Last Updated on April 24, 2023 by ThoughtsStained
This is another personal post fueled by being frustrated at the day job. Honestly, we’ll prolly have a lot of these, until something changes. But, I want to talk a little bit today about what I daydream about, in-between writing cover letters. And why it’s a dream of financial stability. A dream that I’ve had since…gods, I was in high school? One that feels impossible, in this capitalistic hellscape.
Yet it’s a persistent dream nonetheless.
Financial Stability Complications
Obviously, in America, you don’t traditionally have money unless you have a job. Jobs can look like a lot of different things. Yet, what some would label as the traditional 9-5–where you go to your work and then leave it at the door–has evolved drastically. Remote work has entered the chat. Not being able to live off of one income has dominated. Hustle culture is prevalent.
Then we have the capitalistic trends. Not paying your employees enough. No universal healthcare, nor universal basic income. Lack of pay raises to keep up with inflation and rising cost of living. Gatekeeping “entry level jobs” with loads of requirements, whether educational or experience (or both). Not counting house management, caretaking or parenting as unpaid and unrecognized labor.
For me, this looks like having a full-time day job, a part-time editorial business, a Patreon and being a part-time grad student for the past three years, hoping that, with a Masters degree, I can lobby for higher pay or better jobs. Yet, job searching for almost six months at this point with no traction has me dreaming, of a life where a day job isn’t required.
Why do I want financial stability so much?
What I Wish For
In my dream of dreams, each person would be financially secure and have all their basic needs met (housing, food, healthcare and mental healthcare) without needing to worry about having a job to keep those rights.
Me? If you told me I could stop working right now and not have to stress about how to pay off debt, make my rent, keep food on the table and still manage to pay back my student loans? I would leave my laptop at my boss’s desk and be out the door, this post unfinished.
This is the life I would live. One where I can go to sleep and wake up according to my body’s needs and rhythms. Not when society tells me I must. Things that I neglect would suddenly have breathing room. I could start the mornings slowly, including stretching, playing with my dog and varied breakfast options. Not rushing out the door because I never wake up on time, stressed and leaving a half-eaten bowl of cereal behind.
I could spent my day doing the things that make live worth living. I’d write every day and not feel guilty when I chose not to. I wouldn’t have a million other commitments that are designed to make me money to rearrange. I’d walk my dog more, write more blog posts, read more books. Eat dinner with friends and family more than the occasional weekend.
I’d write books where I don’t have to worry about marketability, because if they don’t sell well, it’s okay. I wouldn’t wonder if I should turn gaming into streaming and have another chance for an revenue stream. When I hang out with those I love, so much of our discussions wouldn’t be dominated by our toxic jobs, work cultures or inequities we face in the workforce. And, if I ever got so bored I wanted to go back into the workforce, I could find a job that fits a passion. Instead of worrying about insurance, pay rates, benefits and healthcare in the mix.
Like I said: we are dreaming.
How Do We Get There?
Yet, why does it have to be a dream? I mean, we all know the answer: capitalism and the patriarchy can’t exist without exploited labor. Perhaps I’m also naïve, but surely it has to be better than this?
Where we aren’t consistently asked to put our mental, emotional and physical health on the line. Especially in exchange for labor that costs too much but provides too little? How can so much of our lives and time be given at the cost of our dreams, happiness and personal ambitions and goals? Why must rest be earned and not routine? While the while, cis, hetero, able-bodied men continue to dominate the places of power? Who are creating workforces that aren’t inclusive, aren’t diverse, aren’t dynamic, aren’t community focused, aren’t accessible, aren’t enough? That ask too much?
To be honest, I don’t have an answer for how we move away from the system we have now (besides a lot of advocacy, strikes and many large cultural restructures). But I do know this can’t be sustainable. For me. For all of us.
Thanks for allowing me the space to continue to muse and process through the job difficulties. I continue to wish I could just quit immediately and just do editorial work full-time. Yet it’s just not consistent enough for me to feel confident I can trust it as my only source of income. Especially when private healthcare and self-employed taxes would drain it all, I’d suspect.
Hopefully, May will be a slower month, so I can breathe and attempt to recover a bit from the burnout. But sometimes, all I can do is dream of financial stability. I wonder what my life could look like, especially in the day to day.
It’s such a nice dream. 😭
Patreon | Newsletter | Editorial Services | Twitter | Instagram | Kofi
All of this! As always, you are reading my mind.
Don’t forget that https://strikeforourrights.org/ is trying to make a reality just like this! It’s literally what you described. Looking forward to our phone call in a week or so. Hopefully we CAN discuss more then our working woes…but if not, that’s okay too. At least we’re not alone, or so I’m told.
ME TOO. It’s a very long overdue phone call. And you know I’m always down to discussing work woes. *sighs*