want or be

you know, one of the things about facebook is that you stay connected to people you would otherwise never talk to again. these people are always living lives far more interesting  than yours. at least it seems that way with the advent of instagram, which makes everyone’s lives look more interesting and dynamic.

I was recently on the wall of someone who is totally outdoorsy, aka the person I wish I was. I want to be a granola bar eating, mountain climbing, co-op shopping, hippie chick. however, this dream alludes me. I definitely like who I am, but I see these psueod-me’s rock climbing and shit and I just think “I want to go to there.”

This brings me to a another topic of interest. being broke. I just got back from a two week study tour of Ireland and I have very little cash. I’m trying to avoid dipping into savings accounts and maxing out credit cards, and instead live within my means. I’m not very good at this or it is impossible. I believe it is impossible. okay, I’m just not good at it. being financially restrained always pushes me into a contemplative state of existence. Before coming to graduate school, I served as an AmeriCorps member with an anti-poverty organization. I was also living on a $12,000 a year stipend. I do not compare my two year crash course in low wages as comparable to a live of systemic poverty. Quite frankly, I was just a hipster. I interacted with individuals who were struggling in poverty every day. I also worked at a high end soap shop and it wasn’t unusual for me to spend a day trying to find diapers for a mom who couldn’t afford them and the evening helping a woman spend upwards of $200 on soap. It was a crash course in how the American system works for and against people.

I am pretty secure. I can afford to buy organic things, organic dog food, gas to get to places, clothes I like, things to entertain myself, and several other oddities. Right now I need to restrict myself till I get paid. but even that has its obstacles. If my life were a movie it would be finding nemo. My paycheck is that scene were Dory almost gets eaten by seagulls, and the seagulls are all of my bills. Mine, mine, mine…peanut butter and jelly for a week.

If this is my lot, I am still blessed. But it always gets me thinking about were my satisfaction in life comes from and what I value. it also makes me think about the safety nets people have or don’t have. I start feeling “the black hole” of feelings that I associate with not understanding why our society is so unequal or so many people go without their basic needs. To think to so hard about living is not living. to count every penny and measure every cent and wonder if the card will be accepted. to feel that creeping anxiety that an emergency will come up and you will be sunk. always waiting for the other shoe to fall (what does that mean by the way. why would your shoe just fall off?).

I hope to spend this weekend enjoying the simple things. reading library books and lounging in coffee shops. seeing old and new friends and taking in the beauty of the lake and the mountains. wallowing with Louise and meditating on the happiness she gets by simply playing fetch.

to take a moment to release myself from the constraints of wanting so I can just be. here. now.


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