I wrote this yesterday, but I forgot to post it:

Last night, Nicole and I went to see the Cirque du Soleil Michael Jackson show. We loved it. It was cool and amazing and entertaining, just like youíd expect from any Cirque show. Iíd never seen one before. Itís seriously cost prohibitive, but we bought the tickets six months ago, when they first went on sale.

I mean, Michael Jackson and Cirque du Soleil? How can you pass that up? You canít!

Today, Iím tired (I didnít get home until after midnight), and I feel like Iím coming down with a cold, but it was worth it. Iíve wanted to see a Cirque du Soleil show for ages.

Nicole was asking me about my career plans and wondering what I have in the works. I told her about my mortgage refinancing and how thatís going. I think she was looking for more. She wants me to have a plan. She wants me to be settled on a clear idea. She didnít explicitly say that, but I got the gist.

I get it. Itís easier and nicer when our ducky friends stay in the duck line. We donít want them wandering around off on some weird undefined path, away from the flock and unprotected.

I kind of felt the same way when she told me about her trip to France. You know, to see the guy that sheís that sheís told me, three or four times now, that sheís really not seeing, anymore.

At least heís a good guy and a good match, for her, except for the fact that he doesnít live in the US, and apparently didnít even like living here when he did. He has no intention of coming back here to settle, and she doesnít seem keen on the idea of settling outside of the US.

Where does that leave them? Theyíre really done this time. For sure. Oh, theyíll keep calling daily and emailing several times a day, but theyíre really doneÖ

I may have pushed a little too much on the boyfriend front, just like she pushed a little too much on the, ďYouíre quitting your job and your new career is some vague notion having to do with something that most people donít believe existsĒ front.

Thatís what friends are for, anyway. It was a good time.

Last week, I had my reiki teacher over for dinner and we had a long conversation about everything. The part that struck me most is when I finally solicited her for advice. Not reiki advice, but advice about being self-employed and working as a healer. Iíve been very slowly making the rounds and talking to my self-employed friends, warning them that Iím going to need their advice.

Most of them are pretty happy to offer up anything they know.

I think that the corporate world likes to foster this cultural notion of competitiveness. If workers feel like they are pitted against each other, competing for money, jobs and promotions, then we continue to feel trapped and impotent. It keeps us as perpetual children, always dependent and always working to earn favor, so we can get more peanuts that day. More peanuts than the next guy, that is. Peanuts donít just come in the form of money, either. Itís often about praise or titles or other tiny indications that weíre pulling ahead of the competition; stuff that keeps our egos afloat just enough to keep us coming back (gee, bitter much?).

Anyway, the point is, most people arenít really like that. People generally like to be helpful and cooperative and they like the feeling of imparting knowledge. Also, I think anyone who is smart enough to be self-employed knows that whether or not someone else gets work is no indication of whether or they themselves will continue to get work. Itís all about whether or not an individual has something of value to offer.

Iíve found that to be true while talking to most self-employed people. I wouldnít be in direct competition with any of them, except for my reiki teacher. Itís more that I figured that for self-employed people, more than anyone else, time is money, and they wouldnít be interested in giving away free advice.

So, I talked to her about my fears, especially my fears around being poor. She listened politely and then told me not to worry. She reminded me, whether Iím officially employed or not, I will always have my skills and experience. Thatís not something I can deny (unless I suddenly suffer from a bought of amnesia). Also, she reminded me (as Iíve been reminding myself), that I donít need to be making gobs of money to stay afloat. Itís just about budgeting and planning and setting priorities.

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Thursday, Apr. 12, 2012 at 7:59 AM