“You don’t really want it. You’re just spending money.” I’ve, fortunately, lived a life where I’ve never been without money or food. That shouldn’t be a luxury, but it is. The more I drive around the desolate city I’m contracting in, the more I ask myself: What if I had no disposable income? What if I couldn’t leisurely buy two packs of gum just because? What if I thought like that, but positively, going forward?
I’d definitely buy less clutterables.
I’ve already started the upswing by packing my lunches. I’m writing this on a nice Spring day in some city I’ve only driven to now twice, having just eaten a bunch of peanuts and one of two peanut butter and cheese sandwiches [see: EarthBound], just before taking a nap to return back to work.
Sure, I could drive or walk around.
What would I find? There are stores nearby, including a big box superstore where I overheard some grandma tell some grandchild the quote kicking off this essay in the toy aisle I used to peruse for cool action figures. I still like that they’re there, it’s just, now, I realize these superheroes aren’t my heroes, so why collect them?
I’m collecting experiences and writing fodder now.
Writing, especially fiction, is amazing for me. I enjoy it more than anything else. I will still write about the open road, walking the beat, and hunting down leads, it’s just now I realize too much of my money went to superfluous things. I can splurge on the weekly lunch, but otherwise, especially if I’m focused on achieving my goals, I can’t let minor things stand in my way.
Even if that means fewer excessive luxuries.
I have yet to earn a single penny from my writing of over 800essays, other than exchanging one’s publication for one gift voucher, and the market is out there but I don’t know when I’ll break through. I may never become a successful writer.
I’m prepared to do what I can to achieve this goal.
Whether that means living somewhere cheap or somewhere in the city, closer to the action, it does mean that every square foot, every dollar, and every minute of time have a certain value to them that cannot be ignored. If that means ignoring lucrative opportunities because they block my access to time or resources I deem valuable, I cannot pursue them.
I’ve earned roughly half my income since writing these essays.
A contract will run out and I’ll burn through savings until the next one. With the apartment-mansion, I’ve moved out of the cheap rental, and I’m feeling the squeeze. It’s overwhelming. If I don’t start making a more steady income where I’m not the whipping boy, I won’t be able to afford the place, and will have to sacrifice even more to survive. I don’t feel great, but I believe in myself.
I just need to keep working toward this crazy, stupid dream of mine that injects my life with joy.
|Quotes:  A grandma at a big box supermarket talking to her grandchild. This particular store was in a town nearby a location that a local band was named after, so I almost felt compelled to go walk around to get a souvenir. Instead, my only souvenir of this drive was this essay.|
|Sources: My personal and professional experiences.|
|Inspirations: Exploring my thoughts and feelings. I quit this gig shortly after writing this.|
|Related: Other Downsizing Zeal essays.|
|Photos: I was eating peanuts and a peanut butter and cheese sandwich out in my car.|
|Written On: April 4th [30 minutes]|
|Last Edited: Same day. First draft; final draft for the Internet.|