Since I started working for myself, a few different people have approached me.
You don’t write anymore, they say. You don’t tweet as much. You’re no longer yourself, what’s the matter? Is everything alright? My standard answer is that I’m busy, and that’s the awful truth.
I no longer have the luxury of a Karen the Accountant to pay me, without fail, on the 25th of every month. I no longer have access to the occasional advance, the free, high-speed broadband off an actual internet backbone.
Gone is the security of knowing that no matter what happens, in any given month, your salary will reflect and your bills will get paid.
Now that I work for myself, I have to think of all sorts of seemingly small things. Is the DStv paid (that’s Premium HD, fool) and if so, is there cash left over for fuel and airtime?
Gee, is the vehicle license even renewed? How about the car radio? Oh, and there’s that flat tyre to replace. We won’t even go into groceries, and the sundry luxuries I’ve become accustomed to.
Which clients have paid, and what are the due dates for the rest? Who do I owe? Do I have a bar tab? If I pay the bar tab, can I service the three or four petty debts that everyone of us has floating around at any given time?
I won’t even go into the big boys like rent, ZESA etc, but I think you get my drift.
It’s hard to tweet and Bookface constantly when you’re actually working for your own damn living. It’s difficult to blog every other day when you’re spending most of your free time chasing paper.
It’s almost impossible to get outraged about remote things, when you have presently-pertinent, formerly-petty issues to resolve.
Yes, I know the world hasn’t stopped. There are pythons, planes and Pistorii happening elsewhere in the world. But it’s pretty damn difficult to worry about a missing 777 when your “Payments Due” column is empty.
It makes me think that, just maybe, I’ve been a little too cushioned for the past handful of years. It is much easier to be outraged about remote stuff from the comfort of your lounge (with the rent paid).
Just as it is easy to say “cut donor aid” when your own stomach is full, it’s a pretty simple matter to analyse Hollywood’s quasi-racist celebration of Lupita when you’ve recorded the Oscars and your ZESA meter isn’t beeping.
It seems to me that outrage is the hunger pang of the middle class. Twitter anger is an exercise for the comfortable, and now that I have real-world issues of my own to deal with, some of it just doesn’t seem that big a deal.
I have a business to run; who cares what Mourinho said last week?
Hold on man, let me check my sack. No, sorry, I appear to be fresh out of fecks to give.
Maybe next time.