DIARY of a 99%-er: The Struggle Between Survival and Creative Expression

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June 14

The creative process is a process of surrender, not control.– Julia Cameron

So, while I’ve been firmly ensconced in the 99% for so long, I don’t necessarily see getting another job as the way out. I want something more fulfilling, more creative, more in alignment with my core values, temperament and spirit, as well as in synergy with my priority to have a live/work balance.

And, herein lays the fundamental challenge of being a creative spirit within the 99%. So, today, I write in my journal exactly what I do and don’t want:

- I don’t want to be trapped in an administrative setting where I’m confined to one place for 8 hours a day, if they’re generous enough to give you a one-hour lunch. Yet, I need money to survive.

- I don’t want to fill out one more frickin’ online application. It’s so onerous these days, compared to before the information revolution, when you could just snail mail out a bunch of resumes and make follow-up calls a week or two later. Now, these job applications are ridiculous! Having to fill out page after page after page, even after your resume auto-populates some of the fields. And, then some companies – mostly restaurants and retail operations – also give you these uber-ridiculous personality and hiring assessment tests, with the same questions over and over again, just re-worded differently, to try to trip you up and make you say you lie and cheat and would turn your co-worker in for stealing even if that’s never been the case. Yet, I need money to survive.

- I want to create my own daytime paradigm of freedom and autonomy and work in short, creative bursts, then take a break, and repeat. But who can afford to create their own paradigm unless they’re already wealthy?? So, again I need money to get to the place where I can create this paradigm for myself.

But who would dare to try and create a new paradigm during the worst recession since the Great Depression? I would! I WOULD! I’m tired of feeling trapped and controlled and micro-managed, so I’m on a quest to liberate myself. Quixotic? Yes! Bring on the windmills!!

So, I am going against the grain, against conventional wisdom, against the beliefs that race consciousness and my family are feeding me. I’m listening to my intuition and following my heart. It’s like I’ve finally reached the threshold of doing what I’m supposed to be doing. Something inside of me is shouting, “Enough! I can’t take it anymore. I want to do my own thing, even if I am one of the 99%. I want freedom and autonomy and the wealth to sustain it! On my schedule. On my terms!” If I were a poet, I would have written this out in iambic pentameter as “The Lament of the 99%.” But since I’m not Shakespeare, I share my feelings with Simon, and he plays a fake violin in empathy. He understands. He’s been there as well.

I’m grateful for his empathy and that he’s not trying to make me feel guilty for not rushing back into the workforce to continue supporting him. I think he finally realizes it’s time for him to create some income, somehow. We seem to have this weird pattern that when one of us is working, the other one isn’t. So, it would be so refreshing and such a relief for me to be able to take a breather while Simon works again. I set the intention that the Universe provides for both of us – for Simon to gain income and for me to be able to focus on my writing full-time.

For my yoga practice tonight, I work on backbends – cobra, camel, bow. I am bending over backwards with joy and gratitude for being liberated from the confines of a work environment that I was not right for and that was not right for me, and for the opportunity to finally create my own daytime paradigm, at least in the short term – without having to report to anyone or be stuck in an office for a certain number of arbitrary hours every day.

Then I grab my vibrator, which is shaped like a microphone, and start belting out the Bruno Mars song, “You’re Amazing” to Simon. We dance around the apartment. I feel freedom in every cell and fiber of my being.

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