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A Life on a Tightrope

One wrong move, one miscalculation of balance, and I fall and I perish.

This blog entry will be a lament. But maybe I will find a bright spot towards the end.

I have zero savings, and no insurance (although I really can't seem to make myself believe in it), and I have been the breadwinner since I started working after college, moving from co-breadwinner to main breadwinner.

The pandemic year of 2020 double-killed me in various ways and we incurred debts that I'm still paying off now.

Both my parents are under medication and my dad needs surgery that I am still saving up for.

I am fully employed after a decade of freelancing but I am making only half of what I used to earn before I went freelance. Not that I mind, to be honest. I'd take a pay cut for a work culture and a career path that won't drive me to contemplate suicide (I have gone through a dark period when I came close to this, so I am not saying this lightly).

I am on medication for anxiety and depression and this has significantly helped me.

The house is a horrible mess. Yesterday I had a cleaning service come over to deep-clean the kitchen. Now I want the rest of the house deep-cleaned and then maintained monthly. But this will take a big bite from the monthly budgets. And the thing is, the house is one of my main triggers for depression. Plus the health risks attached to an unsanitary, badly maintained living space cannot be underestimated. My parents are not encouraging, lack cooperation, and are perpetually negatively biased, with a very outdated and limited sense of values relating to money and spending. Nothing I do gets by without a down-putting comment or a resistant acknowledgment of benefit.

There is a lack of value and care for all that I put in to keep a decently functioning household. Everything quickly degenerates from neglect. Changes to improve are met with resistance and underhanded strategies to negate the intended enhancements.

If I didn't have to live with them I would have let them sink into the mess of their own making. (Although maybe not too much because then the burden of hospitalizations and treatments would still fall on me.)

But I have to live with them because I could not afford to build my own life and also fully support theirs.

I could have easily sustained both if I had not left my job in 2010 but I had grown to be extremely unhappy and angry with that job that I would have likely ended up with stress-caused cancers at some early point.

Late in life, I realized that the life I most would like to live is as an artist and to be amidst nature in a provincial setting that's connected to the rest of the world by the internet. I don't need much physical socializing. I'm perfectly fine with remote work.

I suffer from climate anxiety and struggle to sustain a sustainable lifestyle. I do what I can with every decision and choice but I often have to compromise because of where I live and my finances and my responsibilities.

I want to cook fresh healthy meals every day. I have already switched to more plant-based food. Definitely abundant vegetables per meal. I still do eat fish (more than meat) and chicken (occasionally) but I've taken pork and beef off the menu. I still eat dairy and eggs but go for sustainable options whenever possible.

My energy levels have improved a bit since the diet change but long covid still has its shadow over me and I don't have enough spoons in a day. I still routinely suffer from chronic fatigue.

I have given up (officially to myself) on a partnered relationship. I no longer want the added layer of responsibility. I have never wanted kids. I have had enough of taking care of a household and a family.

I need a retirement plan that does not necessarily involve paying off a company to "take care" of my money while they earn profits from it that are likely more than what I will earn from them.

I need to jumpstart the art again.

I need more money without having to sell my soul or any more of my precious remaining time doing something I don't like.

I need more energy and hope.

I need a long proper break to figure it all out somehow. Even if it's just finding what the first few steps should be.

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