Light at the End of the...
I was so excited to write that last post. Now today, we're back slogging uphill.
GDPR has fucked me, and not in the enjoyable way.
Don't get me wrong. I am 100% behind this. I hope everyone gets on board with something similar. But for someone who can't afford a website developer or a lawyer, who is limited to All the Free Stuff (websites, mail list server, instruction, teaching platform) and whatever I can glean and figure out the hard way by myself, this sucks.
I was unaware of this whole mess until 10 days before the deadline. When *I* am the one in the know around My Tribe, you know something is up. I've had to explain what GDPR is to the majority of people I've spoken with, yet it is of great concern to me because a large part of my market is from the EU. That means I don't dare risk letting anyone slip through the cracks.
What it also means in the logistical reality of my life is that it has stopped me completely in my tracks. When I found out about this I had just spent the prior two weeks digging through the learning curve of setting up my email list server, developing all the links and buttons and signup forms, and getting a PO Box so I could have a physical address to splash on my emails. I had concocted the huge message for my outdated, by-hand list and had just sent it out to all my Colorado peeps, because I have a workshop coming up there.
I had really wanted to test drive a new registration process, but again, being limited to All The Freebies made that impossible. A compounding problem was that I had built my website and email list on platforms that no longer play nicely together. I reeeeeally do not have it in me to switch either of those platforms right now. I scoured YouTube and Google and found some hacks to at least give my website a non-completely-heinous sign up box.
I'm sure it is.
And that is out of the destitute, disabled one's budget. So I had to take all those links down and replace them with a "Hey, if you want to sign up on my mailing list, shoot me a message and I'll let you know when the links are back up and compliant."
In the meanwhile, all my research has only gone to prove that I don't trust in my sick skillz enough to DIMy even with the gobs of instructions and templates out there. I just don't know enough about this stuff to feel confident in what I would compose, much less in knowing whose freebie templates and instructions I can trust.
So I called SSI to ask for suggestions on how we disabled people who would dearly love to get off disability and who have really great ideas on a sustainable career can find resources to complete said transition when we have a negative-$2000/month income.
SSI doesn't do things like this. They sent me to Vocational Rehab, who seemed hopeful. I have an appointment--in a flippin' month.
So in the meanwhile, I need to communicate with my list about needing a headcount of Absolute Yesses for my upcoming workshop because I got screwed by Lying Yesses last time to the tune of over $300. I cannot justify flying to Colorado if I'm going to come home in the hole again, so I have to instead justify how many paid registrants I can trust in having.
Just one problem - I had told my old Colorado list that if they didn't follow me over to the new list they would never hear from me again.
Now who is the liar?
With every week that passes, with every roadblock that pushes me farther and farther away from financial liberation and the reclamation of being a fully functioning adult again, I fall deeper into the hole. In the depths of this hole is the deep despair that tries to convince me that it would have been better if the drunk who rammed me would have just catapulted me out of this body completely.
Is that true? Well, it wouldn't have been better. But it certainly would have been easier!
On days like today, it looks as though there will never be an end to this dark tunnel, except for when I finally croak.
I know what it is ultimately. It is simply that the track inside the tunnel has taken an upward swing, thereby blocking my view of the almighty light at the end. Or perhaps it is that the track has made a sudden dip into the Pits. When I can no longer see it shining in the distance, I begin to fret that there is no light. That it really was just another set of headlights coming to ram me into smithereens.
I don't have it in me to hunt down nice photos or funny GIFs today. Today is a fuck it day. I wound up emailing my old list, calling myself a liar and explaining why. I gave them the option to opt out the old fashioned way - email me with no hard feelings. Then I asked for my head count. I see the replies swiftly rolling in, because my gals really are great. They'll be communicative.
The ones who didn't put their money where their mouths were last time were complete strangers, but My Tribe? They're golden and I can always count on them, even if it's to say, "Dang, sorry, I can't come."
One of these days I'll find the way in which to get my stuff compliant. I'll get the email list up. I'll have a completed and functional-enough website. I'll be able to spend my time and energy creating what I was born to create, rather than trying to learn all these jobs I was never meant to do so I can just get the barest bones up and running.
One of these days I will have fun and exciting news to share with my list and to blog about.
Today is not that day. Today is another glimpse into the reality. "You gotta pay to play." Annnnnnnd fuck you very much. Yes, I am all too aware.
We'll see what Voc Rehab has to say this time. Last time I saw them was in about 2002, before I had completed the whole rigamarole of brain testing, and back when my doctors were still telling me that I needed to give up on ever being a dancer again. Hahahahaha. Needless to say, those appointments were a waste of everyone's time. I was still plagued by chronic muscle spasms, migraines, seizures. I had no clue what the dealio with my brain injury truly was, and had no documentation or failed job history to present to them yet.
"Ohhhhh, you should work at Walmart. Or McDonald's."
Bwahahahahaha!!!! You want me to work routine hours after driving to an establishment that is difficult for me to merely enter as a patron? I almost never enter either of those buildings by myself, and only then at odd hours when they're reasonably quiet. The fluorescent lights and overwhelming ambience overload my nervous system even then, so I get out as quickly as possible.
And you think I can work there?!
"Ohhhhh, you could be a security guard."
The Dain Bramaged One who has trouble sensing anything outside her immediate surroundings. The one who was wiped out by four hours a day trying to keep an eye on patrons while working the cash register in a New Age store in a rural town of 3000 people? And you want me to be responsible for security?
Come with me into reality, please.
So I dearly look forward to hearing what they'll have to say this time, now that I can hand them my neuropsychological exam as well as the other updated documents I've acquired through the years. I will also have the litany of failed job attempts, as well as My Grand Plan for finally saving my crappy, happy, chapped ass.
Entities usually appreciate Go Getters who have plans. And this one will work. I know in my guts and in my heart that I can do this job--and sustain it. That is the key.
I simply need to have the proper framework and stable platforms upon which to base it all. Me trying to build it all by me onesie is not working--not with the monkey wrench this GDPR thing has thrown into the works. So we'll see if Voc Rehab can point me in the direction of resources for we destitute, disabled souls unwilling to stay that way. If they can't, I'll head in the next direction in which they point me, and the next and the next until I finally find it.
For now, the Pitbull Jaws are engaged, and I've handed off Pandora's Opened Box to my nearest and dearest for safe keeping. I don't have much of a handle on hope today, so I leave it in their loving hands until my heart is once again open enough to draw in back inside.