For those needing a coffee break from your regularly scheduled teabagging tomfoolery...we interrupt this comedy event for a slice of real life.
As someone who has lived well below the poverty line for several years on end, I am pleased to report that I may have begun to scrape my way back up from the bottom of the barrel.
As I shared with you yesterday, I had a job interview for the 1st time in "years". This wasn't intended to imply I haven't worked in that entire time, merely to say all the work I've had came to we without the formality of an interview in that time.
Indeed, today, I was offered the position. If all goes well, it could help me dig my way out of the vicious cycle of debt, get the dental work I need, etc.
Upon reflection, I realized that it had been nearly a decade since my last interview unless you count the rubber-stamp meet & greet when I "applied" to teach English at a university in China at the height of the SARS hysteria.
Are you alive?Of course, it takes a special kind of frugality to survive for this long when Box One of your W-2 has a 4-digit number in it (this year's was smaller even than the year of my 1st job scooping ice cream at 31 flavors for $3.15/hour).
Do you speak English?
Being able to buy art, what I believe to be the measure of when one has risen above subsistence living, is largely a thing of the past. I haven't even indulged myself with a single fracking CD in over a year.
Often I've been blessed by the benevolence of friends, and especially of late, of my girlfriend. Without the meager support network I've had, things would be very different for me today.
During these lean years I have been extremely fortunate to have remained fed & clothed. I have spent plenty of time living in vehicles, so I don't know if I can truly say I was ever homeless even though I've not paid rent at any point for nearly 7 years. Some of those vehicles were fairly plush, like the biodiesel Winnebago I called home for a year or so. However, the thing was a lemon and it cost as much as rent would have cost me each month, although it was nice to also be able to drive my apartment around town.
However I am well aware that I am still one of the lucky ones. There are many, many people in this country who a hurting badly right now. Don't even get me started on the extreme poverty & starvation I've witnessed in other countries.
It should be said that my poverty is not entirely against my will. I have a shred of John Galt in me. Not because I'm a teabagger, but more because I've never quite found the gumption to seek wealth. Or even solvency, I guess.
In light of the good fortune I've had, I intend to branch out into my new community to help those even more destitute than I've been. President Obama has implored us to do just that, and I for one want to do him proud. I know most of you here already do much good in your communities, but it never hurts to remind folks to keep up the good work!
Also, the job I landed was available in part because of the A.R.R.A. and the tax credits within the budget for families who invest in making their homes more energy-efficient. I think today, of all days, it is important to voice support for what our new POTUS has done. Without this proactive use of federal tax dollars, I almost surely would have found myself slipping further into the oblivion that ends in bankruptcy.
I'm very grateful to all who cheered me on. A special thanks to everyone who rec'ed my comment in yesterday's Midday Open Thread:
Al Rodgers, TheC, DawnG, PeterHug, missLotus, sapper, milton333, mcfly, jj32, vacantlook, pattyp, africa, citizenx, esquimaux, tazz, darthstar, fromer, raincrow, blue in oz, surfdog, jnhobbs, kailuacaton, Youffraita, ClapClapSnap, JBL55, Angry Mouse, conlakappa, eponymouse, That Anonymous Guy, Melissa J, AuroraDawn, smallgal, phillygirl64
And especially those (kailuacaton, fromer,CityLightsLover, pattyp, AuroraDawn, jnhobbs, africa & ClapClapSnap)who took an extra moment to type a few words of encouragement such as this:
check your fly and nostrils before heading in...This community has been the coolest addition to my little world over the past year since I finally got an account here. I've come to laugh & cry with you (although admittedly far more of the former).
To help pass the quiet & solitary times, I've spent many an hour reading and rec'ing your comments. (It's the next cheapest way to pass the time after reading books from the library.) I've managed to post upwards of 80 per day of may own. I even write a diary or 2 every week or so. Without this place, I'm just not sure where I'd be right now, or how I'd have maintained my sanity over the waning months of the Bush years.
I simply want to say thanks.
Thanks for being yourselves.
Thanks for speaking up for what you believe in.
Thanks for helping me not feel so alone in the huge crazy world of ours. Thanks for helping me remain hopeful that we will fix this thing before it's too late.
Thank you, dKos.