Monday, May 28, 2012

Struggling with my Retirement

I have to say, it is a lot harder to let go of work than I thought. I was supposed to look at my sales numbers only twice a month. I have not followed that. I was good for a while but then I broke down on the 25th and then I kind of broke that again yesterday and to a degree today. I was reading a thread on my forum and they were talking about how most self published authors only make $500 a year. Can you believe that? I make that in a couple of days. It was good perspective.

What came with reading that thread though, was me examining why my numbers aren't higher. I did discover something about my sales. Barnes and Noble and Amazon German are both consistently up, but I'm a big fail when it comes to selling books on I made $1200 in Jan, but only $700 in April. This can all be explained by filtering my titles. It's unfortunate, but that's life.

But that got me to thinking how I can increase sales of poor selling titles. I then made those changes and in the day or two since it has had an effect. So after I realized it had an effect,  I had to keep checking to see how much of an effect it had. But looking again and again has had the same effect that it always has; me asking myself why isn't it more. We human beings become unhappy because we keep asking for things to be other than what they are. It is a trait which is hard to escape.

I'm starting to think of my attitude toward selling books like an addiction. Like I'm a work-a-holic or something (haha!). But I can either be retired or not retired. Alcoholics can't drink just half a bottle without finishing it. I can't retire half-assed.

Here's the thing, if I fully act like I'm retired, I am going to leave money on the table. How am I supposed to walk away from money on the table? I don't know, but I can either be happy or I can collect all of the money for off the table.

When I got to college, I was elated to be out of the Bahamas. I almost hated that place. My childhood was often hellish. It was just horrible. College was this incredible place where I was no longer alone. It's tough growing up unique. It's not like I wasn't liked, because I was. People found me interesting and I'm pretty sure they liked me for it. But looking around and feeling fundamentally different from everyone around you, including your friends, is hard. I couldn't breath there, and when I got to college, all of a sudden I could breath... and talk. And boy did I talk.

I talked so much that by the time I was a sophomore I felt the need to go on a vow of silence for a week. It's wasn't like anyone ever asked me to stop talking. I just got sick of hearing my own voice, and for that week the silence was wonderful.

And when I was 16, I decided to step away from my life for a monk-like life. There was no masturbation or impure thoughts. I meditated twice a day and vowed a spiritual life. In other words I have a history of giving up things. And all of those things that I gave up helped me to cleanse my mind. They felt good. And I have to remember that now.

How much money and celebrity do I need? How much can I strip away from my life without feeling wanting?

Unfortunately, if I ask myself, what's important to me, I know what the answer is. Nothing. Nothing is important to me. That's kind of sad. I used to say that my friends were important to me, but today I think I realized that their not. Once again today I was faced with a situation where I could either advice a friend in a way that would bring us closer together, or I could advice them in a way that would make them happier but pull us apart. I advised them in a way that would make them happier but pull us apart. It broke my heart a little to do it, but I did. Now I think that if their friendship was valuable to me, I would have pulled them closer. But I guess nothing truly matters to me. Nothing does.

That might have been why I have chased after money and celebrity for so long. I guess the truth is that after I abandoned my spiritual beliefs everything lost it's meaning for me. The only thing that's important in life is what you give importance. And now that being a valuable member of society isn't important to me, nothing has importance. And the sad thing is that I don't think a change of location would change that.

I have to truly retire. I have to stop checking my numbers or figure out a way to devalue them for me. I look around at my apartment and I'm happy with it. I don't have a lot of stuff, but I don't need anything more. I have a couple of friends whose houses are just stuffed with stuff. Why? Why would someone need so many trinkets. I just don't get it.

I'm wondering if I should start meditating again. There have been many times in my life when I have said that I have to start meditating again and I do it for a week or two but then I stop. In those situations, the truth has to be that meditation wasn't something that I truly wanted. The things that I truly want, I do and I don't stop doing. That is how all of us are.

Research has shown that meditation can cause an elevation in, I think, oxytocin. And when I was meditating a lot I could feel it. It felt so incredibly good. God damn did it feel good. I remember thinking at the time that I was whole. I didn't need anyone else to make me complete. God I wish I could feel like that again.

I don't know how I could be so good looking and so well liked yet unable to find someone to pair up with, but that's the fact of it. I haven't been on more than one date with someone in 11 years and it's not about to start now. I should really ride out the time I have left in a state of wholeness. How great would that be?

And the truth is that no one else can make you whole. Only you can make yourself feel whole. And that state of wholeness is only a combinations of neurochemicals in either case, so what's the point of the trouble of relationships. I'm not going to be in a relationship in either case, so why fight that fact anymore. "Let go and let god" as they say. Let what will be, be. I'm not going to stop the sun from rising in the east, so why should I try.

I think that the only way that I will truly be able to retire will be for me to start meditating. Nothing has value to me, so what would I be doing otherwise that's more valuable than mediation? Nothing of course. When I was a meditating kid, I did it because there was nothing more important to me than that. Now I don't have a job I need to worry about. I don't have a relationship that I have to be concerned about. I don't have money problems or anything. What do I have that's of importance to me? Nothing. So why not ride out the rest of my life on an oxtocin high? There are a lot of worse ways to go... like every other way. Hmm...

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