Tuesday, January 17, 2023

It All Turned Out Fine

 

 Hello Invisible Audience,

 

I’m not sure if you’ve been wondering, but I want you to know: the big, scary decision that I made to raise my rates turned out fine.

 

When I look back on the 10+ days it took to finally see whether it was going to be ok or not, it seems like such a short amount of time to wait that I’m a bit ashamed about how terrified it was to sit in those 10 days. But I can’t change how scary it was—not knowing whether I’d even continue teaching Spanish classes, if the families who put their kids in my classes had all decided not to have them continue at the new higher prices.

 

As I’ve been turning it over in my head, I’ve been able to find some curiosity about my reaction to the whole process.

 

How it felt like I was making a momentous decision that could possibly lead straight to destitution.

 

How it felt like how people reacted would be a reflection of whether I was going to be accepted by or rejected by the community I belong to.

 

How I was already starting to consider moving and starting over somewhere else if it turned out that Spanish classes in this one town weren’t viable.

 

And you know what? It still feels like all those things could have been true. Simultaneously, I have realized that the big reaction I had to a very normal thing—raising rates in a business—is a reflection not of how the community was going to take it, but how I was prepping myself to be abandoned—by everyone.

 

If there’s one thing I can own about myself, Invisible Audience, it’s that I am resourceful. I have moved to foreign countries with little more than what I could carry and no long-term plan of how to make money. I have started over again—and again and again—and found joy in the adventure of reestablishing myself. But due to a variety of circumstances—battling both Lyme disease and mold sickness, for starters, and the deep fatigue that have accompanied them—I haven’t felt the pull to start over again lately. That in itself is pretty momentous. But the idea that I would end up living in a cardboard box because my business fails is just not accurate. I have sold liquor; worked retail; taught kids to ski; written; cooked; started several businesses; published. I speak two languages—the two primary languages spoken in the region where I live. And more than all those things, I am really stubborn. I would make it, here or somewhere else, because I don’t know how not to.

 

That doesn’t mean it’s easy. Or that I’ve enjoyed the survival mode I’ve been living in for far too long. But the place my brain went when I decided I needed to earn more to stop stressing out about money so much was straight to the direst predictions: losing my job; my community. Being punished for asking for what I needed.

 

That’s really what it was all about, Invisible Audience. I needed more than I’d been letting myself have. And before I could bring myself to ask for it, I had to get to a point of thinking I could lose it all.

 

This is a trauma response, Invisible Audience.

 

I am working on breaking it, but I’m not there yet. And what that means is that I have to do these things, even as a young, scared part of me curls into a ball and waits for my world to implode because I had the audacity to decide I need more than I have. I have to sit in the sheer terror of waiting to see if the dystopian future my reptile brain has imagined will come to fruition…or not.

 

It all turned out fine, Invisible Audience. But that doesn’t mean I can just turn off the switch of fear every time I need to do something similar. It just means I have to do it anyway, and know that I’ll survive, no matter what the outcome.

 

Love and just fine kisses,

Morgan

 

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