Warning: Lots of naughty language up ahead!
So, I wrote a book (Breakup Rehab).
As of today it is ranked number 1,213,419 in all of the books being sold on Amazon.
I’m in the back of a very long line. Tony Robin’s book on money is ranking number 25 amongst all books and Amy Poehler’s book Yes Please is number 52.
The repetitive cacophony that made publishing my book possible has also buried it amongst famous authors, old people’s stories and powerful publishing houses. I’m certain I feel like so many emerging artists do—like a failure.
And in some ways, I am.
Is my book funny? Is it savvy? Does it speak to a worldwide issue? Sure. I invested my heart and soul into writing my book, as well as two-thousand dollars of my own money. I’ve sold exactly eight copies in one month.
So, why did I even bother? Another question I’m sure aspiring artist ask themselves. Then the justification follows that, “You can’t do it for the glory. It has to be untainted by a vain grasping after recognition. It has to be pure and inspired.”
While all of that is well and good, living the life of a starving artist, in no uncertain terms, sucks. I’m plucked like worn out guitar strings that reverberate out of tune. I’m not quite free from servitude yet no one owns my life in its entirety.
In the last two years I’ve made a total of 20,000 before taxes.
Maybe this reflects a level of foolhardiness I’ve yet to cop to. Maybe the learning curve for business is steep and there are plenty of coaches and wolves who are willing to sell you the ever charming snake oil “formula” to turn it around—which I’ve spent money on.
But, mostly I had a dream I believed in, and while my money is going through departure I’m still waiting at the arrival gate.
I’ve eked by on meager income and drained my savings accounts. Much of this survivalist existence has been tempered by grandiose dreams of being famous. The ever expanding horizon of “someday” has been close enough to keep me hedging my bets and just illusive enough to provoke risking it all on just one more shot.
I’ve continued to miss the mark.
Hindsight being what it is, I look back on my decision to spend about 50 percent of my inheritance—gained from my mother and father’s death—to getting my masters in counseling, and now I wonder why I did that? At this point in the game it looks like a stupid investment.
I was chasing a dream. Again, in hindsight, it seems like buying a storage unit or investing in property would have been a better bet. But, I didn’t do that. So, like so many others, I’m clawing and stretching to align with a vision that will take me to the promise land.
So far, my book hasn’t done it, my counseling business hasn’t done it, the 200K I got as inheritance didn’t’ do it, and no man in my life has ever done it.
So where does that leave me? Where does that leave the collective millions who are asking, “What do I do with my life?” “How can I be happy?”
I propose that leads you to the ever-loving doors of the Church of I Fail to Give a Fuck. The gospel of this church is very simple; pontificated by yours truly—”Reverend” Rebekah:
1. You are a failure because you tried and if you tried and failed now you can fail to give a fuck.
2. We all have to learn to play the game. Don’t let the fuck you give be taken away by someone who fails to give a fuck about you.
3. There is glory, victory and honor in doing whatever the fuck you have to do to live and give your gifts.
4. Sometimes the fucking you get ain’t worth the fucking you’re going to get. Sometimes we just get fucked.
5. Married, divorced, single, monogamous, promiscuous or polyamorous are not to judge nor compare themselves against one another. We are all fucked.
6. Give up on all imaginings that would have you believe something other than the singular truth that your life fucking means something.
7. Nothing matters except what we make matter; that which we do give a fuck about.
8. Money is a measure of many things. It is a way to keep score. It is a game predicated on how many lives you can transform from fucking up to fucking awesome.
9. God is waiting on you to answer your own prayers right fucking now.
10. For. Unlawful. Carnal. Knowledge. We have all sinned (missed the mark) and fallen short of the glory. No biggie. Mulligan, do over, reboot, and try again. Death is certain. The life you live isn’t.
These ten gospels are not oaths. In fact, you can fail to give a fuck in any direction you choose.
I just turned 35 and it doesn’t look like it supposed to. I’m not rich. I’m not married. I don’t have a kid. I don’t own a home. I don’t travel to exotic places. I don’t eat expensive meals. I don’t stand out as an upstanding member in my community.
And I fail to give a fuck because I know that I have risked my life to make the world a better place.
I have thrown my chips on the table and created Breakup Rehab. I have withstood the heart wrenching deaths of both my parents. I have overcome hoping I’d find the love of my life only to be devastated by breakups. I’m not only an artist, I’m a work of art.
And I believe that it’s not about playing big, being small, or expanding into the far reaches of the universe. It’s about failing to give a fuck about things that really don’t matter.
Can I get an Amen? Can I get a hallelujah? Can I get a glory?
Positively influencing others’ lives and making the world a better place is what matters to me. I don’t know what’s next for you, but I hope we meet each other real soon.
Until then, take it to church!
Love elephant and want to go steady?
Author: Rebekah McClaskey
Editor: Emily Bartran
Photo: Nick Fisher/Flickr