Affirmations that hopefully get me through this ask:
-It is not a crime to be in need as a person. Being in need is a human thing.
-Placing needs inherently in what I’ve done to deserve them, is also rooted in things meant to oppress and shame me.
-When I ask for what I need, and I am being honest about what I need, I am practicing self love.
-Asking my community for help is a practice that reinforces the belief that we are a part of each other, and need each other to survive and grow.
-Should I ever be fortunate enough to return the love given to me through support, I intend to, because it is as important to return love, as it is to receive it.
Hey y’all! It’s you know who, and if you’re reading this, I wanna tell you thank you from the bottom of my heart for making it this far. This is something I’ve been meaning to do for at least a year, but for many reasons, I stopped myself. I won’t get into those, cause that’s what the affirmations are for. With those, and my thanks to you in mind, here’s why we’re here.
Recently, as the world already knows, there are some things happening in the world that many of us didn’t expect at the beginning of this year. For a lot of us, including myself and many artists, that meant the loss of work, without the certainty of when things may return. Before that happened, I was already months behind on rent, bills, and basic need items for my survival, like clothes that fit and aren’t torn up, shoes that aren’t two years old, the ability to get around the city as needed with my chronic issues, food when I don’t have the spoons to cook, etc.
Now that the pandemic is ever present, my debts have only grown, and my body has begun to feel the isolation, especially with winter approaching in the next few months. I feel like I’m in a hole I’ve tried repeatedly to get out of, either by working until I can’t think straight, or until my body gives out, applying for grant after grant, and being denied for most of them, which took wind out of me every time. So, now, I’m doing something I haven’t really done of much of: asking for help out loud, with as little shame as possible.
I’m currently posting the biggest fundraiser I’ve ever posted, with the eventual goal being 30,000 dollars. There’s a breakdown below on what I plan on using the money for, and the math that I’ve done so far.
-I’ve done research on the type of car I thought could handle the Chicago seasons, would hold up even at an older year, could help me move gear around the city, and would come in at a lower price point for lower mileage. That cross referencing on Carvana brought me to around 16,000 for a Subaru wagon or hatchback, which feels perfect for what I tend to spend Lyft money on, usually getting gear around. These cars range a mileage maximum of around 100k, which means that the average car I’m looking for should fit somewhere lower than that. This is the bulk purpose of the fundraiser, because my credit is terrible, and I’ll likely half to buy the car upfront.
-Insurance, title, registration, etc.:
-In order to make sure my car is street legal, is protected, and won’t result in undue costs should something occur, my plan is to buy my first year of insurance upfront, while also taking care of the paperwork and everything needed to prevent legal issues down the line. These are the hidden costs of buying a vehicle, so I’m trying to prepare in advance for that. In Illinois, and I may need to fact check this, it’s averaging between 1,200 and 1,400 dollars annually.
-Existing debts, bills, etc.:
-I currently am behind on rent and bills by around 2,500 dollars, and it’s sure to go up by the end of the month. I need to catch up, because whenever I do come into money lately, it’s almost always to fill a situation I don’t have money for, so the debt grows because I can’t take care of it and me at the same time. Being caught up would also mean I could afford things i need that I haven’t been able to afford, which brings me to-
-I hate this part honestly. Clothes shopping is often a triggering experience for many reasons. The things I can afford rarely fit, and the things that fit, I can rarely afford. Add the gender piece, and finding affirming clothing for my gender feels impossible. Many of my clothes don’t fit, are worn down, stained from years of use, part of which was in retail and food service. A good chunk of my clothes saw both genders, if that gives any context of time. As much as it bothers me to say it, I need new clothes, and probably new shoes too. Realistically, I would likely spend 1,000-1,200 on clothes that fit, looked good on me, affirmed my gender, gave me more “professional” options for work related things, and shoes that aren’t at least two years old.
-Low Spoon Days:
-This means that on the days where my mental or physical disabilities get the drop on me, and I need to rest, I would still be able to do some of the necessary things to survive. This might mean needing to get something to better manage my high pain days/high fatigue days, or getting food when I don’t have the spoons to cook. Some days, food doesn’t happen, and a lot of that is probably because I’m ashamed to admit when I can’t cook for myself. Sometimes that shame keeps me from asking in the moment, so I don’t eat. This is something I’m trying to be ready for once the winter arrives, which is where I’m at my lowest, mentally, and in high pain physically.
These are the main points of this fundraiser, but I’ll list some others below.
Music gear (sticks, heads, strings, things needed to maintain professional quality sound for recording sessions, covers, and lessons), a car budget (gas, just in case, routine check ups), a just in case savings (for emergencies), Merch creation (shirts, EPs, albums, etc.).
If you’ve made it this far, I thank you. If you’ve donated, I thank you. If you couldn’t donate, but you shared this, I thank you. I will be keeping open transparent updates about what the money’s being used for, and how close I am to reaching the goal. I wanna send one more thanks out to those who remind me that my needs matter, and that having them met isn’t something to be ashamed of. You know who you are. Much love to y’all. Peace.
- Adwoa Agyepong
- Kiko Cuellar
Vita Eya Cleveland