This is not the dilemna that someone who chooses a career as a 'writer' generally expects. I'm no ascetic and don't disapprove of wealth, it's just that I've never been a Cinderella type of girl who ever planned on some dam prince, and even more ironically, I never thought I'd be particularly blessed with happiness or any kind or 'ever after'. My goal in life thus far has been to escape tedium, boredom, and mediocrity. But here I am. My fiance is a rich man.
I don't mean Walton family rich, but vastly richer than my brother-the-doctor rich. Rich enough that his money can make a difference in people's lives. Maybe even in history. And he is used to living with that kind of influence and I am not. I've been putting off even thinking of myself as someone with economic power. It's one thing to buy 30 printers for the media room of the foundation where I volunteer as a tutor for African American kids. That was fun. That was being some hipster Sants Claus. What is harder is seeing that this has changed their lives. It has changed the presentation of their homework. It has changed whether they get picked to be in the smart elite group for class projects. It has changed the parent/teacher conversations. And that's just one example.
What I don't like is that I've become a more valuable tutor than people who are better tutors and who volunteer more time. This seems wrong. And in so many other ways, gifts of money are more valued than gifts of time, even though it is far easier for me to give my fiance's money (hell, it isn't even my money) than for working women like my mom to give her time. It's not right. But it is real.
And so I'm starting to allow this into my sense of who I can be and what I can do. I've been campaigning for Obama with my fiance. We are especially campaigning in Latino and Asian communities. (My fiance is Latino; I am Asian, if you haven't noticed. We are both also biracial so it isn't always obvious.) We are also working with a foundation to create affordable renewable energy, mostly solar. It is exciting. It is not boring. But it is also really outside the box of being the powerless cynic I'm comfortable being. Oh well. Time for a change in many ways.
I'm posting here less as a result. If you are reading this and have any advice please comment. I don't mean about how to spend money. I have figured that out. About how to have a vastly different self image. And how to deal with people being so dam impressed with me, as if having a wealthy man in my life is some kind of effing accomplishment.