What if I do not deserve to be paid…

After having my paintings for a very low price for a while, I’ve put “Pay What You Want” on them, encouraged by some artists advice but, really, out of desperation. Then I had a question from somebody wanting to buy a painting: “But what if you get offended if we won’t offer enough?” and I have been forced to reveal the old price (well below minimal wage per hour, of course). The answer was “We’ll think about this” and I’ve been feeling like tearing my hair off ever since. I should say 20 or even 10 instead of 30. This is better than nothing. How can you be offended if you can’t afford to buy new shoes for your kids?

I feel like being torn to pieces by requests to volunteer. Most of them coming from people having at least some income or savings. I am also doing almost all homemaking jobs – again, for nothing – but this is usual stuff, at least for women. Just the last straw. I feel sort of needed but not deserving any recognition for what I do whatsoever. Because all my skills are mediocre anywhay (art, crafts, graphic design, cooking, geography, writing, photography, web, brainstorming, retail, cleaning, gardening or whatever), so I shouldn’t complain. Yet I won’t waste my life or sell my soul working as a cleaner in a supermarket.

I’ve been reading about the end of traditional money economy. Price for everything is going down. Somebody still is paid but more and more people will not be. But what we supposed to do then if we still need money? Did any of the “New Brave World” advocates thought about this? I am not being paid but the food isn’t free, the transport and clothes aren’t…

Was my struggle over the last few years worth it? I haven’t made any close friends through volunteering or participation in the art business,
still only having my immediate family to talk to in the whole wide world.
I’ve learned some skills but nobody would want to pay for them. I’ve lost most of the connections to my native country and started to despise it with the former compatriots all together.

There
were and are good moments, of course, but ultimately I’m coming back to this: For how long can I live with this recurring agony? What’s the way out?

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