What started as an awareness raising and ethnographic styled walk through Sierra Leone, this site now details the encounters of a not so academic academic who spends more time occupying Wall Street and squats than a university...

Thursday, October 18, 2012


So I have had to leave my place in Brooklyn for a couple weeks. I don't have enough money to pay for a month and the owner has someone that can come in and pay something for a bit. I knew this prior to my moving in, so I've had time to plan. But it has forced me to try to piece together places to stay and opened up some old wounds in doing so. Family, friends, whatever. It makes for a very tough time again. I seem to have isolated that one of, if not the key, to my internal feelings of security comes from secure housing or a home. Jobs, relationships, activities, they all seem to be able to come and go with normal levels of stress, but housing puts me into a different place. This last couple weeks have seen that type of involuntary emotional response and reaffirmed what I felt in August when my housing was about to run out.

I am right now writing this from my grandparents house upstate, spending time with them and my relatives from Colorado. This always provides for an interesting point of departure in an assessment of the self.  The other night I said to my Uncle, in reference to work and trying to find a way to squeeze any money I could out of things, with a sigh, “it sucks to be desperate.” He looked at me and laughed, “you're not desperate.”  Shunning off my situation with a smug chuckle.   I responded with “huh, $200 to my name, no income, and unstable housing certainly feels desperate to me.”

 So what does this mean? Am I desperate? If I have family to stay with for a few days here and there do I not qualify? In a conversation with a friend the other day I likened the way I am living right now, to a cat that has stopped grooming itself. You know, when they get sick and can no longer attend to the general maintenance of daily life but rather just making it through just that one day. All I do is make lists of things that could help me gt out of this situation and just try to get those things done.  The basic things needed to get done, eating, cleaning, etc, not remotely being taken care of as they need to.

But this is where I am right now. And I wonder if it is something that most people can really get their head's around. A situation yesterday brought this to light for me. A friend had been helping me with my prospectus for academia and amidst, uncertain housing, food, and the general difficulties of the life I am living within right now I seem to have cut corners and didn't get a response back to her right away about an extensive email she wrote to me. It was so amazing and invaluable to me, but I blew it by not thanking her immediately and trying to piece things together conceptually before I responded to her. I posted a blog post about a synthesis of my ideas and several other's (but mostly her's) before I responded to her. It didn't go over well. The writing itself as well wasn't carefully worded as it was thrown together hastily. It just failed on so many levels. But this is where I am right now. I am desperate and in survival mode. I am clutching at straws and up against walls that people don't seem to understand the height of.

My family is reconstructing their house and truly put out in their living situation, they are struggling. But they have a home and will have one. They have a place to live and food to eat. My friend that deserved a thank you and adoration for the help she is giving me, deserves better from me. Just as every job application requires more attention, and every networking opportunity, and PhD application, and, and, and....

Basically people, I can't do it. I can't live up to all of your expectations. I don't know where I will sleep tomorrow night, I don't know what I will do about food, I don't know what my future entails, all I do know is that most of the things I am doing in life right now – at least in ways that our society usually measures successes – are more failure than success. Job application after job application goes unheeded, unrealized. I am an utter failure there. I can't correspond as needed, I can't keep up networks, and friends, and family, and job prospects, and future prospects or any of that as I should or want to. I am living a life that most people seem to not understand or not want to understand. I am not the man I want to be or you want me to be. I am an impoverished, unemployed, and overqualified guy that is struggling with so many facets of his life. Yes, there are a few great people in my life helping me hold it together. But on the whole. I am sorry to everyone else out there that expects me to be more, or at minimum expects me to be the man that I have been the rest of my life. Right now I am not that guy. I am desperate. Desperate for place in this world, for an income, a job, a home, a career, a realizable purpose, whatever. I am desperate. And desperation leads to many things that do not fulfill either my or others expectations. So what else can I say, I am sorry I am not the man you want me to be. It hurts me too, but I am doing the best I can to just hold things together enough to get to the next day and to just keep trying to move forward.

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