I read an article in the New York Times, resistance with action not just words, and it made me think of all the amazing bookstores I have visited. The Strand and Housing Works Cafe in NYC are my favorite. They make me feel safe and a place that makes you thirst for knowledge. I applied for a part time job at my favorite bookstore in San Francisco, Green Apple Books. I received an interest email back, but my availability was not what they were looking for. In my cover letter I wrote my “staff recommendation” for a book. It’s one of my favorite parts of their bookstore, the handwritten scribbled notes by staff to the customer, you should read this book, because I said so. I imagined in my interview I would share my ideas about bringing in more of the community. Like the NYT article, writing a community postcard campaign to Senators or thank you cards to Planned Parenthood for their services. I would rally for bringing in a café to the empty space upstairs of the bookstore to host larger events, a place for people to gather to share more than thoughts and ideas. But, I’ll have to table these ideas, because apparently I have too much ambition and interviewed for a few other part-time jobs. The trend continues, it is easier for me to find more work than to cut back.
My tax accountant asked, how do I survive? Implying my low income is only very slightly above the poverty level. I said, I make just enough to not need, for now. The photo is an index card that I saw on the NYT that I also liked. It is linked to a book about how to save without making it complicated. February is almost over and I did pretty well on saving/spending only what I need. I tried not to use my credit card at all, but ended up using it a few times. Ordering my school transcript for applications online, paying $50 for a dentist visit/cleaning, and allergy medicine at Costco. I did get suckered into donating $10 to the possibility of winning Hamilton tickets, the donation goes to some charity. I did try not to use Lyft/Uber anymore, but I used Lyft once this month – to the interview, because it was hailing/raining and I didn’t want to look like a wet dog by the time I made it to the interview. I thought $10 was ok for a good first impression. I didn’t buy anything on Amazon – I instead did walk to Sur La Table to buy my vegetable peelers for $10.
My most recent read, Hidden Figures (the real life story of Black female engineers, mathematicians and scientists who worked at NASA). I skipped the parts that were for context about the 1960’s and read about the specific women honored. I loved the story of Katherine, who by eating her lunch at her desk was an act of defiance in segregation. She broke down barriers by eating lunch at her desk as a Black women surrounded by white men. Mary, who struggled and overcame so much to receive the title of Engineer and grade level GS-12, was offered a demotion to GS-11 to take a HR role to advance other women’s careers. It a testament to her commitment for equality she let go of her hard won engineer title to fight for women. These amazing women were born into a time when equality was in the forefront of everyone’s mind, but it made me wonder and think about my life. It moved me and made me ask the question, am I doing enough for others? Am I fighting for equality?