Category Archives: journal

Another post about work. You can skip it.

I can’t write.  I brought my laptop to work and now I’m sitting here listening to my hispanic worker talking about her crazy shenanigans with her boyfriend.

“Why would he be driving off in MY car with a man who has money on his head?  He know’s people want him dead.  He know’s there’s a hit man after him and he’s driving around in MY car with my kids carseats thrown in the back and some girl in the front seat.”

Me – “That’s shit.”

“She don’t need to be driving around in the front seat with him.  Why was she in the front seat?  I jumped on that car like a spider monkey and sucker punched him in the face through the window.”

She showed me some bruises on her arm.

Me – “Then what happened?”

“He drove off speeding and weaving in and out of traffic in MY car.”

Me – “Did you report the car stolen?”

“Yeah I went to the police but they said it has to be missing for 24 hours before I can do anything.  It’s because I let him borrow it for work so I had to wait to report it stolen.”

I know it’s bad to stereotype, I know, but she’s just like someone you’d see in a movie.  Super cute with her big hoop earrings, her hair always done up in different styles and that spunky Latina accent.  She looks like a young Janet Jackson but sounds like Rosy Perez.  Last week she told me about a high-speed police chase she and her boyfriend were in.

Okay, I’m home now.  Laying in bed watching It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.

I was on top of the world yesterday.  I was up to 96 members, a good hefty sum of money in my bank account even after having spent thousands of frivolous dollars this month, and my new employee who’s taking over most of my shifts starts this week – yes on top of the world.  That is until I glanced at my bank account two hours ago to see that the IRS had taken out $1,200.

Shit…..

Shit!

Shit….

The thing is, I don’t want to work anymore.  That’s my ultimate goal.  And with the start of my fifth employee, I’ll now be working Wednesday evenings, every other Saturday from 11-3, and I’m still working freaking doubles every Sunday – but that’s it.  That’s my work load until I reach 115 members and my new employee can assume the rest of my shifts.  I’ll be “by request only.”  All my favorite clients already have my cell phone number to text me for appointments.

I have to rely heavily on my employee’s to rake in dough while I’m not there.

I know that 96 members sounds like a lot, but once you factor everything in, 96 members will only cover the cost of my workers and little else.  I sell 40 Groupons a month which pays for most of the rent, but all other bills and stupid taxes are not yet covered.  As long as I make at least $80 a day, I’m good – but now that I’m hardly working anymore, it’s going to be a constant struggle in hoping that my little stinkers hit $80 a day.

Under normal circumstances I wouldn’t be worried, every day I sell more and more memberships, but I’m planning a month long trip to Thailand in December.  It all comes down to another crunch.  I’ll need at least 135 members by December to pull off Thailand.

And that’s the most of my worries.  Well, there’s that and I sliced open my finger last night while putting together a cabinet I bought from Ikea.  I spent $300 without batting an eye on a new cabinet to store all my shit in.

I’m a fanatic when it comes to feng shui and my money corner is way too cluttered with junk.

$300 on a new cabinet, $500 for a plane ticket to Minnesota, $300 to advertise in the Bargain Book, $300 for peel ads in the Record Journal, $200 for regular ads in the Record Journal….I spent $1600 this month plus the $1200 in taxes – that’s $2800 I spent towards things that aren’t accounted for – meaning, they aren’t part of my regular monthly spending.  That’s a lot!

And that’s another big reason why I don’t want to work anymore.  I mainly massage member clients now – that’s $50 an hour plus a tip between $10 – $20.  Making $70 an hour doesn’t seem like a whole lotta shabam anymore.  I massaged 3 members today and a woman with a birthday coupon – that’s over $200 for 4.5 hours of hands-on work which sounds like a lot, but it’s not.  Not compared to how much I actually need to make.  But then add on the members that my employee’s massaged today and that tacks on another $150.  Now we’re talking.

It’s like if a person cuts the grass and trims the hedges of their own million dollar mansion just to save a few bucks.  It wouldn’t be worth the effort unless they actually took pride and enjoyed it.

And that’s the thing isn’t it?  I don’t enjoy it.  I NEVER enjoyed it.  And I find it hard to believe that people actually DO enjoy it.  Are they kidding themselves?  I mean really….

As you can see, I’m becoming greedy.  Greedy out of fear.  Fear that I may have to keep working just like my father.  Keep working with nothing but Ikea cabinets to show for it.

Perhaps greed doesn’t stem from over-indulgence or power.  Maybe it’s just fear of losing everything.  Maybe the fear of having nothing causes greed.  Well, that’s in my case at least.

I salivate at new member sign-ups.  With each sign-up, I chip away at that $80 quota I have to make every day.  Once that $80 hits zero, would I still yearn for more?  Or would I indulge in a life of travel and leisure?  To not give a shit about anything anymore?  Would my greed sickness be remedied with 40 more sign-ups?

And now it’s 1 A.M.  I have to be up early tomorrow for a regular client.  But then I can come home and nap after.

I think I’m mistaking worry for greed.  I’m worried, but I really shouldn’t be.  I’m worried I won’t be able to go to Thailand – what kind of ridiculousness is that?

I can’t believe how high on life I was yesterday and tonight is just the opposite.  I am so freaking lucky compared to others.  This blog entry is shit, I’m a shit.  I still have to write about my trip to Ecuador.

I’m genuinely curious to see my behavior after I sell 40 more memberships.  Will greed corrupt me or would I finally exhale?  Stay tuned!

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A quick post while getting ready

The older I get, the more I realize how important it is to do what you love to do.  But my question is; how do you know the difference between addiction and passion?

Think about it.

I had an epiphany last night after coming home from massaging people’s backsides for 8 hours.  Everything that I am, all that I know, all that I do, is built upon the structure of pure addiction.  I am addiction incarnate.  My persona is held together by an inferior sugar-laced, heroin injected lattice framework meant to dissolve in tears when I don’t get my fix.

Addiction keeps you away from people.  It makes you selfish.  When you’re not in a high, you dissolve.  When you lose that thing that defines you, you fall apart.

When I was under ayahuasca, she said to me that addiction is a way to fill the void where your faith should be.  It keeps fear at bay.  And ALL fear, no matter how big or small, are subsidiary branches growing from our one mega fear of death.

Like the tree of life has its branches that lead down to mushrooms.  We are related to fungus, just like having addictions are related to the fear of death.

Our ego’s can only be controlled and fastened when something outside ourselves defines us.  And where there is nothing to define us, we fill the void ourselves whether it be through art, writing, drugs, alcohol, fooling ourselves into thinking we’re somebody we’re not by hanging around with people who like only our facade image.

We run from the loneliness, run from not feeling connected to others.  We fill the void by avoiding fear altogether.

Addictions holds us away from people.  The same people who make you feel unconnected to them.  Unconnected from the world, society; having unique problems that nobody gets or understands.  We are alone in our heads.  I’m the only person occupying the inside of my head.

Writing to me, is as much of an addiction as it is a passion.  Completely derived out of fear, not curiosity.  How true is this?  I want nothing more than to hole myself up in a strange exotic land, not talk to anyone, not know anyone, and write.  Just lose myself.  Detach from my head.  If I make something real, than I become real.  I become defined and palpable.

As real as my beating heart, only this time, knowing why it beats.  Or you can have the unhealthy kind of addiction.  The kind that makes you not care anymore.

Why me?  Why here?  Why now?  These are questions that lead us to addiction.  They are questions that can’t be answered until we pull the wool above our eyes and make the connections.  Until we stop finding answers at the bottom of a pint glass.

Today is my day off and I just wrote all that crap between blowdrying and straightening my hair.

I’m wearing a dress!  I bought this dress last year for a wedding that I never attended.  I’ve been in uniform most days between then and now.  My legs are hairy.  Damn….

So anyway, I’m a writer.  That’s what I love to do.  But another thing I’m just learning about myself is that I love making money.  Maybe as much as I love writing.  Money brings freedom, so maybe I’m addicted to freedom?  One major reason why I love being single.

But it’s troubling to me.  It’s troubling to learn this about myself.  To actually contemplate the question; would I choose money over writing?  If I could choose only one?  I’m leaning towards money.  Maybe because I don’t have any yet.  I don’t have any money yet, but a superfluous over-flow of words that need to be written are well at hand.

I better go.  I have sheets that need washing.

 

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Filed under journal, philosophy, random thoughts

The World’s Greatest Nerd

Dr. at the November 29, 2005 meeting of the NA...

Dr. at the November 29, 2005 meeting of the NASA Advisory Council, in Washington, D.C. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’m the world’s biggest nerd.

I’m sitting at home excessively watching Cosmo’s with Neil deGrasse Tyson.  It’s already 1 am.

And I just wrote him an email telling him he should try ayahuasca.

“If a guy like you can connect with the spirit realm, having all your questions answered, it will literally change the world!”

“You can go on Ted Talks after your experience with ayahuasca and you’ll no doubt change the world!”

I don’t know how I should feel about myself right now.

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An update on my business. You can skip this post.

The archer Legolas Greenleaf, here portrayed b...

The archer Legolas Greenleaf, here portrayed by Orlando Bloom in The Lord of the Rings film trilogy, is arguably Tolkien’s best known elf. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Oh God blog…..

I can’t seem to catch up to anything.  My thoughts, my debt, my job, my life.

I got back from Ecuador, hmmm, when did I get back?  Three days ago?  Four?  My suitcase is still laying where I left it before slipping into bed after a long two weeks.  An awesome two weeks.

I have no time to unpack just like I have no time to write.  I’m laying in filth which I call my bedroom.  

Destroyed since my brother decided to go on a cleaning spree while I was away and threw a bunch of my old stuff in my room in order to “clean” his area of the house.  A guitar, old mail, storage containers, a life-size cardboard cut-out of Legolas from Lord of the Rings (don’t ask).

I gave one of my employee’s more hours.  Two extra shifts hoping that will free up some space.  So I don’t have to work so much.  But it seems like no matter how many hours I give my employee’s, I’m still fully booked from 11-8 six days a week.  Mornings and nights, before and after work, I find myself working still.

I need one more employee.  Just one more.  To take this burden away.  But I haven’t done the math yet.  I have yet to do the math to figure out if or when I can hire another.  All the numbers are there from last month – how much I made, how much I paid, my projected income for the months ahead – it’s all there.

But instead of pouring over the numbers, I’m writing this blurb.  A blurb that tells you absolutely nothing about anything of real importance.

It’s like having a lump of upset in your throat, only it’s in the pit of my stomach.  A tightening, a sort of wrenching feeling of constipation, only I’m not constipated (I ate so much freaking papaya).  My heart is beating so fast.

Oh God blog….

I’ve sold 74 memberships so far.  I need to do last months numbers to figure out how many more I need to sell in order for me to start breaking even every month.  But it’s a catch-22.  From every angle, it’s a catch-22.

If I continue having all these clients, giving shitty massages because I’m so damn worn out, I’ll never sell more than 74 – who would want to get a monthly shitty massage from me?  Not to mention I can’t get myself out there to market my business whilst I’m busy giving shitty massages all day.

Solution?  Hire another therapist.  Catch-22?  I can’t hire another therapist until I can make sure I can afford them.  I can make sure I can afford them by selling more memberships.

And the members that I DO have, I’ve promised them easy bookings.  They can get in whenever they want whether it be short notice or not.

I’m not keeping this promise.  All of us are completely booked solid for the next seven days.  There are five of us!  What members are going to want to stay if they can’t get in?

We have 550 online deals still circulating out there.  Once they get redeemed, we’ll have more space.

There’s always some kind of crunch to go through, you know what I mean?  Two months ago I was going through the online deal crunch – groupon debt.  This month I’m going through an entirely different crunch.  74 monthly members need to be able to conveniently schedule with us at the same time we’re redeeming all those stupid online deals.  Member clients make up 90% of our income (I’m not making anymore from the online deals), so they are priority, however, I need those online deal clients to sell more memberships (not to mention to keep my employee’s booked).  Catch-22.

And I’m drowning in skin, lotion, limp bodies, back and neck pain, sore legs, empty stomach, no sleep, stress.

Crunch…..

I need to do those numbers.  I need another therapist.  I haven’t been eating away into my personal line of credit yet, in fact, I paid half of it off leaving me with a remaining $4,500 of debt.  The only thing that could bring me into borrowing money again is a new hire – it’s the only thing that can tilt the scale.

But if I allow myself to borrow again, will I eventually be able to pay it off once we sell more memberships?  How long will it take to sell enough memberships until I can stop borrowing?

Oh.  My.  God.  Blog.

Growth seems to happen on a gamble.  Although, I don’t like to think of it as a gamble, but an investment.  We plant crops on a gamble hoping they’ll grow.  If we don’t plant, there will be no growth and where there is no growth, we find ourselves scrambling to the nearest wild berry brush, gnawing on cattails and grubs.  Always starving.

Do I start planting or start preparing for a hard winter?  Catch-22…..

Ayahuasca told me she will give to me as long as I give to her.  The more I drink, purge, let go, surrender, don’t slink away into control and darkness – she will show me everything that I’m ready to understand.  If only I give to her everything I have.  My heart, my curiosity, my strength.  I’ll get it all back.

How much faith do I have?

I go through this every time I hire someone new.  A period of torment.  And after each new hire I always exhale and say to myself “now I can relax.  Now I won’t need to work so much.”  And each time I’m wrong.

Shit I need to sleep.  Sorry for these types of posts.  They are mainly for myself so I can record my progress.

I’ll write about my trip to Ecuador after I crunch those numbers.  My next post I’ll tell you exactly how much I make and what I pay each month.  As of now I don’t know if I’m plus or minus.  Literally no idea.

Monday.  I’ll figure it all out on Monday.

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Filed under journal, rant

Insert foot here

20140731-012524.jpg

This innocent text was accidentally sent to a client.

And that client called me.  She called me wanting to know who I was because obviously this text wasn’t meant for her.

But she knew who I was.  She had to.  My cell phone number was blasted to over 1,000 client emails trying to get them to buy into my massage membership.  “Here’s my cell number, you can trust me,” was what I was going for.

I answered in a panic before my voicemail picked up to confirm that I am in fact, Melanie the massage therapist.

Client – “Is this Melanie the massage therapist?”

Me – “No, not me.  I think I texted you by accident a few days ago.  Total accident.”

It sounded like she was smiling on her end.  In her indian accent she says, “Okay no problem.”

I hung up with her and exhaled, “I’m going to jail.”

And I don’t even do drugs!  My employee wanted to try mushrooms, so I was trying to hook her up.  Great boss I am, right?  She thinks that text was hilarious.

A few days ago I received a terrible email from an irate client.  She was not happy with her massage, so I took it upon my shoulders to forward that email to all my employee’s telling them to be a little more careful next time.  I came to find out, her massage therapist was ME!

Here’s my email to my employee’s….Oh damn WordPress won’t let me copy and paste it.  WTF?  Well, I’m not figuring it out now.

It’s 1:45 AM.  I can’t sleep.  Why can’t I sleep?  Because I’m going to Ecuador and my plane takes off in approximately 6 hours.  I have to be at the airport 3 hours before my plane leaves because it’s an international flight, so I basically screwed myself.  I couldn’t fall asleep no matter how hard I tried which will make for a horrible plane ride.

I’m leaving my business in the hands of four therapists all of whom I don’t know very well.

Holy shit I’m tired.

It’s not just physical tiredness, but stressed-out tiredness on top of everything.  But this is something I must do.  My heart is calling for it, not my head.  My head is pissed at me.

“Idiot!”

“Shut up rational brain!”

I decided four weeks ago that I wasn’t going to Ecuador.  The business is still too new and fragile, I can’t trust my therapists not to mess everything up – I don’t have the money.

But then my key arrived (I wrote about that in my last post), and the key sold 69 memberships.  69 memberships!

I don’t want to jump the gun and say I’m a certified genius business owner with a head for success, but come on now, 69 memberships!

I’ve been working non-stop since February.  When Esmeralda, my old Ford Escort, died on me.  I was forced outside my box and I haven’t stopped or looked back since.

According to my genius business mind, I’m about half-way to obtaining financial independence and being able to work as little as 10-15 hours a week.  It’s all right there staring me in the face!  All the steps that I need to take, all the time that still needs to be invested – it’s all right there.  I can visually see it.  Like a map laid out before me.

Alas, I’m going to Ecuador because fate wants me there.  All my clients are rooting for me to go, I see them more than I see my friends, and Laura, a woman I met in Colombia on my first retreat said to me, “you’re definitely going.  I can feel your energy there.”

And my other friend decided to go at the exact critical moment when my heart was most open and vulnerable.

“Okay, I’ll buy my plane ticket.”

And here I am going down the rabbit hole on my second journey with ayahuasca.  I’m going to try keeping a video journal while I’m down there, although, I’m much better with the written word.  Especially since I’ll be looking like shit.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Filed under journal, Travel

Waiting for my key

I hired another person yesterday.  Can I pay this other person?  I don’t know.  But I desperately need her.

And that brings me up to 4 employee’s that I have to pay every other week.  A Latina, a Puerto Rican, a caucasian, and a half-black.  I’m technically a minority at my own business.  And because there were plenty of boring white people who applied, this is proof to myself that I’m definitely not a racist.  I haven’t hired an all black person yet, so there’s still a chance I might be.

I fork out over $2,000 a month to pay them.  It’s like I’m walking on glass right now.  Every step hurts.  But I can’t do it alone, I just can’t.

My Puerto Rican therapist just texted me that I have a beautiful soul.  White people don’t do that!  I told him he reminds me of myself because I’m a total schmoozer like him.

My Caucasian therapist is so up-tight that the only time I felt any sort of familiar bond with her was when we both laughed at one of my clients.

I had a client a few weeks ago.  A short plump woman who was all belly with skinny legs and arms, wearing a big tie-dye shirt.  She taken a huge shit in our bathroom just before her massage, and while I was massaging her, she kept nuzzling her head against me like she was a cat.  And then she taken another huge shit (leaving remnants) once her massage was over.

My Caucasian therapist who was working at the time, bursted out laughing.  And then I started laughing.  It was our one and only bond time and it was at the expense of someone else.

Gossiping / making fun of people has incredible bonding capabilities.

What if my minorities start ganging up on this minority (me)?

Nah….

I have so much to write about.  An astronomical amount.  But I don’t know where to start.

Today is Monday, my day off.  I went to work earlier to meet with a woman from the Record Journal.  She’s trying to get me to buy into an online ad marketing program.  Not like Google ad-words, but those other ads you see that follow you around everywhere.  The ones that pop up on random sites that are targeted specifically to you.

It’s just more money that I have to spend, although the salesgirl didn’t call it “spending”, but investing.

I don’t have the words to describe how destitute I am.  If this keeps up, I’ll be bankrupt and out of work within months.

I foreseen getting myself into what I call “Groupon debt”.  Groupon debt is when you sell a bunch of online deals, get one lump sum of cash, spend that cash before redeeming all those online deals, and then you’re left with no money to pay your employee’s – no money, but still a shit load of clients who need massages.

Groupon debt…..

I’m not exactly there yet, but I can foresee it happening.  Even before opening my business, this was one possibility that I had no control over – one possibility that I had no plan for.  My plan for success revolved around having those clients re-book, but here we are going into our third month and still most (about 95%) of our clients are new.

In the meantime, my arms want to fall off.  They want to detach and clatter to the floor like hard brittle rocks.

When I’m playing receptionist, I answer phones sounding so mellow.  Mellow, efficient, zero stress or emotion in my voice.  It’s like I’m doing exactly what needs to be done despite everything – I’m giving myself no choice and because I’m giving myself no choice, I become emotionless.  I’m like a stereotypical massage therapist who’s akin to being a backdrop – a tool, a prop – a secondary character of no consequence.  Someone who does her job so perfectly adequate that she’s disregarded, an after-thought.  Thumbs up and great reviews though.

Where is my heart?

I’m questioning myself.  Just like my tarot reader said I would.  I went to see her weeks ago (I already wrote about it), and she told me there’s a key.  A key I’m waiting for that will open the doors of success.

“It could be a contract, it could be knowledge about a particular software, it could be a skill set, it’s not a big-picture sort of thing, it’s a very specific thing.  Credit with a proper bank….  One key factor that has to be there in order for you to start to… open the doors.”

Those were her exact words.  I recorded the session and I already listened to it more times than I’d like to admit.

I had no idea what she was referring to.  Not only did this “key” not apply to me, but it was the first time I questioned the validity of this specific tarot reader.  “Are they all scammers?”  I wondered.

But then it came.  The key she was talking about.  And yes it is very specific, and yes I’m waiting on it like it’s a matter of life and death.

I have a marketing idea that is so absolutely, irrefutably awesome, that I have no doubt it will work.  At least it should work.  Just enough to keep me out of Groupon debt at least.  If it works better than my realism advises, I’ll be out of this dreadful stress zone and possibly start living inside a fairy tale.

If my idea works, everything, my whole life and everything leading up to this moment, will indeed feel like a fairy tale.  It won’t be a fairy tale ending exactly, but a beautiful beginning.

I’m not going to give you the full details of my plan.  I’m fearful right now, and fearful people are extremely superstitious, so it’ll remain a secret.  All I can tell you is that I’m waiting on my stupid mass emailer provider to kick on.

(My tarot reader said it can be knowledge of a particular software!)

SpaBooker uses MailChimp as their main email provider.  I sign up with MailChimp through SpaBooker (because they are partners), and they allow me to send out mass emails to all my clients.  I have not heard back from them.  Waiting to hear back is like listening to teeth grinding.  The fate of my business (the fate of my fairy tale ending), rests upon the shoulders of MailChimp.

This is the part of my life where I’ll look back on and cringe.

“Oh you poor girl.  You made it through though!  You wouldn’t be this successful if it weren’t for these strength and faith building years.  You are a true hero.  Oh shit, I’m my own biggest hero.  I sound like a damn ego-centric narcissist.  Stop that right now you!”

That’s my future self talking.  Am I accurate future self?

I hath no patience.

And that’s where I am right now.  In this semi-surreal summer of waiting and hoping.

I have quite possibly an awesome post about faith vs hope, but I can’t write about it now.  I have too many buckets.  When I’m carrying too many buckets, I have to put certain writings aside.  They expel too much energy and require full brain capacity.  When I’m operating on full brain capacity, that means I’m utilizing only one bucket.

While I wait for my key to arrive, I’ll have to settle on half a brain, if that.

Maybe that’s why 90% of the population are ignoramuses.  We’re all just waiting.

My new employee works tomorrow from 10-3, which gives me my first real break since I started this business.

For rest periods I now have all day Monday, and Tuesday and Sunday afternoons.  Friday nights can also be blocked off because I have two therapists working.  I unblock myself when their schedules fill up.  Starting tomorrow, it will be the first week of having a little extra rest time.

I’m paying a high price not to be there, but you have to believe me when I say I can’t keep up working all those hours.  8 hands-on hours 6 days a week – it’s impossible.

And I’m so tired……so unbelievably tired and stressed and worried.  I can’t wait until that moment when I can put it all down – all those buckets.  Like I’m returning home, to a safe place. Coming around full circle only to bring back treasure in the end.

Be strong Mel.  You’ve got this!

A client came in the other day with certificates of sponsorship.  He’s sponsoring a child from the Philippines.  I’m offering free massages to anyone who sponsors a child – and I do it happily!  That’s the crazy part.  I don’t enjoy manual labor, but I enjoy it when clients do this.  So if anything, if I completely fail at owning a business, at least I got to save a few kids before going down with the ship.

 

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Filed under journal, random thoughts

Another Adventure Into My Head

Ugh, I had another panic attack.

The build (the trace beginnings of the attack) happened when I was depositing money at the ATM – the second day in a row, over $200.

“This is fantastic!  This whole business venture just might work.”

I went home and stared at my accounting chart.  Last week I was negative $359, and this week I’m positive $143.  All my clients today, both new and existing, sounded interested in the membership program, and a new client rebooked for a couples massage next month.  My employee’s are happy and hard working, my goal of reaching 60 members is daunting, but not unfathomable.

My employee has her first full paying client tomorrow – a returning client who specifically requested her.  That puts $58 dollars in my pocket, but only $17 in hers.  My morals are ping-ponging back and forth with wondering how fair this is.

“That’s highway robbery!” Versus, “I paid her $520 these past two weeks for having no clients.  Putting $58 in my pocket doesn’t come close to closing that gap.”

“What if she gets four full priced clients a week?  She’s going to start closing that gap and you’re going to profit off her.”

Versus,

“But isn’t that the whole point of having employee’s?  This is what we agreed on.  She agreed to this.”

Basically what my panic was all about, was my fear of success.  Not just my fear of success, but vilifying my means of obtaining it.  Is it right?  Is it moral?  If it’s so easy, something must be wrong with it.

I can literally feel a physical blockage.  One that doesn’t believe, one that doubts its realism.  With 60 memberships, I can stop taking new clients and only massage members.  60 memberships and my business will be stable enough to run on its own.  60 memberships and I can open a new location….etc.

Not to mention all those full paying clients – the one’s that I don’t personally have to massage.

Snowball effect.  The hardest roll is the first one.  The first 60 members…The first return clients….

If I had 60 members, I would be positive $843 this week in pure unadulterated spending money.  But it’s not that easy, is it?  Nothing can be that easy, right?  If it’s so easy, why isn’t’ everyone doing it?

Another reason for my panic is due to imbibing tea, coffee, and my nicotine e cig.  It’s 2 AM and I can’t sleep.  My panic attack peaked around midnight, I drank a ton of water (I learned from experience that dehydration plays a huge role), and now I can’t stop going to the bathroom.

During my panic, I speculated that it might have something to do with having a PH imbalance.  If our bodies are more acidic than alkaline, would that activate an emotional or mental imbalance as well?

I immediately bought PH strips on Amazon so I can test my urine and bought a book about alkaline diets.

What are you doing Mel, you’re crazy….

Shhhh, shhhhh…..I’m fine.

Then I decided I wanted to be a naturopathic physician and so I Googled how I can become one.

Eight years….med degree…..internships…. expensive schooling….not enough time in life, there’s never enough time.

I went back to thinking about my business.  Wanting to put together an iMovie skit with me and my two employee’s acting to the theme of Charlie’s Angels.  Whipping out our massage bottles like guns, talking on the phone to “Charlie”, all three of us posing at the end in that iconic, memorable stance.

“It’ll be perfect for YouTube, my website, Pinterest, Yelp, FaceBook!  It’ll get us more likes and more notice!”

So many idea’s….stop idea’s….just…. stop…..

“I can do massage bombs!  Ask clients to like me on Facebook and once a month I’ll send a Massage Bomb to one lucky liker for half-off their next massage!”

Brilliant.  Brilliant.

I ran to the bathroom for the 15th time while trying not to disturb my brother and his girlfriend asleep on the fold out couch.  I envisioned what that conversation would be like.

My brother – “What’s wrong with you?  Why are you going to the bathroom so much?”

Me – “I had a panic attack so I drank a lot of water.”

Zugzwang.  The only viable move is no move.

Nothing seems viable.  Nothing seems real – all is too fantastic – too grandiose.  Too perfect.  Shall I not make a move?  Or should I go on ahead?  Continue down this unknown path?

There is indeed a fear of success.  It demonizes you, demoralizes you, shreds your conscience into oblivion.  The only thing that makes sense, the only way to earn it, to deserve it, is to work hard – extremely hard!  That’s the only way I can eliminate the fear.  That black void, the plague, the plaque that corrodes my selfless fibers.

Work hard until I resurface once again at the beginning.  It’ll just be one big cycle, a loop of never-ending hard work and struggle all because I don’t believe it can be that easy.  If it’s so easy, why isn’t everybody doing it?

 

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The Beauty Of One Bucket

My mind is truly gone.

It came back for a few hours but nope, now it is truly gone.

I had a dream years back.  I dreamt of a golden scale.  Buckets of water sat on both ends.  Then I saw one bucket being poured into the other and the scale dropped to one side with a clank.

From the vision alone, I wouldn’t have known what it meant.  But at that moment I was seeing it, I was also intuiting its meaning.

It symbolizes the amount of energy we are given each day.  Everyday we wake up and are gifted with a respectable amount of energy that can be poured into whatever buckets we are focused on.

“But can’t we make more energy as we go along?”

“No.  It’s a set amount.  You can’t make more than what you are given.”

I argued with my dream.  I was stubborn as I typically am when I don’t agree with something.

It doesn’t have to do so much with physical energy as it does with mental energy.  Our mental energy (our focus) is limited and set.  We can’t have more of it just as we can’t have more of time.  As time is measurable, so is the energy we are given to focus with.  Time and energy are interchangeable melodies set to the rhythm of wherever our focus lies upon.

According to the dream, we can only fill two buckets at a time.  However, as long as our energy is divided, we can never master or learn anything new.  We must have only one bucket filled at a time.  Just one, otherwise the scale will remain motionless and unchanged.

“You and your silly dreams.  Dreams are not REAL.”

Oh hey rational brain.  What’s up?

“Explain to me then, what about people having two or more children?  You can’t deny having to split your attention with kids.  I swear Melanie, I don’t even know why I bother with you.  You’re off in you own world living in a freakin…..”

Okay okay, let me cut you off right there.  I understand and yes you’re right.  Focus is definitely divided given the more kids you have and the more responsibilities you get.  I get it.

“So are you saying life is stagnant for these folks?  They can’t get good at anything?  Can’t focus on anything?”

Well for the majority of them, yeah.  But there’s always a choice.  People just don’t have the clarity to see it.  Ayahuasca told me that no matter how dire the circumstance, there is always a choice.

“This better be good or I’m going to disown you as your conscience.”

Okay…..how should I explain…..I’m figuring out the best language to describe the indescribable.

“Blah blah quit stalling.  Out with it.  What’s your solution wise ass?”

One bucket.  Only one bucket must be filled!

“Yes one bucket.  We already got that much.  Are you purposely trying to piss me off?”

No I mean, if we’re only allowed one bucket, why not make it your own bucket?

“I wish I had the hands to slap you with.”

The energy your given each day gets divided into buckets that you’re focusing your attention on, right?

“If you say so.  I still think you’re nuts.”

It’s your attention that’s being divided.  Your attention, but not intention.  There’s AT-tention and then there’s IN-tention.  Focusing AT something takes away, while focusing IN gives to you.

“What the hell are you blathering about?”

It’s not about focusing your attention on something, it’s about having full awareness of what your intentions are.  You can have a gazillion kids and can still get away with having only one bucket.

“You’re still being evasive and alluding the question.  How?  Explain to me how.”

Let’s say little Johnny scraped his knee and needs to get it patched up, while another kid screams at you wanting milk.  Your attention is being pulled from you, not given.  AT, not IN.

“I want to punch your face.  Just be clear for once!”

The answer is to switch your energy inward onto yourself.  This is done through intentions.  And with intention, comes self-compassion, respect for yourself, and respect for your kids as people, not hindrances.

“Not good enough.  Try again.”

Instead of focusing on bandaging your child’s knee, and pouring a glass of milk, the secret lies in why you’re doing it.  Not doing something just to get it over and done with, but why?  What’s your intention?

“Sum it up in one easily digestible sentiment please.”

It’s not about focusing on your kids needs, dividing your attention, getting it pulled from you, it’s about putting it all in one bucket.  The “I intend to be a good Mother” bucket.  It only takes one bucket and pulling from there, you’ll never run out.  It’s either you do or you don’t.  You either have or you don’t have. Finding your truest intentions is the answer to everything!

“For the love of god….”

Hey I saw that eye roll.

“Okay smart ass, what about juggling a full time career and kids?”

That’s unfortunately where the trouble lies.  You can’t split your intention bucket without compartmentalizing.  You’ll have to choose one at a time.  At one point, the two worlds will collide and you’ll have to make a choice.  Growth and expansion can only be found when you decide.  It’s just the same if you are a divorced parent that starts dating someone new and your child feels as if you are choosing your new beau over them – worlds collide.  It’s not about AT-tention, it’s about IN-tention.  Children have a knack for knowing these things.

“Do you feel better after writing gibberish?”

I sure do!

Anyway, I’m writing this post because my energy is splayed out in way too many buckets.  It’s energy spent on worrying.  Nobody intends to worry, so worry is AT-tention, not IN-tention.  And there’s several of them.

Working at Massage Envy or my one-man stink hole office, I had little to worry about.

All that has changed.

It’s like coming home from a hard day and being too tired to exercise.  It’s the same for writing.  I’m spent after a hard day of worrying.

I started a new RPG, Demon’s Souls.  It was only $11 for the digital download on Amazon and it came highly recommended.  The game is punishingly hard.  It’s a vessel for me to pour all my worry buckets into with pure intentions on beating it.

Can you see why video games are so important?  They’re a cheap non-toxic way to self-medicate.

My life always seemed meaningless without writing about it, but now I’m too exhausted to even care.  That’s how bad things are right now.

According to my calculations, I’m bleeding out about $300 a week.  I’m supposed to be making $700 a week, but I’m stuck at $400.  It feels like I’m bleeding money.  Not pissing because that would require me having it to spend, but bleeding.  Pissing is wallet money while bleeding is personal line of credit money.

My Groupons went on sale yesterday and I already sold 127 of them.  I set the cap at 300.  Living Social also contacted me to set up deals with them, but I’m holding off for a bit.

I’m only counting the online deal income as they get redeemed.  I make zero dollars when my employee’s massage them, so I can only count the money if I massage them myself.  But if my employee’s massage them, that’s a wash for that hour and I won’t be negative the $10 I pay them while having no clients.  My employee’s HAVE to massage the online deal clients.  I’m only bleeding $300 a week because of paying my workers for hours when they don’t have clients.

I know it’s confusing, but this is my perspective.  If my employee’s weren’t there, I’d be able to afford the business on my own but that completely defeats the purpose of starting it in the first place.  I’d be sitting there right now answering phones if not for her.  She has one 90-minute massage today, so I’m losing about $35 for paying her for 3.5 hours that are without clients.  Not to mention the $100 I need to make which technically means I’ll be negative $135.  But I have two clients later, so that will eat into some of that negative money.  Not all of it though….not enough of it.

My plan was to not work anymore, but I can’t afford to pay employee’s to sit there without clients, so I have to work.

One girl I hired only works Mondays and is laying in wait for when I can afford her more hours.  I can only afford her when she’s completely (or almost completely) booked up.  Another girl works mornings.  She’s there now answering phones.  It’s ringing like a bitch from the Groupons.

Anyway, it’s stuff you don’t want to read about.  I don’t have the capacity to make it sound interesting.  This is what’s occupying my mind.  Well, there’s that and I have a really good friend of mine that’s refusing to speak to me.

I can’t wrap my head around it.  I asked if we can resolve everything over the phone, or over a cup of coffee, and because I asked that, now she won’t speak to me at all.

We have a rocky friendship.  I try to fix things, to include her in things, talk to her, but she avoids me like the plague.  The only time she actually did call me (in two years) was because another friend told her to.

I have friends that I haven’t spoken to in months, years even, but I know I can pick up the phone anytime and they’ll be there.  There’s no grey area.  I never had a friend in the grey.  It’s either all or nothing.  Just like with those damn buckets.  If you intend to be someone’s friend, you be their friend.  You either have it or you don’t.  It’s not about me not getting attention, it’s about understanding what her IN-tentions are.  Because as of now, I’m drawing a blank.

With Krissy and Amy, they were full on friends.  They either had it or they didn’t.  And they kept on having it up until the very end.  Both of them couldn’t get enough of me.  What I gave them wasn’t enough, so they high-tailed it out of there.  But with this friend, I’m giving my true blue honest all.

There’s underlining anger and resentment that she refuses to talk to me about.  And the more I press, the more she cuts me out.  The more I’m treated like a monstrous plague, the more I press, the more I’m repelled, the more I inquire, the more I’m avoided, the more times I text and press and wonder what the hell is going on, the more aggravated she gets.

God I love you blog.  You have the power of putting everything into perspective I swear.  Life is so ridiculous that I can see the humor in almost anything.  No no strike that, I can see humor in every damn near thing.

For any type of nonsensical drama – the kind that makes you feel real shitty, is the same type of drama that can make you laugh your ass off as long as you change perspective about it.  Haha, it’s funny.  Right?

Man I love myself too damn much….Yes I’m completely at a loss devastated.  Yes it hurts incredibly!  But shit yo, I love myself because I can feel so much.  And because I can hurt so deeply, makes me laugh at my sorry state all the more.

This is my story – my life story online.  The person I am, creates my experiences.  And according to some recent musings, we only experience something if we have an emotional reaction to it.  Emotions are key to life and to learning.  If you shut down one emotion, the rest will be affected in the fragile ecosystem of your humanity.  Your humanly flawed spirit.

My story doesn’t matter.  My experiences don’t matter.  The only thing that matters is who I am and who I’m becoming.

I still want to be Gatsby.  To have the big house, throw extravagant parties.  Invite every lonely sap over for every holiday when nobody else will have them.  When they feel dark and in the void, they’ll always have a place in my home.  Of course I’ll have to section off a part of the house so I’ll never have to see them, but still…..they won’t be alone.

I won’t always see them.  They’ll have to fend for themselves if they come over everyday.  They can all hang out with each other while I’m off doing whatever it is that I do.  Video games, blogging, or sleeping most likely.

I’m equal parts social and anti-social.  Leaning more towards the anti now what with all my new buckets I’m carrying.

Leave me the eff alone people…..

I should end this post.  I have to leave soon to massage those two people.  I still need to shower.

My initial intention was to write a quick blurb about why I haven’t been writing and the flood gates well, sorta opened.  I hardly even touched on a whole lot.

2,274 words later.  Hours to write, minutes to read.

 

 

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The End is Near

I had a credit card dream two days ago.  I dreamt I bought a new hat, a cowboy hat to be specific.  And it cost me $101,000.

Me – “But it’s just a hat!  A hat can’t possibly cost $101,000.  Someone over-charged me.”

Retail girl – “We’ll look into it.”

Then a cluster of shoppers stood outside the entrance of the store and they were all looking up.  I went over to see what they were all looking at, and that’s when I spotted a tornado.

Me – “Run!  Everybody run!”

I ran back into the store while everyone stood outside completely hypnotized by the swirling colors in the sky.  It was actually beautiful, but I didn’t stick around to see it.

People started getting sucked up to the left and right of me.  I figured that as long as I stayed in motion, it would be harder for the tornado to suck me up.  I was right.  I was safe.

Everything in this dream symbolizes monitory troubles.  Everything except the new hat – new hats symbolize business gains.

I went to work at my new business yesterday after having that dream, and sat down beside my new employee, Holly, behind our one desk.

My employee is great.  She’s young, cute, and came very close to selling a membership the other day.  But…..And this is a huge but….

Now I remember why I love working alone.

We have one large reception desk that I managed to squeeze two chairs behind.  We’re in very close quarters – shoulder to shoulder just about.  And this girl can talk.  Man-o-man can she talk.  Not necessarily crazy garbage talk that makes no sense, but the kind of talk you would expect to hear from a 23 year old fresh face normal everyday lassy.

I was never a normal everyday lassy even at her age.

I couldn’t blog, couldn’t read, I couldn’t fall asleep while listening to an audiobook.  I was stuck there – literally, I couldn’t get out.  Our chairs were jammed that close together.

I wanted to bang my head against the desk listening to her.  I couldn’t pay attention to anything she said – and it’s not that I don’t care or don’t like her, I like her a lot actually.  I just couldn’t do it.  My energy waned and I started looking forward to giving a massage – an escape back into my head.

I officially opened April 18 and today is April 24.  I managed to make almost $1000 ($990 to be exact), since I opened (not counting today).  This is in membership sales, gift certificates, and clients that I massaged during those days, 3 of which I had no clients due to Easter weekend.  So in 3 days, I made $990 (not counting tips).

I know what you’re thinking, “dang girl that’s the shit!”  But to me it doesn’t feel like the shit.  I’m still in freak-out mode.  $990 can’t pay for my rent which is $1250 and due in 6 days.  I’m running out of my personal line of credit, and my employee is there all day today with only two clients on the books.  She is my greatest expense.  Not the rent, not the utilities (I got that bill in the mail today), but it’s her.  Only when she has no clients.

I sold 40 Amazon Local Deals.  I get a check from them May 6 (which I don’t count as earned money until they get redeemed).  I’m also selling 300 Groupons starting May 6.

Groupon upped the amount they pay merchants from $18 a massage, to $20.  My therapists get $12 for massaging Groupon and Amazon Local people.  If they rebook with my therapists, they get $17 for massaging them.

I’m still utilizing my original plan of attack.  Sell Groupons, keep my employee’s fully booked, and wait (pray) for the rebookings.  Once the rebookings start, I won’t have any more dreams about tornado’s.

I’m using Massage Envy’s mode of structure which entails memberships.  If I can sell 60 memberships, I’ll be set for life.  My business will be established and stable with 60 memberships.  I sold 2 in those 3 days I been open.

I’m sitting in my office in Middlefield. I’m here today, tomorrow, and Tuesday is my last day.

There’s no better way to savor the end of an era with a video clip.  My little office may be dying out, but my dream of being a self-made millionaire shall live on.  And okay, I’m a dork with iMovie.

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The Guys I Dated

 

I dated a guy a while ago and wrote a trilogy about him.  It’s entitled “Why I don’t date.”  You can find the first post to it here.

I should come with a warning label for all who date me.

WARNING:  I read into and analyze everything.

Nothing slips by me.

I’m empathetic to a telepathic degree,

and I SEE THROUGH EVERYTHING.  

It’s illegal to remove or tamper with this tag.

The only time I get hurt is when other people’s insecurities seep out and affect me.

I’m going to go deep here, but if you think good and hard, you’ll understand all that I say.

It all comes down to insecurities.  Why do men use women?  Why do they sleep with them and toss them aside?  For one thing.  Validation.  And why do they need validation?  Because they’re insecure.  As long as a person remains insecure, they’re incapable of loving anyone – they can love a pet, or someone they feel comfortable around.  They can love a person they consider to be on or below their “level.”

If they’re attracted to someone who they discretely view as “above (doesn’t need)” them, they’ll cut them down.  Intentionally or unintentionally, it happens.  It happens because they feel threatened.  It’s an innate impulse that both men and women share.

When I was under ayahuasca (I know, blah blah shut up with that already), I seen all this so immaculately clear.  I also understood that as long as you love yourself unconditionally, you will never feel the need for validation.  And when that happens, only then can you love others unconditionally.

But none of us love ourselves unconditionally.  We always doubt.  We always need someone to tell us we’re okay.  We can only love ourselves when others love us first.

And when a person detaches themselves from us we say good riddens.  “I never liked you anyway.”

I’ve been in that bad place where I had no one to tell me that I’m okay.  I been there.  That’s how I know all this!  You can only know the things you’ve experienced.  But you can only wake from it once you’re aware of it – once you understand and actually see it.

The heart always leads you into understanding – don’t let go until you find it.

But then again, once you understand what’s happening, you realize that it has absolutely nothing to do with you.  And in some cases, it’s in fact you who needs and wants validation from a person who needs and wants validation from you.

Us humans make love out to be just another ego game.  We don’t have the capacity understand it.

Sure we can love our kids, but when they start misbehaving, do we retract our love?  Sure we can love our spouse, but do we retract our love when they’re unresponsive?

Love IS understanding.  If people understood each other, there would be no disagreements.  There would be no hate.  My heart is always tugged in the direction of understanding.

But then again, ayahuasca told me to let go and to trust.  That I don’t need to understand.  But how can I grow and evolve if I’m unable to see my own mistakes?

I can’t let go, understand, or see something that I’m emotionally attached to.

But anyways, where was I?  Ah yes.  Insecurities.

I am hurt by other people’s insecurities.  The way they treat and view themselves, is in exact accordance with how they view and treat me.  If you’re unable to understand this, you’ll just have to trust me on it.  I’m a big deep thinker and did all the grunt work for you, but yeah, it’s true.

Trust me.

But the crazy thing is, once you do understand, you can see it in yourself.  How your actions towards others is in exact accordance with how much love and trust you give to yourself.

Everything is relative.  There is only one tree of life, all is dependent (which by the way amazes me and I’ll have to write about that separately).

I’m NOT saying this to make myself sound grand or anything, but I can see everything there is to know about a person.  And I mean everything.  I swear, it’s like I have X-ray goggles or something.  I’m not embellishing.  If anything, I’m watering it down.

I step back, take in the full view, and I empathize.  I empathize while remaining detached.  I believe it’s for this very reason, why people are attracted to me.  And because I remain detached, they look at me as a puzzle to be cracked.

They don’t trust themselves, so they don’t trust me – they don’t trust me because they can’t own me, just like they can’t own themselves.  There’s a certain degree of fear in all my relationships.  I bring out the demons in people.  I swear I see everything.

I wasn’t expecting to write all this.

Initially I wanted to write about the guys I dated.

The guy that triggered my “Why I don’t date” trilogy, he’s been trying to contact me for the past month or two.  My interest in him has plummeted down to zero which leaves me to wonder, am I unforgiving and/or judgmental?

I just don’t give a shit to be honest.  I’m too tired.

But he’s not what brought about this post.  What really brought it on is that Norm, a guy I dated once two years ago (you can read about him here), died yesterday.

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I was a different person back then.  I was happier, but scattered.  Now I’m transfixed and miserable.  I dated him when I was scattered and happy.

I can’t believe he died.  It’s freaky because he said that life is short and we should spend every minute embracing it by doing exactly what we want to do in every moment.

He said it to get me to sleep with him.  But he was actually sincere in his words – it wasn’t just a line, he truly meant it.

One of the warnings on my label suggests that I’m empathetic – which means I can tell the fakes from the phonies.  Well, this guy meant it.  He meant it to the point where I felt what he was feeling and I agreed with him.

But he died of a heroin overdose.  He died doing exactly what he wanted to do, which leads me to wonder, at what point is the cut off?

Ethics, morals?  Do they play a part?

For me, it comes down to respect.  I respect myself and my body.  I respect it so much in fact, that I don’t want to do drugs or have promiscuous sex.  I can have either one.  They are a phone call away.  I’d rather eat cold shrimp and blog at 3:30 AM (which I’m doing now).

And in a weird way, because I respect myself and my body, I respect life.  My desires, or perspective rather, was different from his.  Not that his were wrong, only that they’re not mine.  Just a different path.  I respect his path and withhold all judgement.

You change your perspective, you change your life.  Stop being insecure, don’t stop wanting to find answers – you’re actually finding answers about yourself, not just answers to why someone hurt you.

Norm escaped all that.  He opted out.

I learned in life that the hardest thing to do is often the right thing to do.  It’s not about doing exactly what you want to do, but seeing the bigger picture and how everything ties in.  Empathize, understand, naturally detach only to reconnect with truth.

It all comes down to the bigger picture in the end.  It’s something none of us can see until a part of us dies.

 

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