Monday, December 6, 2010

Down and Out

Recently I've been stressing a lot about money. I'd like to say that this isn't like me, but it is, sort of. I've always been a saver, always socking away cash. Even when I have a sizable store of it, I still fear not having enough, am reluctant to spend money even on the necessaries. For some reason I need a good thick cushion to feel at ease. I remember while I was on the AT-- I suddenly realized I was treating food the way I treat money: I would always have extra in the food-bag, sometimes rolling into town with a full day's worth of food left, while not actually eating enough on the trail. I was always afraid to run out. When you consider that food and money are both forms of energy, of getting things done, you start to really wonder.

It also seems to me that being down and out is much the same feeling as lonliness. Without money you are not connected to the civilized world.Surrounded by all the things I'm supposed to buy and people who all seem completely wrapped up in the ambition for more money... it makes me feel isolated, alone, like some working class stiff, the kind who's not just poor but who's also bitter about it. I'm not even of the same mindset, do not desire that life of striving; yet all the messages around here make me feel low. The energy of it pervades the city.

I never feel that way in the woods. Nor do I ever really feel lonely out there; it's only in the cities that the real ache becomes apparent, with all these people who will forever be strangers to me, people I don't relate to and can't fit in with. But it's like I'm seeing a life I've been excluded from; I could never live that way and live with myself, but that means I'm stuck on the fringes of society, which is hard. It's the longing, I suppose, of one who is banished to the island of the misfit toys.

But I don't know how to let go of this clutching at life. My belief is that it's necessary to let things flow; be free in your spending, the it will come back around. It's like closing an electrical circuit: act as if the money doesn't matter, and you'll never run out. But damn if it isn't a hard first step to make. For right now all I see is the cash flowing away, to mechanic bills, rent, food, gas...

I'm coming face to face with the nugget of fear that lives in my heart, but right now I'm having a hard time even looking at it.

1 comment:

  1. I can certainly identify with wanting to hold something back. I'm the same way. I always worry that, if I consume too much now, it may be gone when I really need it.

    I wish I could offer advice on how to break that cycle, but I'm in search of the same advice too! :-D