. Physics doesn't work here. Despite a few falls, I'm higher than I've ever been.

And I love experiences. I use experiences. I open my store of emotional moments and I paint with my soul.

That type of trust is solid. The scary leap is going for it clean. I'm in the deepest valley climbing the steepest slope (so far). I'm worrying about how high I am in regards to how hard I'll splat. I need to celebrate my progress and concentrate on moving forward. Falling isn't an option. That's fear trying to gnaw my rope. The placement of my bolts is excellent. I don't need to reppel and check my gear.

So what is the next step to believing in myself--the key to climbing higher than ever before? 

Not worrying about the balance of our credit card as my husband and I buy animation software, pay for the services of experts, and build our caves. We're investing. In ourselves. It's not traditional. It doesn't provide a progress graph of untouchable money stashed away under penalty for early withdrawal. 

I was taught to pay off the balance of my credit card. I didn't a few times in my twenties and it was a lesson well learned. Carrying a balance goes against every financial guru's advice for the average human. But I'm not hedging against someone else's returns. I'm hedging on me. I'm a high risk investment broker and I'm the commodity.

The higher I climb, the scarier that balance will get. Hence, the Kevin Smith ice axe.