I just finished reading Hand to Mouth: Living in Bootstrap America by Linda Tirado. Linda was the lady who wrote the amazing Kinja post, Why I make Terrible Decisions, or Poverty Thoughts. The book is an expansion on the theme. It came at a good time for me, having a pity party as I was, because I had an expensive car repair for the third time in as many months. Tirado makes a good point: getting ahead when you are poor depends on everything going right for an extended period of time. Which it never does, not long enough, anyway. And then I get depressed because DAMN IT. No matter how hard I work, no matter how frugal I am, something always comes along and knocks me back to square one.I get knocked down
But I get up again
You're never gonna keep me down
I get knocked down
But I get up again
No you're never gonna keep me down
It was good for me to read the book for a lot of reasons; one of them was to remind myself that we are not really poor, not compared to many people. We do live an extremely tenuous economic existence - if Doug or I got ill and couldn't work even for a few weeks, we'd be screwed. If the car had died this time instead of just needing approximately a million small repairs (exhaust system, oxygen sensor, tires, plugs, wires, coils, some other little shit) and I couldn't get to Portland for my classes, I don't know what we would have done.
And then I remind myself - I have had these thoughts before. Something always works out. There is nothing stopping me from putting on my interview suit and getting an office job, and then I wouldn't have these worries; but I never do it. It helps to think of it like this, to remind myself that not only did I chose this, I am choosing it every day.
And anyway, it's only credit card debt; I ring it up in the winter, I pay it down in the summer. It is always like that. I get knocked down, but I get up again.
Never gonna keep me down.