Friday, August 8, 2014

I'm Still Here!

It seems to me...and i may be just making it up...that I have consciously chosen to change my life -- I mean really BIG changes --over and over and over again.

I've often wondered if everyone has this sensation that they somehow "caused" things to change--by choosing to act in a different way, change jobs, move to a new city, learn a new endeavor. I look back at those decisions over a lifetime and I cannot count how many of them I've made. In retrospect, it looks a little like I am always sailing as fast I can, trying to stay ahead of ... what? Ennui? Unhappiness? Failure? Death? I don't know.

Perhaps my mother, who stayed in a miserable marriage for 60 years, incapable of change, was the source of my recreations. It didn't seem prudent to sit back and allow life to unfold. What seemed to work was to create your experience, pick it, choose it, and THEN suffer the consequences if needs be. It's called responsibility in some circles, foolishness in others. I really don't know.

But the fact remains, for better or worse, I have been the captain of my ship most of my life. Until fairly recently, that is. Then it seems that it all got away from me. Suddenly I was off the ship, in the current, being carried along at a rapid rate in foreign waters. Loss of control, loss of income, loss of home, loss of many things including friends and lovers. And going faster and faster. I'm waterlogged, exhausted, and yesterday under the weight of more calamities, I was forced to give up (for the second time in 1 year) my trading fund in order to survive financially. Those who know me know that trading is one of the choices that made me the happiest. It took me years to learn to do it and by the time I was able to actually know what I was doing, the money was needed for survival. I am in pain tonight, thinking about it. What trading represented to me was hope and freedom. A way of earning money and a dream for a brighter future than what's befallen me. All gone.

So, I guess it's time, once more, to start over. I have to remind myself of what I've done in my life that pleased me:

  • a disk jockey at 13 in Morocco
  • fought a bull in Madrid at 18; the bull was young too
  • studied acting with John Lehne and Uta Hagen
  • danced on The Ed Sullivan Show (in a bit part) at 25
  • married to an actor; married to an artist (not at the same time)
  • started a macrame/needlepoint business, teaching and selling yarns
  • worked for Werner Erhard at est in California
  • worked for American Heritage Publishing Co. in its heyday in NYC
  • worked in the movie business in Los Angeles
  • learned art and began painting in the early 90's
  • started my own software/accounting consulting firm which was successful for 10 years
  • learned how to make quilts
  • survived breast cancer and fought to keep "the girls" and won
  • began writing and publishing poetry and fiction in the late 90's
  • wrote feature pieces for local newspaper (northern California)
  • started my own literary publishing company and online literary journal for six years
  • cared for my sick mother for five years
  • sold and exhibited art work
  • taught poetry in adult education classes
  • wrote a memoir and published pieces of it
  • traveled to Europe twice as an adult, found my (war hero) father's grave
  • began study of Wall street (on my bucket list) and learned how to trade options and futures
  • retired to Florida in my dream house in 2010

  • and....then...the recession hit, my old house in NC wouldn't sell, the unpaid reverse mortgage was called in, and everything started to crumble. So be it.

    I've come out of retirement and gone back to work. I've sold my home, my car, my jewelry and now cashed in my wee trading fund. But I'M STILL HERE.

    There's some satisfaction in writing that list, and there's a lot of satisfaction in saying, goddamit, I"M STILL HERE. Sondheim knew.

    Which reminds me...I saw a documentary on Elaine Stritch's life, and it sure felt familiar!
    (I went to her apartment and met her in NYC decades ago, friend of a friend.) Always a big fan. So it seems only appropriate to post this video. (but alas, she's not here anymore.)



    ""I'm Still Here (From ""Follies"")"" was written by Stephen Sondheim.

    Good times and bum times, I've seen them all
    And, my dear, I'm still here
    Plush velvet sometimes
    Sometimes just pretzels and beer, but I'm here

    I've stuffed the dailies in my shoes
    Strummed ukuleles, sung the blues
    Seen all my dreams disappear but I'm here.
    I've slept in shanties, guest of the W.P.A., but I'm here
    Danced in my scanties
    Three bucks a night was the pay, but I'm here

    I've stood on bread lines with the best
    Watched while the headlines did the rest
    In the depression was I depressed?
    Nowhere near, I met a big financier and I'm here

    I've been through Gandhi, Windsor and Wally's affair, and I'm here
    Amos 'n' Andy, Mah-jongg and platinum hair, and I'm here
    I got through Abie's, Irish Rose, Five Dionne babies, Major Bowes
    Had heebie-jeebies for Beebe's, Bathysphere
    I got through Shirley Temple, and I'm here

    I've gotten through Herbert and J. Edgar Hoover
    Gee, that was fun and a half
    When you've been through Herbert and J. Edgar Hoover
    Anything else is a laugh

    I've been through Reno, I've been through Beverly Hills, and I'm here.
    Reefers and vino, rest cures, religion and pills, and I'm here
    Been called a 'Pinko', commie tool, got through it stinko by my pool
    I should've gone to an acting school, that seems clear
    Still someone said, "She's sincere", so I'm here

    Black sable one day, next day it goes into hock, but I'm here
    Top billing Monday, Tuesday, you're touring in stock, but I'm here
    First you're another sloe-eyed vamp
    Then someone's mother, then you're camp
    Then you career from career to career
    I'm almost through my memoirs, and I'm here

    I've gotten through, "Hey, lady, aren't you whoozis?
    Wow, what a looker you were"
    Or better yet, "Sorry, I thought you were whoozis
    Whatever happened to her?"

    Good times and bum times, I've seen 'em all
    And, my dear, I'm still here
    Plush velvet sometimes
    Sometimes just pretzels and beer, but I'm here

    I've run the gamut, A to Z
    Three cheers and dammit, C'est la vie
    I got through all of last year, and I'm here
    Lord knows, at least I was there, and I'm here
    Look who's here, I'm still here

    ##

    7 comments:

    1. Wow, what a life! I came across your trading blog just today. I was sorry to hear of your tumultuous financial matters. Your Option insights are amazing. I hope things are looking better for you. Life often comes in waves at us but whether you get swamped or get refreshed by the deluge is a matter of how we look at these life lessons. Take care amazing lady!

      Peace and Love,
      Lou

      ReplyDelete
      Replies
      1. Aren't you wonderful to take the time to stop and tell me such nice things. You made my year already!! Thank you.

        Delete
      2. And HAPPY NEW YEAR to you, Lou!!!!

        Delete
    2. Hi Bev,
      I came across your blog looking for some standard deviation information. I thought your name looked familiar from OA classes. We also listen to tastytrade (mostly Liz and Jenny) and they have been a nice addition to our trading. What a great trading blog you have. Hope all is well with you. Gerry in Atlanta

      ReplyDelete
    3. Hi Gerry, Just saw this post. Sorry I'm so late replying.

      Many thanks for posting and dropping by. Happy Trading and I'm hanging in there, writing and
      doing non-trading. :-)

      ReplyDelete
    4. I understand what you've gone through. Life can be real shitty. And as we grow older it becomes harder to handle. At thirty or forty we can take on a new challenge and come out the other side smiling. Why have you lost friends? That is a cruel blow. I may be on the other side of the world and we may have only just met (or connected), but please consider me a friend.

      All my love,
      Phil

      ReplyDelete
    5. Thank you, Phil! That's lovely to hear and I treasure it. A friend is a wonderful gift in this world!

      ReplyDelete