One of the hardest things to do, I think, is ask others for help, even when we really, really need it. We don’t want to feel like we’re a burden, like we’re taking advantage of people. This is especially true when it comes to money. In the US, there’s a powerful undercurrent of thought that if we’re having money problems, it’s because we screwed up in some way, we brought it on ourselves, we deserve it, it’s our own damn fault and it’s nobody else’s problem. It think that’s bunk, but because I grew up here, it’s hard for me to get past the guilt of needing help with money.
But I’m asking for help anyway.
I’m living paycheck-to-paycheck. Bills are piling up. Berkie and I are trying to find a place to live, and we’ll definitely save money living together, but even coming up with the money for a deposit it looking difficult and stressing us out. Julie and I want to legally get divorced, but she’s also living life on the financial edge, and scraping up the money for court fees is difficult. And I just got slammed with taxes. I can’t possibly pay what I owe right now. All of this is amping up my anxiety to stupid levels and making me physically sick.
So I’m asking for help.
I currently have a little over 1,400 followers on Twitter. It occurred to me that if half that number gave me $10, I’d be well on the way to getting out of this financial hole. Really, if I can just raise $300, I’ll be in a position to get back on my feet. I don’t think $10 is all that much. I’ve given more than that to political groups, charities and to friends when they were in financial need. Asking for $10 doesn’t make me feel so bad.
But I’d also like to turn this crisis into an opportunity. Let this be not just a catastrophe in the sense of being a disaster, but also a mathematical catastrophe, a change in the dynamic of my life.
I recently had the idea that I’d like to put together a book of poetry. I quite like a number of my older poems and I like the poems I’ve written lately. Putting together a whole book of poems that I would publish myself is something I’d very much like to do. But I’d like to have more written than I already do. I want to push myself to write more.
So here’s what I’m going to do. I’m putting a Paypal donation button on my blog. People can donate or not, as they choose. And they can donate as little or as much as they want. In return (and in appreciation) of your donation, I’ll send you one of my poems, handwritten just for you. Suitable for framing, making a paper airplane, origami or whatever. It might be one of my older poems, it might be a brand-new one. Maybe it will be a one-page prose-poem or micro-story. But if you want something, make sure you put your address in the donation information.
I hate that it’s come to this. But I also know that we can’t get through life without relying on each other. So…there we are.
And thank you.