Life Makes Shit Hard

Hello frands.

I’m currently ass deep in feels and stress so…stuff.

I’m trying to find us a new place to live and it is so frustrating. If you’re new, I live in Seattle and the housing here is plentiful but expensive. I have some deal breaker things aside from affordability and I found a few places that are perfect but, weren’t good.

One of them is in North Seattle, not far from a spot I lived in before. Now, I like the neighborhood. Pretty, quiet, library, grocery and whatnot close by. HOwever, last time I lived there every morning when I got off the bus after work, someone would watch and wait for me and call the police.

Think about that, this was before cops were shooting Black folks because they are afraid of us and I still had months of terror. One of the times I was stopped by the police who were called, I broke down in tears because I had to go to the bathroom, I was exhausted and just wanted to go home. The cop told me to get off the bus somewhere else. I was followed, I had men throw garbage at me from a car while yelling racial epithets. The idea of living there again makes me feel panicky.

BUT, the one place I found has all the things I need. It is in my budget (as in, is about as much as I’m paying now) there are two different buses, it is flat, the store is close by and it has laundry close by and is accessible for my partner. Technically, it’d be great but the idea of living in such a White neighborhood, especially in a nice building in a nice area is terrifying to me.

I know where I want to live. But, in order to do so I’m going to have to add at least 25% to my income to even qualify. Because, that is a thing here these days.

I’ve been on several (six at last count) waitlists for affordable housing the oldest listing is 6 years, the newest is 2. So shit is not great.

The worst part of this for me however is dealing with the classism and racism and knowing how much my anxiety is going to be triggered because I’m trying so hard to take care of my family and everything- shit is hard. I am shit scared I won’t be able to give us a better quality of life and for my partner in particular that’s gonna be a problem.

I’ve mathed shit out and in order to provide the base level of comfort, safety and quality of life I’d like to give my partner I need to make the equivalent of another 900$ per month, or better 7$ more an hour than I make now.

All that said, y’all.

I’m trying.

Things I’ve done to help myself out:

  • Rebudgeted my Patreon money.  I also have some plans to expand my offerings there so I can make more cash.
  • I am on four waitlists for income restricted apartments.
  • Put off buying a new bed/any purchase over 100$.
  • Hustlin

I’m working.

The other thing that’s on my mind is that really when we do move we’re gonna have to essentially start over. We desperately need a new bed, I’ve literally had my mattress and box spring for 18 years and they were not quality to begin with. We need new pots and pans, most of ours were cheap and are on their last legs.

We both need to toss pretty much all of our basic clothing items. Underwear, socks, jeans, bras for me and start over because our shit is so raggedy.

This is where poverty really feels hopeless.

Currently via Patreon I make (I’m lowballing to account for declined cards) about 220$ extra a month. I could try to hustle more freelance writing work though, I’m really terrible at it and make probably about another 250 or so. Most of the regular work I’ve found has been contract based and I won’t rely on that because I’ve been burned.

I’m at the point where I’ve sacrificed a lot. My personal comfort, my personal quality of life, the quality of food I eat, how much I eat, so much and I’m only able to get a tiny bit ahead. And then something (not a huge deal to most) happens and I’m fucked.

I’m questioning my refusal to work the way I did in my 20s. Work and grind and forget writing or pleasure of having a quality of life.

I’m questioning other choices I’ve made like whether or not to go into industries I hate and don’t feel welcome in.

Often at night when I’m trying to go to sleep and my brain hamsters get turnt the fuck up, I find myself analyzing and remembering a lot of things. I think, fuck I spent 75$ on bras four (shit FOUR) years ago, shouldn’t have done that. I spent 15$ on thrifted Danskos in 2014. I bought food I bought the menstrual pads I like rather than the ones that were 3$ less.

I know for me this is mainly an indication of my stress levels. When I’m not so stressed out I don’t do this.

I am not sure how I’m going to make this happen.

I don’t know what to do but, I’m going to do whatever I have to.

Thoughts on Poverty

I’ve been checking/redoing our household budget. I know there is a rent increase coming in February and I don’t foresee an income increase.

Y’all.

Going strictly by calculators of how much one is “supposed” to pay to live, I “overspend” (a site actually said that) on life. By life I mean rent, bills for stuff like trash collection, medications, you know actually staying alive.

For my “fun” budget I include our good internet, both of our cell plans (mine with recently upgraded data), sometimes stuff like socks, underwear, etc

I’ve done a lot of the things they tell us poor folks to do in order to save and yank ourselves up by our bootstraps. My entertainment budget is less than 20$ a month. We don’t really go out. I know how to budget and stick to it.

I’ve been doing this my whole adult life.

Lately, I keep going over my math. I’m trying to figure out how much more income I actually need in order to make us at least comfortable, and then I realize I don’t know what comfortable is.

Currently I’m able to pay my bills on time, have our Netflix, get a fancy coffee once a week or so, I am able to save up for X months for skincare or make up or bath stuff. We can get the good Thai food (cheap and tasty) in our neighborhood sometimes, sometimes if the stars align I can buy the type of food I like to eat for lunch instead of what fits the budget.

What would better look like?

In the context of say, living. What would be better? I can hardly picture it and that bothers me.

Let’s talk about places to live.

Right now all I can think about for a place to live is that I know I can afford to pay the rent. That’s where we live.

I wonder what it would feel like to choose a place because it contributed to our quality of life? Or because it has the stuff I desperately want in an apartment AND I can afford it AND it is in a nice place and I don’t have to complain about it being pitch black in the stairwell or deal with randomly left behind cleaning/construction shit or climb 6 flights of stairs.

I want to visualize these things because every little bit help and some woo might help me. But, all the visualizations do is make me sad.

I get embarrassed because I look at say a couch, a decent couch that I think looks comfy and instantly, I am like yeah no. I instantly wonder how many things from my Etsy shop, things I need to sell, how many donations it would take and how I could spend that money on medication, food, phone bills etc.

This is also one of the things about being a poor person, I don’t see discussed often enough. the emotional toll.

As recently as a month ago I was looking at mattresses. We need a new bed. Desperately. The one we have is about 15 years old and was not good to start with. I had a panic attack. A really bad one. I didn’t know how much they are supposed to cost, I couldn’t really tell what a good one would be, then there was the wallop of guilt because we need one so badly.

If you’ve been here for a bit you know my partner is disabled and I know for a fact that a better bed would help him be in less pain and the despair and guilt I feel over not being able to provide that is just overwhelming sometimes. The days when I can’t pay for his medication to be reupped or when I realize that if I MADE/HAD more money I could afford better food and ALL I could do-it hurts.

I often have to ask my friends if X price is a good one for pants or shoes or whatever and I’m always embarrassed. I’m almost 40 and I don’t know how much a “good” pair of pants should cost.

Just lately this has been weighing very heavily on me.

I had a meltdown because I waited 20 minutes too long to check out of Kmart online on Black friday and the pants I needed were gone.

These are the reasons I do so many little hustles. Bing rewards, Swagbucks (referral link), InboxDollars,  Shopstyle, and why I have the Amazon Store (aside from it fulfills my weird dream to have an everything Shannon Likes store) . Logically, I know that none of these things will pay for me to get my teeth fixed, or keep partner and me in socks and underwear but it soothes some of my poor folks shame.

Another way I’ve been trying to deal with this is that I started a fundraiser. I know a lot of folks frown on crowdfunding but I really just need the little boost. So far things have gone better than I thought they would.See it here. Please share the link, we need it.

At the end here, I want to put this into the universe.

Give me an economic break Universe. Let me win one of the grants I applied for, let some rich, bored person see my gofundme and throw money at it, let something change and please let me stop feeling so ashamed and embarrassed.

Thanks for reading.