Tuesday, December 2, 2008

full heart empty pockets

my amazing pal jamie is currently in the process of applying to graduate school for poetry. she says it's because of the economy, and because she wants to enter into a highly lucrative field, seeing as getting her bachelors in acting didn't pay off, except for that one honda commercial she did. I told her that I think it's a great idea. and then we laughed.

oh the economy.

I would be a liar if I didn't tell you right now that every day I fight the urge to break down in a fury of fear for the encroaching doom that seems eminent. sara and I have been known to use iceland's economic state as a comfort for our own. we are not alone in our struggles. and the debt, oh the debt, the adding and never subtracting. it has kept me up at nights. but why? my bank went bankrupt. and now my credit card company can't keep it together. why should I care that I owe them some dough? and WHAT IS THE WORST CASE SENARIO? what could possibly be so terrible? moving back in with the folks? two people that I respect very very much are currently living with their parents. let's not forget that my dad makes great coffee every morning and then pours quality wine at night. and my mom, well shoot, that woman lives to make her kids happy -- pancakes every day of the week if I so requested. the point is not that I am going to move back home, the point is that if I couldn't pay my bills, as I am so afraid I will not be able to, what is it that I am fearing would happen? bankrupcy? there are worse things. homelessness? I wouldn't be homeless -- besides my parents, there are always the parents of my homeless friends. I think what I am really afraid of is not being able to get sushi when I am craving it or taking a trip to mexico in january because I feel like a drink on the beach. what I am having a hard time with is the lack of freedom that the shackles of debt so expertly applies. joan didion said it best,

"The secret point of money and power in America is neither the things that money can buy nor power for power's sake... but absolute personal freedom, mobility, privacy. It is the instinct which drove America to the Pacific, all through the nineteenth century, the desire to be able to find a restaurant open in case you want a sandwich, to be a free agent, live by one's own rules."

and that is what I want, the luxury to live by my own rules, but why is that a luxury? how has freedom been given a monotary value? and how can I fight against a system that I don't actually believe in? I don't believe that money will make me happy. I don't believe that I need money to live a rich life. I don't believe that debt is an excuse for giving into a job that I hate. so what is it that I can do to free myself from buying into the widespread panic that I can't afford to accept?...
fighting it everyday. talking with friends who share my sentiments. taking trips I can't afford, but also can't afford to miss out on. selling my bone marrow. participating in medical studies. dog sitting and baby walking. singing on street corners. charging people money to watch me talk about nothing on the internet. picking free fruit off the trees in LA and selling it for a reasonable price. shaving jg's head and selling his locks at a premium price. laughing at myself everytime I start to worry about the ecomony, reminding myself that the u.s. of a. owes A LOT more money than I do. partaking in a lot of free activities like writing to friends and looking through photographs and waving at cute kids in strollers and remembering what really matters. the fact is, and this is what I have to remember, you can't put a price on rockin' in the free world.


miss clover said...

a to the men. this just made me feel less alone.

Your Ill-fitting Overcoat said...

You said it, sister. This is exactly how I feel.

This week, I visited one of my best friends from college. A new widow and a newly single mom, I don't think she has a dollar in the bank. I took her out for dinner twice and brought her baby clothes and I realized that the worst of it is the lack of choice. You take what people give you. She's such a strong, independent person, but it's hard to be truly independent when you're depending on others. That's the part that I imagine is the hardest and that I fear the most.

S K said...

Awwww Iceland. Money doesn't buy or guarantee personal freedom but that is real sweet how Joan put it. I’ve never met a truly free rich agent or a truly rich free agent.

elizabeth said...

i love you.

elizabeth said...

ps- my sole current sources of income are a nasa study where i play computer games and babysitting sometimes. The whole notion of "career" is now alien to me. Move to baltimore, you can work 3 days a week and still pay your bills, that leaves 4 days a week of bike-riding, free museums, dance parties, making friendship bracelets, and cat collages.