Stephy Loves…

Knowing My Value

The past week or so has been a real exercise in knowing my value, and remembering that it is intrinsic and a part of my humanity, rather than being dependent on my finances. Five months ago, when Dale moved out, I thought I was getting my life together. I was supposed to start a contract-to-hire job the following day, which would pay a living wage. A couple of weeks later, the job fell out from under me, and I was scrambling again. I had a job offer from a call center a week after that, but they never got back to me after my background check from the Virgin Islands took longer than expected. So I started scrambling again. I started a personal concierge and organizer service, started driving for Postmates and Doordash, and was pitching articles right and left (nothing stuck, obviously). For a couple of months, I made an amount of money that wasn’t great, but I was surviving. I’ve also been working on bringing my tarot reading business back from an extended hiatus, because that’s something I’ve been very good at for a long time.

Then last Friday, my car died on the way to housesit for a friend. Driving down the highway, it suddenly dropped to below 5 miles per hour and won’t go any faster. After having it towed to her house, which was an adventure in itself, I tried to move it just a few feet further up the driveway, and the belts started screaming at me, which they had not done on the side of the road. So here I am with $35 in the bank, out in the middle of nowhere, with no wheels and thus no way to do either job. I had 8 tarot readings booked on Tuesday for my weekly special pricing night; 2 actually showed up. I found out the hard way that virtually all the online tarot reader services that hook you up with clients are either incredibly shady and require readers to keep people on the phone for 25+ minutes at $4 a minute, of which the reader *might* get 30%, or super exploitative and unwilling to define the standards a reader has to meet in order to avoid being terminated. My roommate (whom I don’t particularly like, but I try to get along with) is a car guy, but refuses to come look at the car, and the person I’ve taken it to in the past, who lives right near where I’m staying, has been unable to. I’m pretty thoroughly stuck.

So the challenge I’m facing right now is being able to keep sight of my value. Where I am right now is really difficult, but it doesn’t reflect on who I am.  If I can get my car back on the road, I’ll be okay, but meanwhile, I’m really struggling to hold on to the idea that I’m worthwhile even when I’m desperately broke. There’s this cultural script that comes from living in a capitalist society, telling us that when we aren’t self-sufficient, we’re nothing, and I’m trying very hard to pretend I don’t hear that voice.

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