Monetizing Pain

I spent my weekend at a conference about making money online.


I spent half my weekend sitting in a conference about making money online thinking, what the hell am I doing here?, and sending an incessant amount of snarky, bitchy, annoying tweets.

I spent the other half of my weekend holed up in my hotel room with a book.

And the other half laying in my bed, begging my husband not to leave.  Except begging is probably too strong a word, because I don’t think zombies really have the emotional oomph to beg.

It was three halves of awesome.  Clearly.

But back to the first half.

Ted Murphy, the owner of Izea and, therefore, the IzeaFest conference, sent me a message on twitter last week offering me a free ticket.  He had a rough idea of the shit I’d been going through recently and had seen me tell a friend that there was no way I could afford a conference ticket of any kind right now.

“You could use some fun right now,” he said.

“Fuck it,” I figured.

It was my weekend to be banished from the house anyway.

And that’s how I came to be sitting in a banquet room at SeaWorld, listening to people talk about how to make money through blogs and twitter.  Ironically, or not, I had an unanswered – thought not unread –  email sitting in my inbox from someone offering me $100 to write a post on this here blog.  A post about a cooking class in Branson, Missouri.

I sat in that room, listening to people talk about money, and thought about how I’d had to transfer yet more money from savings to pay for yet another hotel room.

I thought about the therapy appointment I was going to have to pay for this week, and the marriage counseling that I was going to have to, in all likelihood, pay for in order to find some sense of peace with this whole fucked up thing I’ve been living with.

And I thought about that $100.

And I thought – there is no fucking way I am plopping a post about cooking in Branson, Missouri in the middle of a running diatribe about the most painful thing I’ve experienced to date.

No.  Way.

Yes, I have ads in my sidebar.  And those ads, along with my handful of writing jobs and my shopping site, are the reason I’ve been able to pay for therapy and groceries over the last month.

But this space – this space right here – it has become sacred to me.  It has been where I have bled, and where I have bandaged myself.  It has been where I have prayed, and where I have heard the voice of God.  It has been where I have laughed and cryed and screamed and sat numb, and been held up by the knowledge that I am not alone.

This space is not for sale.

And still, there is the constant thought that I have to support myself and my kids and my meager attempts to salvage myself and my marriage.

And along with that thought, that fear, there is this notion that I seem to be doing something well here.  Something right.  Something that taps in to the truest, most authentic, most real and right and valuable part of me.

Granted, there are other things that I “do well” that could be monetized – if I was willing to move to Las Vegas and ship my dignity home to my mother for safe keeping.  And yet… well… no.  Thank you.

But there is this… sense… that I cannot shake.  This feeling that what I’ve learned here, what I’m doing here, is somehow a part of who I am and what I’m supposed to do.

Right now, all I have is a bunch of dots and no lines with which to connect them.

I’m kind of OK with that for now.

For now, I’m OK with knowing nothing more than one thing that I cannot, will not, do.  For now, that’s enough of a start.

I have faith that the rest will come to me when the time is right.  Granted, it’s faith the size of teeny, tiny, seemingly sterile seed right now.

But someone told me once… that is enough.

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