a weekly journal of my new freelance life.
they should teach more about personal finance in school. they should warn you about the dangers of credit cards in this country instead of encouraging them, nearly forcing them down your throat when you’re at your most financially vulnerable, requiring them for all the the major steps of your life… at which point they will simply serve as flagrant signs of your requisite irresponsibility. they should tell you to budget.
but then, maybe they did. maybe i just didn’t listen. and maybe i’m still confident that every dollar of debt that i have accumulated has been part of an experience, traveling, dining, learning, growing.
and, ok, more than a few times buying food for number one (the cat. obviously).
i’m in a financial crisis. i saved up no money before i quit my job, and well… let’s just say i left myself in a not-so-comfortable situation. however, if i’d waited for that comfort, i would have never left the job. i often subscribe to the push-the-bird-out-of-the-nest method, and this nest was not in the money tree.
i’m kind of thinking it was a cork tree, given where a lot of my monies go.
i had that all-too familiar feeling today, the one where you feel like you are truly at the very end of your rope and then somehow the rope extends and you end up deeper and even more helpless than you were when you thought you were at the end.
this feeling brought me back to a particular moment when i was living in madrid. a moment when everything came crashing down. i was dead broke, and more heartbroken then i had ever been at the time. i was lost, emotionally. and at least a bit turned around physically. i sat down on the curb by myself and tried to get a grip. i sat and stared up at a streetlight. i took a deep breath, then quite a few more. i decided at that moment that i had a choice. there was absolutely no clear answer, no obvious path. no way out. and i realized that there wasn’t going to be, but i had to keep going. somehow, something would get figured out. there would be an answer. there would, right streetlight? i implored. right??
it reminded me of one of my favorite songs, a recreation of augustin lara’s farolito sung by natalia lafourcade. farolito, a song sung to a streetlight, that ignited and illuminated the same desperation i felt.
farolito, que alumbra apenas la calle desierata
cuantas noches me has visto, llorando, llamar a su puerta?
sin llevarme mas que una cancion, un pedazo de mi corazon?
little street lamp, barely lighting up this deserted street,
how many nights have you seen me weeping, calling at her door
without wanting to bring her more than a song, than a piece of my heart?
it represents the calming presence of the light when all that is felt is misery and despair, perhaps so deep that the singer doesn’t even realize.
how many nights have you seen me?
the farolito is a light, and also a beacon, providing a sense of vision and balance. a hope on a deserted street and in an empty heart where there seems to be none at all.
streetlights in new york often feel like a beacon, of safety and security, and perhaps of companionship on deserted streets or those that are overcrowded, where we find ourselves surrounded, yet alone.
the street i just moved on to in brooklyn is completey shrowded by a thick canopy of trees that are so charming during the day, but they block out all light from the farolitos at night, and have forced me to take notice and memorize the location of the most forboding potholes during the day, so that at night i can safely navigate my way home without compromising the wheels on my beloved 1960s schwinn.
so this, this is week 2. equal parts desperate and seeking a beacon of hope, a sense of calm, an inhale, an answer. or at least a steady presence to ask.
and also knowing that i need to have confidence in what i’ve learned during times of doubt, blindness, uncertainty so far to guide me through this dark and innavigable path.