“The money really starts to come in at 37,” said the fortune teller, as she inspected the noticeably dry lines in my hand. While her revelation didn’t elicit a giant reaction from me on the outside, I couldn’t have been beaming any more brightly on the inside. For starters, I was 35 1/2 years old (1/2 years are perfectly acceptable to use in instances like this) and therefore, not far from 37. Plus, I am a total believer in what others consider to be storybook hocus pocus. So much so, that if she’d told me I were going to meet a unicorn named Jack the next day — I’d wake up at the crack of dawn to cut carrots and prepare oats for our impending lunch. What? What kind of Italian would I be if I didn’t show up with food? I should mention, I didn’t seek out this seer. She and I were extras in a movie who just happened to be sitting at the same table together between scenes. It was all chance and when you’re broke, you’ll do anything for money. Cut!
The next year and a half brought plenty of action in the employment world. I found full-time work as a Publicist for a museum. And, my editor with whom I’d worked for four years convinced me to tag along when she jumped ship for a better, more notable national magazine. This brought many more assignments and many more paychecks – in addition to my full-time job. Although the money was good, there was more to come. I hadn’t turned 37 yet. I had to wait a little longer to collect my jackpot.
In November of 2012 — just three months from the big 3-7, I got recruited to by a local company to be their PR & Marketing Manager. Better position, better money — buh-bye museum. By this point, you could just imagine my excitement. The build-up alone to what the near future would bestow upon me was incredible. I’d be golden at 37. I’d finally have my head above water. I’d finally have the world in the palm of my hand.
As I blew out the candles on my 37th birthday a week ago, I thought “wow, these guys got it easy — I’m burning the candle at both ends.” Cliche, but true. I could barely keep my eyes open. Apparently I wasn’t privy to a little a little piece of information that even the fortune teller didn’t foresee. My really small business, Mike Doria Ink., got much bigger forcing me to put in an extra 20 hours a week — at least. This on top of my full-time job and freelance gig with the magazine. It was my own fault. When opportunity knocked, I didn’t bother to look through the peephole first. I kicked that door wide open and made a grand old entrance.
Working for myself and owning a business was something I’d always envisioned — it was in the cards. But making it my sole source of income is not part of the present just yet. I will continue working all three of my jobs treating it as the precursor to a great future. One where I can relax a bit having “been there, done that” in past. In all of this though, I’ve come to realize that we have to meet our respective destinies half-way. The palm reader predicted correctly. She said the money would start coming in at 37, and it has. She just never said I would have to work 10 times harder to make it come my way. All I know is — good thing I’m a believer in all of this. I made that prediction come true and I’m incredibly thankful right now for the paychecks. More than that — good thing I had the “crystal balls” and foresight to make my small business bigger.