It was not long after I had my heart broken two months in a row by two different men and just before I had to humiliate myself and ask my dad to lend me more money to pay my bills that I risked and lost the rest of my bankroll. I thought I’d been sent a sign that my luck was changing. I thought February 11th was the day. I thought I was going to win… or at least place high enough to win half my bankroll back as I’d done on Christmas Eve… but, instead, I left with nothing but the feeling that perhaps I’m not playing the games of poker, life, or love as well as I thought.
I berated myself for thinking that, at least sometimes, I play better poker when feeling down and out in life. I kicked myself for thinking that my game improves when I’m down to a chip and a chair. I ate junk food when feeling too lazy to cook. I let the dust and clutter (which had taken a lot of help to clear out in the winter) begin to accumulate once again. I played a lot of free poker on Poker Stars. Eventually, I visited my backer and told him I’d lost our cash. Unlike my own reaction, he was not upset with me for a single moment and still believes I can find a way to make my dreams come true.
When the time came to admit to my dad that I needed his help once again, I had begun to fear that I had gone too far. I didn’t want to give up on my dreams, but if I couldn’t find a way to support myself, I would feel like I needed to. I let myself dread the moment for so long that I ended up leaving my dad a voicemail request that he make a deposit for me the next day. Thankfully, my father knows how hard I push myself and promptly deposited the loan and sent a heaping dose of love and well wishes along with it.
After a few additional unexpected gifts from friends floated into my life, seemingly to distract me from the despair I was still fighting over my struggle to pay the bills, it finally hit me. Although I thought I had been doing it all along, I wasn’t truly loving myself or believing in myself fully. I had failed to go all-in on my dream. Despite the fact that I technically had the time, I hadn’t spent much of my spare time pitching articles to magazines or trying to find more retail shops that want to sell my candles. I had continuously looked for jobs I didn’t love to help me keep the bills paid. Perhaps the reason I couldn’t find anything better than what I have is because I’m better at convincing others I will achieve my dream than I am at actually taking the steps to achieve it.
Still, I needed cash fast… and writing gigs don’t pay right away… and it’s harder to sell candles in the Spring and Summer because people burn more candles when it’s cold outside. So, I took a sales job through Craigslist… because I finally found something that sounded fun… and it was great… for about a month.
Then, suddenly, I realized that, if I spent as much time and energy promoting my own products in the days to come as I’d spent in the previous month promoting someone else’s, perhaps I could finally find success. Perhaps I’d finally spent enough time worrying, brooding, planning, and preparing. Perhaps that time had been more fruitful than I thought and I actually had been loving myself by indulging the stress of allowing my brain to spit out a plethora of problem solving ideas on all those difficult days. Perhaps creating and brainstorming were the best ways to show myself love then, it just wasn’t the case anymore.
Now is the time for action. Now is the time to remember that I sold over $1500 in candles at A Crimson Holiday in La Cumbre Mall this past winter and find a few places open year round with similar earning potential. Now is the time to be proud of my newfound ability to translate children’s books from English to Spanish in rhyme and find the authors who need my services. Now is the time to wear my leggings to places that might be interested in buying a wholesale lot to sell. Now is the time to write the articles I’ve been mulling over for months and pitch them to the right publications.
Perhaps it was fate that I lose my bankroll (for now) because I had gotten distracted from everything else I was working on. Both life and the game of poker have a tendency to provide you with a metaphorical slap upside the head whenever you need it most. Now that I’ve recovered from mine, I’m excited to see what comes next. I think there’s a good chance it will be awesome and help me somehow find a way back to the felt. One good thing leads to another, right? Or, am I just thinking that way because I’m a gambler who’s short on cash, but full of hope and love?