My mind has been on a thinking rampage today. Everything from rape culture, to registering for classes, to money. Well yes, money is always on my mind (or rather, the lack thereof.)
One reason for all the money thought is because I have to do my bi-monthly errand run (it’s payday.
Unfortunately, my errand running is not as entertaining as it is for the folks over at XKCD, but it can still be enjoyable. I always have to think about the things that we need, what I want, and my sweet husband wants. Usually I’m pretty successful and negotiating those three things, but it can be a toss up sometimes (do I buy Ruffle potato chips or stock up on flour?) But shopping can be pretty stressful too. Do we need more hamburger? How much hamburger do I buy? How much can I afford because I only buy meat that’s been farmed locally. Do I buy the organic stuff, or the stuff filled with pesticides and just wash them really good? Oh man, I wish I could just grow my own vegetables. Then what do we need at Target? Toilet paper, tooth paste, cleaning supplies? Does my sweet husband need more shaving cream? The list goes on.
Money is on my mind because of writing. Will I be able to actually make it as a writer? I wouldn’t normally reveal this much about my personal feelings, but I am feeling a little discouraged about how my book is selling. And my thoughts stretch to more than that. I think about what I could do. Is Paisley actually going to be interesting enough that people will want to know her? I hope so, and I think she’s pretty cool. But what does everyone else think?
And it’s more than just fictional writing. Is my academic writing going to be good enough to allow me to move on in academia? Maybe I’ll be like Calvin someday, haha. Only, instead of a child exclaiming “Academica, here I come!” I’m a 23-year-old saying the same thing. How many feminist scholars does the world actually need?
Yes, my thoughts about writing and money get a little tangential, but that’s how it goes sometimes.
Finally, my thoughts turned to donating to good causes. I try to read Feministing every day (I usually manage 3-4 times a week) and today this article caught my eye. The topic particularly resonated with me as I blog regularly and am really excited about being a writer, but I have to work a day job as a receptionist to make ends meet. It also made me think about an experience I had several years ago when I was attending a workshop talking about how to fundraise for political candidates. One of the things that the presenter was stressing was that if you’re running for political office you should talk to your friends and family. Even if they can’t vote for you, they do believe in you. This makes them perfect monetary donation candidates. At the time I was making $12,000 a year and was living on my own. I was broke, to say the least. So I raised my hand and mentioned that if you were running for public office and a lot of your friends were college students and extremely poor, you could also rely on them for other things like phone banking, door knocking, etc. They could donate their time, which is equally valuable.
At this point, one lady in the group (there were probably about 40 people in the room) said that she worked hard to raise her children to not be as selfish as me. She said, “Everyone can afford at least $5.” This was not the case for me and I was insulted. I continue to keep that story in the back of my mind to remind me that $5 may not be much, but sometimes you just don’t have it. But that’s okay and you shouldn’t pester people if they say no.
However, now I’m in a slightly more comfortable place, monetarily anyway, and I’m starting to think about donating to more causes (including Feministing.) It’s because of this that I urge you to donate to causes that you believe in if you can. Feministing has roughly 500,000 readers a month. Imagine what they could do if half those readers donated $5. That would be slightly more than $1.2 million.
In short, I know that money is tight and things can be rough. So do what you can for what you believe in, but don’t do it if the only “food” you can afford is Ramen Noodles.