Wherefore art thou, Andra?

First, COVID ravaged the country, and I chose to isolate (abide by social distancing) instead of visiting with people in person. I count my blessings that I had the privilege of that option. Like many others, I eventually started an Only Fans, but I quickly found the work to be different from in-person work in ways that took an unanticipated toll on me. Some providers are great in the online space; I’m better in person.

Then, also like many others, I lost people close to me. My grandfather died…then a professional colleague….then one of my tenants…then friends. I watched on the sidelines as other ladies went back to work, experiencing mixed emotions of envy (I miss clients) and dread (eventually I’m going to run out of money and have to go back to work).

In part to keep my uncomfortable-when-still self satiated and in part for income, I turned to a new side hustle: auction re-selling. I could write a novel on that experience, but the gist of it is this: it’s not easy money. What are you in need of? …an espresso machine? wood flooring? hunting tree stand? vinyl records? whole house water filtration system? pogo stick? light fixtures? a car? a boat?… either I’ve got it, or I can get it! I soon found myself torn between, “I need a BREAK! This is too much!” and, “If I stop, I’m going to crash.” What I can’t seem to find in liquidation auctions, strangely enough, are packages of “mental health.”

Sometime mid-pandemic, I decided (with the help of a psychiatrist and pharmacist) to see if there were some chemicals that could help me out. One after another, we experimented. This one helped me sleep but killed my libido. That one brought back my ability to climax but made me gain weight. This one curbed my anxiety but made me feel flat-out wonky (detached from reality). That one evened me out but made it impossible to poop. This one caused physical pain. That one made me shake. …and on and on…

Mostly, I’ve been off the radar because it’s the path of least resistance. I’m not good at pretending, so the idea of posting to social media seems, well, unappealing. Most days, I’m barefoot in my garage (workshop/warehouse), living oh-so-dangerously by not wearing eye protection behind the miter saw; making and delivering Elderberry syrup to random people; or (as is the case today) coming up with plans to provide support for people who are soon to become homeless  (between eviction moratoriums ending, government support programs disappearing or becoming less accessible, and housing/rental prices nearly tripling in some areas, I expect it’s going to become a seriously pressing issue soon).