Minus Living

I love money; money is the greatest invention since we stopped trading in rocks or whatever.

I never used to care about being rich, my parents always gave my brother and me everything we needed and wanted despite struggling to make ends meet themselves.

Still, I didn’t fully realise the value of money until it I was trapped by it. I’ve had to leave countries because I had no money to pay for immigration lawyers, I lost opportunities, relationships, and freedom. That’s when you figure out the world turns on a dime.

Now I care less about being rich and more about monetary satisfaction, the only reason I’d want to be wealthy would be to adopt every dog on earth. Right now, however, I’m a bit of a stray myself.

I was recently made redundant at my job.

“Would you sleep with the boss for a million pounds?” asked a male co-worker once or twice.

The shit? Yes, girls, sexism is alive and healthy as a fucking horse. It’s not going anywhere anytime soon. Don’t be an opinionated woman in the workplace; it makes some dudes wet their nappies.

But, I needed that gig, I live in London – this girl needs to eat. I was willing to be told I was a crap writer by some insecure, misogynistic and uncultured dickhead every day so that I could buy stupid shit and take Ubers. I have WAY too many chokers and socks now. I’m not great with budgeting, can you tell?

Those days are gone, and my confidence is shot to hell because, despite my determination to swallow the abuse and get on with it, without the cushioning of funds, I’m feeling the residual pain. My writer self-esteem is at a very low battery.

Worse yet, I recently moved into a minute place in the middle of London; I christened it “the closet, ” and after my mother worked her magic, it’s the best cubby hole in the Big Smoke but the rent is crazy. Typical.

Wish I could afford it, it’s likely I might be homeless in a few months if I don’t get an occupation any time soon. Total dependency is also something I don’t want to approach; I hate that I’ve had to turn to my awesome parents again and again on my quest to make it as a creative, I hate that my gorgeous, hard working boyfriend had to offer me money.

Living in the minus isn’t fun, and many do it in these parts, though I’m also not a British citizen so applying for unemployment isn’t a viable route. Great.

What’s an immigrant with a BA and somewhat commendable world experience to do?

Gathering strength is something I’ve always been good at, my method usually involves reminding myself that the universe owes you nothing and many have managed the extraordinary with much less so stop whining and work for it.

This diatribe works 95% of the time, but I’m face down in the 5%, and the summer is so hot, everything feels clenched and stagnant – the air, the city and after multiple terrorist attacks and a killer inferno, London is tired. I’m fucking tired.

In the end, money doesn’t make you completely happy, that’s true, I don’t dispute that statement. Having a mass of it can be corrupting, just look at Trump and his goblin children. But having just enough can take away the weight on my back, it can let me breathe. Right?

Maybe I should just believe that I have the reserves to push forward and get on with it like my fellow Londoners are trying to do.

It’s also worth considering that my success might not be measured in pounds or dollars, but experiences and that could lead to something better than I dreamed. I hope so.

We’ll see.





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