I intentionally took a break from blogging for five months, and that time has been filled with both wonderful and terrible things. The wonderful things have come from my sponsors and friends who helped me make rent and bills and have enough food to eat until I found a job, and to make ends meet as I supplement my income with said job.
More than that, you all have provided both furniture for the small room I rent in a shared townhouse. Even more generously, you gave me the technological equipment I need to write well and make good videos. This new laptop’s keyboard, along with the new Microsoft Office suite given to me by one of my wonderful Patreon patrons, inspires me to come back to writing with earnest, because the keys all respond to inputs, instead the most worn ones needing to be pressed several times. I’m making fewer mistakes now as I write.
I am astounded at your generosity as readers and supporters, both in that you care to hear my perspectives as they change with my growth and greater understanding, and that you want to see me thrive. I feel incredibly lucky, because in the midst of late-stage capitalism, I have people keeping me afloat, eager to see that I am okay, that I have a fighting chance at recovery from my complex trauma.
My job, as some of you may know, is as a deli clerk at a grocery store. My second job is this writing, which pays monthly through my Patreon supporters – some people get access to extra posts by pledging just a dollar or more. My Patreon paycheck has covered bills and emergencies and needs for almost five years, and I don’t know how I would have gotten along without it.
The terrible thing is that my partner’s health is failing every day. This has meant countless visits to emergency rooms and urgent clinics, frequent doctor’s appointments, and various types of scans/tests. I won’t go into much detail here, but this has taken a significant amount of my time since July, when he got his first serious diagnosis. It’s been a miracle that I’ve only had to leave work early or call out a couple of times.
As for the job itself – how am I spending most of my waking hours? Well, I’m selling my body for the profit of a corporate entity. I smile for customers as I serve display case salads and sliced deli meats. I wipe down the glass and mop the floor and put everything away at the end of each night, or slice all the meat in the morning when I open sometimes. There’s not much to say about it, except for the state of mind I keep about me.
I am not dishonest with myself about what I am doing. I know that I am being exploited under capitalism for minimum wage, but as far as physically demanding jobs go, I’ve had worse. I know that someday I will rely entirely on my art to support myself, but that time is not yet. So I do my best to do a good job at the tasks before me, provide excellent customer service, and keep quiet about my personal opinions around my coworkers. When will the laborers realize that we hold the power over profit creation? I wonder. And I remind myself that even if I am free of this system, there are others who are not, and I want to free us all from this system of oppression called capitalism.
Capitalism seeps into the crevices of every aspect of life. It asks, “is this productive?” of every activity. It asks, “is this profitable?” of everything. The heartlessness of it is that when the answer is no, people’s lives are judged as useless, to be discarded. When we demand healthcare for all, we are demanding that the pain and suffering and death of human beings is not judged on what makes the CEO of an insurance company that much wealthier. And don’t get me started on the fabulously wealthy, who use exploitative strategies to keep wealth and power in their own hands.
I think these things and want to write long essays with in-depth facts and statistics on the economic status quo. What good are these opinions, when I myself am a minimum wage earner who works quietly for a system I hate? The only thing I know I can do that actually seems to work and make a difference in some small way is to write. So I’m going to do my best to remember that I can write about anything and everything, and keep practicing.
Finally, I want to write a bit about the problem of the blog as a medium, which I talked about in my last blog post before I took this break from the blog. I’ve spent a lot of time rethinking how I think about blog posts. Processing thought is itself worthy of reflection and consideration, and I had gotten to the point where, if I came up with an idea, I’d immediately try to think of a snappy title for a blog post to sum it up. Now I don’t do that. It’s just a thought, perhaps something worth noting, but not something to assign to the blog right away. I want my blog posts to be more organic, just what’s worth sharing of my thoughts, so we’ll see how that goes.