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

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December 28

"The purpose of life is not acquisition, but unfoldment and personal development." – Eric Butterworth

Today was another tough day. Our rent is due soon – the second-to-last payment before our lease expires at the end of February. I thought we would have enough, with the potential unemployment extension, now that Obama has been re-elected. But, the funds have not been released yet.

So, I call the EDD office again. After hours of being on hold, I finally talked to someone who told me the funds would be available in two business days, but that I would only be getting one week’s worth, since I had to go through another waiting period because I was now on an extension. I had no idea about the waiting period. I chastised myself for just assuming the money would come right away. The eating and drinking of the holidays put me in such a stupor that I fell off the wagon in terms of keeping track of business. These are the times I so strongly wish that Simon was wealthy, that Simon was financially savvy, that Simon could take care of all of our bills and expenses. That it doesn’t always fall on me, the left-brain writer, to take care of all these things.

I was still at my uncle’s house when this all went down and I had a meltdown. A year of trying to pay the rent while depending on the vagaries of unemployment funds was too much to bear. All the frustration that had dammed up inside of me was now loosed and I became a sobbing mess, repeating over and over again, “All I want is a stable living environment. All I want is a cushion to be able to pay our bills and have some money left over.” The dirge of the 99%. I realized right then and there that if it required Simon and me to split up geographically when our lease is finally up, I was all for it. I was reminded of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs – that no matter how much you want to live atop the highest rung of self-actualization all the time, that rung becomes very precarious when survival is at stake.

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