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Wednesday, 13 December 2017

In Money We Trust


If there is a God that every single human believes in and worships, it's money. Money brought us all together. It is something we all desire and spend our days working for as a means to an end. Wars are fought over it, relationships are ruined over it, and having enough or not enough of it can be a difference between life or death.

I've always 'obsessed' over money, as my obsessive/addictive personality would have me do. I've obsessed over feeling like I don't have enough, wanting or needing more, trying to take care of it and then carelessly spending it. I'm not particularly bad or good with money - I spend a lot of it on books, but besides food and travel it doesn't really go on much else by way of 'major' things. (When I was an active alcoholic I splurged plenty on booze, but because I'm a 'lightweight' it probably only amounted to £30-50 a week). I like buying clothes but don't do so often because - well I can't afford to. I am just a poor student after all *bring out the violins*.

When I was 13 I desperately wanted my own way of making money - I like being self-sufficient as much as I can afford to be, and my parents aren't wealthy; upper-working/lower middle class. Some would say my background is working class, others would say it's lower middle class. I don't really give a shit either way, but that's the rough gist. Growing up in London makes a difference too, as it's a highly expensive city and my parents are very nutritious, spending tons of money on organic and 'better quality' food.

Anyway, so I looked around for babysitting work in my local area, and was handing out some flyers I'd printed outside the local farmer's market. A lady offered me a job on her and her husband's stall selling soda bread. I worked there on-and-off between March 2011 and June 2014. They were a nice family; I got on particularly well with the lady's son, who is several years older than me and opened me up intellectually and whom I had some great discussions with after feeling intellectually starved and lonely as a child.

Although I liked working for them, they were often really late which made me feel anxious as I'd get the market manager asking me where they were and me shrugging my shoulders. I remember waiting for as long as an hour sometimes for them to arrive. I worked on a weekly basis, and when I was in sixth form began to venture out to different markets. Despite enjoying it, on the downside it made me very stressed at times, particularly when I would have exams coming up, and I got fired twice - they're excuses were that they 'couldn't afford to have too many employees' but really I just felt like I was doing a shitty job. I often felt like they were going to fire me all the time. I got fired from a cafe job I had last year because I was 'too day-dreamy' and didn't pay enough attention. I guess I don't have a 'business' mindset, I have an arty/head-in-the-clouds one.

Between 2014 and 2016 I was really struggling to find work - I missed having my own money. I remember throwing out CVs to places and getting constantly rejected which worsened my depression, on top of trying to do A levels. I know I put all this unnecessary pressure on myself and there are additional details that I won't bore you with. If I were a different sort of person, someone less sensitive and bothered about things, I probably wouldn't have stressed so much and gotten so wound up about this monetary obsession. My parents gave me a weekly allowance anyway, as most parents give their kids.

Anyway, 2016 is the last time I obsessed over finding a job after getting fired from that cafe one after a few weeks. I haven't bothered since; the best job I've had has been busking. Whenever I've struggled to find some shop or cafe job I've always gone back to busking. I bought my own wireless amp and mic and did loads of it last year. It's fun, but again I felt like I was getting money and then spending it on alcohol and junk food. Saving money is really hard. Truthfully, I guess I've never really had enough 'to save', and being less hard on myself is something I REALLY need to work on. Money is there to be spent after all, not to cry over parting with.

I haven't tried to find a job since being at ACM in order to focus on the course and my music, and because of my panic attacks. I've recently decided to move back to my mum's place in London, which is going to save me loads on the awful rent I used to pay. I'm hoping to put money aside for practical uses, like paying for driving lessons and perhaps a future deposit for when I do decide to get my own place again sometime after uni.
Work, money, the rat-race, capitalism. It can all seem like an awful heap of hopeless misery (at least it does to me, because my head exaggerates everything). I am anxious about what to do after uni, but a part of me isn't worried, I guess I feel things will take care of themselves. As long as I know to stay close to the arts, whether that's music-related, writing, journalism, publishing, whatever - things will work themselves out. 

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If you enjoy my posts check out my novel Every Last Psycho. Available to purchase on Amazon: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07F44CMNJ