Necessity and Hope

It feels profoundly selfish to be constantly in need. It might seem helpful to make comparisons – there are people worse off, there are people better off. Yet the fact remains that each day contains necessity. We all need food and a place to sleep. People who’ve always had their basic needs met see wisdom in Maslow’s hierarchy, and the rest of us laugh. We need kindness and love even if our stomachs remain empty, our heads restless.

My household was part of the US Census this year, and it was interesting to answer questions according to categories we don’t really fit into. My partner is on disability benefits, so questions about work didn’t apply. As for me, I have been without a regular job for over four years, but on paper I’m self-employed with few working hours. I work from home about ten hours a week on a variety of projects. I run a blog, and I have supporters on both Patreon and Substack. I fundraise as needed, too – right now we have a fundraiser going to get out of Seattle and to a better location.

These hours may not seem like much to an able-bodied person. But I am doing as much as I can, and I often can’t even do that much. Lately I’ve been doing more than usual because of the move, and I’m paying the price in pain and exhaustion. There’s organizing and packing and cleaning to do. We don’t have a car, so I’ve been putting 3 boxes in the wagon at a time and hauling them to the post office to mail out. It’s thankfully only a few blocks away.

I often wake up in the middle of the night reaching for the Tylenol and Biofreeze, even though I’m already on a few different medications that are supposed to help with the pain.

Here in the United States, it has become normal to not be able to make ends meet. Most of us are making too little to stay housed and fed. If you can work, one job or one income is not enough to support yourself. If you can’t work, your chances are even worse. Splitting rent is one of the better options, but there are very few housing options. We are so grateful that we’ve remained housed, and it’s not because we are able to work for it. It’s because of the generosity of our supporters.

We move in less than three weeks. We’re visiting with a few people who we may not get another chance to see in a long time. The cats have gotten most of their vet work done, we just need to administer one more vaccine and get medicine to help them stay calm during the flights. We’ve shipped out half of our boxes, which is a great milestone, but we still need to raise more than $1,500 to make everything fall into place.

After we move, I really hope that we’ll be able to settle into this new location for longer than a year. Moving twice, one year apart, has been a LOT to deal with. Once we’re settled in, we hope to do more than worry about housing. I am planning to resume my education once again in the fall. I am excited that the new place has a little balcony where I can put some plants. We will be closer to a larger community and medical access, plus it’s a less expensive place to live.

Now more than ever before in my life, I am hopeful for the future. I am less depressed than I used to be. I want to study and learn more about the world and my place in it. I want to move forward.

If you enjoy my writing, or if you want to help us keep our basic belongings by shipping them to our new location, sharing our gofundme link or donating to the fundraiser would be so appreciated. We are so grateful to all of you who’ve already done so! Thank you for your ongoing care.