I just feel like...

by Bear Elle

I just feel like... stop begging & take stock. When COVID-19 first hit, even if I didn't notice at the time, I had a lot of options.

From the outside looking in, I was a struggling artist who made a grand total of less than ten thousand dollars in 2019- more than half of which was from my art- for which I've been full-time dependent on since mid-July of last year. I spent the rest of July & the first week and a half of August at my mother's hospital bedside painting on a window seat on the second- then third- then sixth floor of Evergreen Medical Center- the same hospital that would later host America's COVID-19 patient zero.

My first three weeks as an independent artist were spent in a hospital room while my mom fought to save her own life. Seven months after we got out of the hospital, COVID hit.

I think of how I might have handled this ten years ago... three years ago- last year even. How I might have reacted, acted out of fear or taken advantage. I think about how I could have been a victim of circumstance & viewed these events as bad omens that were telling me not to walk into the dark forest of the unknown.

I easily could have said this isn't fair. I deserve help. After COVID hit, for me as a struggling artist, so did opportunities. There were now all sorts of jail free cards... literally people saying "first 100 to drop their cash app gets $100 from me."

But even though I wasn't "making it," I wasn't struggling. Or at least... I was struggling significantly less than ever in my adult life. There were so many who needed it more than me & who was I to take advantage & become one of the people who ruins it for the future.

I can't help but wonder, is this my karma? Am I getting what I want finally because I didn't take? & how do I feel about karma... knowing what I know now about perception, perspective, & the human mind?

Is it a gift from the universe for a job well done or is it more like... self-fulfilled prophecy in the form of small habits & life preparations? Or is it somehow both?

Some prolly say I'm foolish. Why the fuck wouldn't you take free money? To which I say- the undeserved is never free. You absolutely have to give to get & it abso-fucking-lutely has to come 100% purely from the heart or you will pay in one form or another. 

I don't regret not taking the money. It wasn't mine to take. Which means besides whatever means I would have paid, other innocent people would have also paid. The people who actually needed it, the people who are scared and suffering, the people who couldn't have predicted an actual pandemic shaking up their entire lives, they would pay.

Personally, I've had the best year of my life. It would be selfish & frankly repulsive for me to be anything but grateful.