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For Love or Money

I have lived a life measured out by the tides of love. It has always been my greatest gift, and its loss has always been my most central tragedy.

There are people whose lives revolve instead around money. People who must play the stock market the way I must dance. People who live by the tides of their fortune. These people often make a lot more money than I ever will—and I wonder what their secret is!

I just lived through an endless nightmare of a weekend...the kind where no matter how desperate you are to wake up, you can't, and it only gets worse. The worst of it was, I was blindsided by what really happened: I had planned not just to make a fair amount of money, but to prove to everyone who thought I couldn't that I could. When exactly the opposite happened, I was stunned and scared for the future and once again I heard my ex-husband's scared, angry voice in my head, saying, “you're never going to make any money. I've never seen you successfully do it and I don't believe you ever will. I'm burnt out. I have no faith in this.”

I had gone to a tango festival to give massages. This had worked beautifully at the US Championships, where in just a few hours I made roughly a zillion dollars, cash. I assumed doing it for a captive audience of sore feet (or whatever) for a whole weekend would be like shooting sore feet (or whatever) in a barrel. But once there, despite hawking my wares with more determination and need than a pox-riddled middle-aged whore with five hungry children, I got exactly One Single Client the whole weekend, who was really just doing it to make me feel better, on his girlfriend's suggestion.

I had spent half my savings to make the trip. Which I had assumed would be a solid business model, because I was going to make it all back and then some and I was going to establish myself and people would remember me for next time. Right?

Everybody said, yeah, that would be great, I have this knot right here, and then they broke down into two camps: the people who said they'd have one “later,” wouldn't schedule, and then never emerged, and the much more numerous people who were very interested until they found out they had to pay. Even the brilliant Popcorn Model was not working! I had assumed that although it's a lot to ask people to commit to a full session, asking people to give me ten clothed minutes for an easy small sum would be like asking them to eat a handful of popcorn instead of a steak dinner. No sweat.

On the other hand, I made some fabulous new friends, even two whole kindred spirits (a shockingly high number). And the thing was...this was not surprising! This is how it always goes! I ask God for money and he gives me love. I send out energy to attract money and he gives me love. I work hard for money and he gives me love. I lose money and he gives me love. I panic about money and he gives me love. Maybe it's energetic homeostasis, external conditions adjusting to match the love-salinity of internal conditions. As above, so below.

I have been abandoned and betrayed many times in life, starting shortly after birth, by people who really should not have done so. I've known the love-tides to crash against the shore and sweep away whole seaside villages in one go, leaving total devastation in their wake. But that's the minor complement to the major theme: a life soaked in love.

I come by it genetically. Everybody loved my great-grandmother. Then everybody loved my grandmother. Then everybody loved my mother too, although she's completely different from Grandma. And now, everybody loves me. When I lived in New York I had a fixed number in the weekly budget allocated to “strangers on the street suddenly taking me out for dinner.” People would run blocks through the streets just to tell me how beautiful I was, no disrespect, ma'am. People gave me all kinds of things all the time, their stories, their hearts, their boomerangs, their mix tapes of Broadway songs, their boxes of biscuits. I once showed up at school holding a long-stemmed red rose that someone had given me on my walk over. “Don't you live...two blocks away, Jordana?” Yes....

Even outside of the magic island of Manhattan, however, there does seem to be something about me that pulls people in. Complete strangers open up to me. Guarded hearts reveal secrets to me they tell no one else. Since late adolescence I've had slews of frank admirers and adored friends.

This does not mean I have any more romantic success than the next person! That's a totally different question! Things work out or things don't, it's the same as it is with anyone. But when I look over my history and ask the question, “historically, for me, when I'm in a bind, what has helped me out of it?” every single time the answer is love. When I ask the question, “historically, for me, what comes easily, what do I attract without effort, and where do all my greatest successes in life lie?” every single time the answer is love.

If friends were gold bullion, I would be the richest person in the world! I have the loveliest friends, and a solid sampling of the whole spectrum of bond-strength. Socially, I am every bit the millionaire I have never been financially.

And I may be slow, but eventually, if you keep exposing me to a concept, I do catch on. I'm starting to think that perhaps for me...somehow...the answer to “how am I ever going to make enough money to support myself, let alone my child,” lies in that love. I don't know why. I don't know how. I just know that it's the thing that keeps showing up, over and over and over again, and pulling me through hard times. And I know that patterns repeat—so why should the future be any different from the past?

It's not a financial plan I would happily show to an accountant. “Everything's going to be fine, Sheldon,” I say. “I know right now you're freaking out about the numbers, but somehow love will save the day. It always has, and it always will. In its own surprising way.”'s true. Where the love comes from, what it looks like, and how it manifests itself, only time can tell, and God helps those who help themselves, but...we are most successful when we do what we're really good at. If one has a talent for being loved, and this talent over and over again produces measurable results, why not embrace it.

All You Need Is Love. The Beatles.