Money. We all need it, use it and (many of us) worry about it. For some, it is just this etherial number system that ebbs and flows in and out of our lives like the tide. For others, it is a cause for great stress and sleepless nights. I'd like to share a few of my experiences with money, and recent conversations about it, with you.
About a month ago, I was having a discussion with one of my bosses about this very thing. He is such an amazingly passionate and positive man. I find him to be such a great leader, inspiring me to examine all aspects of how we, as people, can serve the greater good and bring about a change on a global level. Sounds epic, hey? Frickin' love it. Anyway, he was explaining the concept of how we perceive money. What is it for us? How do we see it? What is our relationship with it? These questions had been playing on my mind for the past month, but it wasn't until the other night, while getting my freedom writing on, that it dawned on me. It is a relationship. In the true sense of the word. And, I'm afraid, I have not been a very good life-partner. The words that poured out of me were that of deepest remorse, for I have come to realise that I have not been faithful.
This is my letter of apology:
Our relationship is failing. However, it is through no fault of your own. Over the years, you have always been there. Sometimes with a generous presence, but most often just to wave as you're passing through. Regardless, you have always been just enough for what I needed.
I remember when I was introduced to a Credit Card. He seemed fun, at first. Saved me in a pinch, or got me something before I gave you time enough to allow me to buy it. But, after a time, I found myself completely consumed by that relationship and I was using you to pay off my debt to him. I know I have never been an addict to that interaction by any means, and I am thankful for the things he has helped me to afford. However, I fear that our relationship, yours and mine, has suffered as a result. I now feel that as soon as you are present in my life, I am just as quick to move you out of it, and then resent you for not sticking around.
Words cannot express how truly sorry I am for how I have treated you. You have always been the one to help me, and you never asked for anything in return. You deserve better. I firmly believe I can be better for you. I want to see you flourish and grow, not dwindle and suffer. I promise to promote your health and wellbeing by strengthening your numbers. I want to nourish you, just as you have done for me. You have limitless room to expand and I want to see you utilise this space.
We can work together, you and I. I know we can reconnect and make this relationship stronger than we have ever been. I am willing to support you during your time of need, and I have been ignoring this need for long enough. For this, too, I am sorry. We are in this together; just the two of us. I refuse to go back to thinking of what you can do for me. From now on, I will work towards making a happier, stronger and more fortified version of you.
I have always taken for granted that you will come back into my life. I just need you to know that I want you to stay.
With complete sincerity, honesty and a humble heart,
I know this love letter may seem a little excessive. I assure you, it isn't. This is merely how I am expressing my thoughts and feelings. Money is energy. We attract it into our lives just the same way we attract certain kinds of people and situations. If I focus on one idea, I can manifest it. If I think all men are arse-holes, I will only meet horrible men. If I think about how fat and lazy I am, scolding myself for eating a biscuit, then I will forever be a fat, lazy, biscuit-scoffing bunyip. And if I keep thinking about how much debt I have, I will never see my bank balance expand into numbers I can't even fathom at this time. So, just to clarify:
We all have the power to generate wealth, and this is not a bad thing! If you see money as this dirty entity that shouldn't be spoken about and only superficial, self-centred yuppies have it, then maybe you have a letter of your own to write.
Let your soul become rich, so your life can follow.
Peace out, kids.
This is a story of heartache and woe. A tale of such catastrophic tragedy, to make even the most devout of virgin priests exclaim such profanities it would make statues of baby Jesus cry tears of blood.
Okay, overdoing it a bit there. It's really not that bad. It wasn't a great few minutes of my life. But probably not enough to make anyone cry tears of blood... Probably.
Alrighty then. Back story! I have just started wholesaling my work to a most brilliant shop in Adelaide called The Tangerine Fox. They are holding a stall at Oz Comic Con in Adelaide on the 9th and 10th of April (which is tomorrow!) and have asked if I would be able to make some new pieces for the occasion. Being a marvelous geek-a-tron myself, I said in a very calm and cool voice, "Yes. Of course I can do this." While the inside of my head echoed with a mighty voice proclaiming "Oh, yes. I accept your challenge. For I am one with the Art of Clay and no man, woman or child will stand in my path," with simultaneous squeals of excitement and delight cascading in the background.
I have been working on a few different things, all taking me massive amounts of time to produce, as I have not yet mastered the art of Keeping Things Simple. Therefore, I have nowhere near the amount of stock I was hoping to provide. These are some Finns and Jakes from Adventure Time and a few BB8s I was working on to make studs. The droids were about 12-13mm tall and I was super chuffed about how they turned out.
I made ten of these little guys (five pairs). Of what time I noticed, it took me at least seven hours to construct he droids alone. Aren't they special? I loves them. I had also made a bunch of vulcan salute hands that accompanied the Star Trek logo.
I placed everything in the centre of my baking tray and set them in my poly-oven for baking. It's an oven I use strictly for polymer clay. It isn't a multi-oven. (FYI: Poly = lots of. For example: polyuria (why is that the first one that comes to mind?), polymer (o_O) and polymania. I may have made that last one up because I can't think of any other words beginning with "poly" except for "lots of wee-wee" and the kind plastic clay I use. What a goose.)
Back on track: So, Oven Times. The dinger went off and I opened the oven door...
Dead. All dead.
All those hours I spent on each individual piece, painstakingly moulding and crafting them with such delicate care, only to have them destroyed by my own mindlessness and folly.
To put it mildly, boys and girls, I was not in the best of moods after this event.
I was so angry. I blamed my oven, its timer, the strength of heat, the tray I put everything on... You name it, I blamed it. Then I started blaming myself because, at the end of the day, I set the timer, I set the temperature and I know the quirks of my tools. It was my fault.
Anger for the world was swiftly replaced with anger for myself. Which was keenly followed by a deep sense of loss and disappointment. Disappointment. That is never a fun word, is it? Now, I know I can be hard on myself, as so many of us can, but I cannot change what has happened. I burned all that time away. But what did I gain from it? See now, this is the great part. I could sit back and wallow in my own self-pity, as it is so easy to do, but there is nothing to learn from that. Seriously, Nicky, what did you take away from this experience?
I then came to realise that this was not the end of the world or my career as an artist. This was a minor set-back that ultimately does not change the course of what is to come. I will continue to create new pieces and it doesn't matter if I don't provide a mass amount of stock to sell. What matters to me is that I only put out into this world that which is fortified with care, kindness and love.
I know how that sounds. "Woah, dude. You make jewellery, you're not leading a country." And you're right, to an extent, I make jewellery. But who wants to buy and wear something of, not only, poor quality, but something wrought with negativity and bitterness? I don't want that bad-juju around me and I certainly don't want those vibes being imbued into my work. If I am happy within, I can spread happiness without. And I wanna spread love like wildfire.
Moral of the story, kids: you may not be able to control everything that happens around you, but you can control your own perspective. Be awesome. And if you can't be awesome, fake awesome until you become awesome.
And eat a rainbow of vegetables. Off topic, yes. But still important.