6:15 PM, Saturday, November 12th, 2011:
This is a very touchy entry for me to write and one that may just have to be locked 'cause I'm unsure how it will be taken. I know I'm sincere, I know I'm appreciateve... but it may come off as I'm taking advantage or I'm gloating. I'll try my best.
Money changes everything.
I have lived 35 years of my life knowing I would never have any. Thankfully? I didn't really give a shit. I always found a way to have the tools I needed to create what I wanted. And, well, having sex is a lot more fun than going on lavish trips or buying lavish toys. See? That's why poor people have so many babies. Ha.
ANYWAY, my entire life is saving for a rainy day. Always has has been. This house that I labor over? It's the only "retirement" I'll ever have. With my "odd jobs" career of doing what I can to get by while giving myself more time to work on my projects will never provide a retirement, so this house, and renting it out in the future once it's paid off? Will be a huge income to me. That was my security, and that was my way of being responsible. I was fortunate to have the house, and making BOTH mortgages each month was the only priority.
When I met Talya I knew she had a different upbringing. At no time did I fault her for it, but I certainly expressed to her how any life with me, wasn't gonna be like that. Her world and my world would never meet. She grew up riding horses and I grew up playing make believe in the backyard. Again, I don't begrudge her that childhood, it was fantastic, it just wasn't one I could afford. And I do need to make this clear - I have never begrudged ANYone with a wealthy background. Paris Hilton? Great life. Lucky woman. Would be nice to not have to think about money. I'm not angry with her, I'm not angry with the Kardashians because all they're famous for is being famous and I have a fuckton more talent and am not. That's just the way the world works, and I LOVE my life. I LOVE the art I make, the stories told. I don't understand why people get so angry with rich people for being rich. It takes a lot of time to be rich. A lot. My perfect day is spending it with Talya, making a great video and entry, uploading it, and then watching TV with her in bed as we go to sleep. If I was a billionaire, that wouldn't change. So those "rich" people? They just look busy to me. Fuck that, I'd rather be happy.
Talya obviously understood that and the more time I spent with her and her mother, I understood that although they are from a different world? They feel the same. They understand the value of money and hard work and take care of each other with far more than money. But, it's there... and it makes a difference.
I would talk to Talya about her life and she never went through the "no safety net" hardships I went through with Jess when we first came out here. Or especially after when she left. Although Talya did work, lived on her own and paid her own bills? Her family would catch her in an instant. A meal here and there, those little things that you stop doing for yourself when you have nothing - well you never go without that when you have a supportive family around. And Talya was a more peaceful mellow person because of it. She would hear my stories and just shake her head. And how fortunate she is to never, ever, ever know what that feels like. You can say it builds character all you want to struggle financially like that? But it's also miserable. Isolating. Painful.
I've now spent 2011 with her and her mother and been part of how their lives have been. I've now been able to experience those meals that I could never afford (though I still try to split the meal with Talya to save money). Point being I'm within this rhythm. This relationship with money that isn't stressful, and I have to tell you... it changes everything. I didn't realize it at first, but over the past few months? When I go to sleep? I smile. I'm at ease. I feel a sense of freedom that I have never known. I mean, at 30 I was stressing about my retirement because I knew that as an artist, I wasn't gonna have one. This house was it. I put a 30 year fixed on it and saved EVERYTHING. Now? Both Talya and I will be taken care of in our old age. That's more than a given. All focus goes to the next younger generation and taking care of them. Of stretching the nest egg as far as possible and building up the reserves for a baby so both Talya and I can stay home the first year to help out. I can make money at home, so that should work out perfectly. It's a complete shift in everything life has meant to me for 35 years. The constant struggle and wonder how I'm gonna make it through the next month. I'm now afforded time to spend with Talya and her family and therein lies so much of the happiness of this year: TIME.
That is what money means to me:  TIME. It doesn't mean things, it doesn't mean power... it means the freedom to spend as much time as I can with good, positive people and try and influence their lives in a positive way as much as I can. It means writing songs for Talya and dreaming of a family... hell it MEANS a family. It means enjoying every second of having a family not stressing about shoes and food... it just means unbridled happiness. 'Cause I've already found the keys to happiness (which don't involve money), but it's always been the time to appreciate them (which does involve money). I feel like I had 35 years to learn my life lessons, have them beat my ASS to the ground just enough that I don't take one second for granted, one PENNY for granted... it's amazing. It's absolutely amazing...
...but I'm not gonna be that asshole who acts like the change I'm going through isn't a big deal. My life is incredibly different now. My outlook is incredibly different. Talya and I are looking into places to volunteer, places we can help... I mean, I feel like I suddenly "have" and want to help the "have nots". I don't have to worry about my retirement, we're gonna be fine - so maybe I can help some other people with my time and effort. I've built the world with these two hands, and now I can help others. So believe me, it changes everything and it is a big reason I'm as relaxed and happy as I am. I felt like I was lying to The Journey by never writing about it. But now, with this video, I can mark the shift in my life where I knew I would be ok. It's a beautiful moment for me.
<Tearful smile>