The Opposite of Popular

The online home of alleged author Victoria Leybourne

2016 Week Sixteen: I found £35!


I am having a prolonged spring clean at the moment.

I don’t remember this but, based on the available evidence, I have to conclude that I spent the winter building up an impressive stockpile of Total Crap while living in my own ever-increasing filth. Now that the sun is back and I feel a bit less like I want to curl up in a ball and quietly cease to exist, I am attacking this problem. If anything that one does while wearing pajamas and listening to Taylor Swift can really be called an “attack”.

taylor swift dancing

So far, in the course of this decluttering, I have found a total of £35 in cash hidden in various bags and pockets. For those of you unclear on the exchange rate, that’s dinner for two in a low-end restaurant, a newly-released videogame or two moderately-sized My Little Pony playsets. Or, I don’t know, whatever people who aren’t hungry and childish think about spending money on. I was excited to find it, is what I’m saying.

I know that there are people out there to whom £35 is an amount they can lose quite easily. I am not one of them, and haven’t been since I embarked on this whole “working part time and trying to write” angstventure. But this made me realise that, at one point, I was.

For someone who doesn’t,  from certain points of view, actually do a lot of working, I think about it a lot. I know people who love their jobs, and people who don’t love their jobs but don’t mind doing them because the money makes up for it. I can’t imagine being one of the latter. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with it –those people are happy, so they’re doing great! But, if there’s one thing I’ve learned over the past couple of years, it’s that my time is worth a lot more to me than it is to anyone else. I worked full-time in a handful of jobs for about two years after I graduated and they all made me varying degrees of miserable – sometimes because I didn’t like what I was doing, but always because I didn’t have the time or energy to write*. If I don’t write, I don’t feel like me.

Of course, I have to sell some of my time in order to live (and, of course, I try my best to make sure that the employers who buy it get value for their money) but now I buy as much of it for myself and my writing as I can afford.

I don’t really remember what it felt like to be a person who could leave £5 and £10 notes stashed around the house and forget about them. I don’t remember what I used to spend my money on, either – probably a lot of the stuff I’ve been giving away as part of this spring clean. I do remember that for most of 2014, when I started working part time, I was overwhelmed with dread and had constant stress!indigestion because OMG THERE IS NO WAY I CAN GET AWAY WITH NOT EARNING MORE MONEY THAN THIS. (I knew I could really. I had a spreadsheet and everything. BUT STILL.)

But even with that anxiety and the general sense (still very much with me) that I have no idea what I’m doing, I’m so much happier now than I would be with more money and less time.

Though the £35 was a nice surprise. Carl and I went out for pancakes with about £5 and the rest will probably go on groceries, because groceries are awesome.

Other things that have happened this week:

I don’t know how I got this catalogue but I have to agree. This is an affordable and practical gift.

a catalogue entry for a knitting book called "cats in hats", labelled "affordable and practical gift"

So practical. And yes, of course I secretly want it, even though I can’t knit. What do you take me for?


See you next week!

*I know there are plenty of people who can work full-time and write. As far as I’m concerned, those people are MAGICAL UNICORN SORCERERS FROM ANOTHER DIMENSION and can’t be matched by a mere lump of human flesh such as I.


5 thoughts on “2016 Week Sixteen: I found £35!

  1. I used to stash notes in my books, almost like bookmarks. Was quite exciting to suddenly discover a fiver or tenner (if I was especially lucky a twenty) while I was reading…


  2. I’m sincerely hoping there’s an online version of that catalog because I’m having the strongest need to knit hats for my cats. Though I feel like they’ll likely be hateful little ingrates about it.

    Angstventure is officially my new favorite word. I feel like it accurately describes my life.

    I think a lot of people underestimate the value of happiness in their lives. Sure, they need a place to live, and groceries are great, but too often, I think we’re conditioned to want and spend far more than we need. (It may not be apparent, but I’m also purging my house. There’s just too much stuff.) I’d much rather be a little poorer but have more time. I’m glad that you’re making time to write. Now…go get some stars!


    • There was this, too:

      Your cats would absolutely not appreciate the hats you would make for them, but I and the rest of the internet would appreciate the pictures!

      I’m pretty pleased with Angstventure myself, to be honest! And yes, exactly! There’s this cycle that we just accept, like “Go to work! Earn more money! Buy more things! Go to work some more!” I made a spreadsheet (entitled “life-changing spreadsheet”, because I am naturally understated) where I actually worked out how much money I need to survive and then calculated how many hours of work that was a week and it was, well… life-changing.

      Liked by 1 person

      • PRIDE AND PREDJU-KNITS!!! *frantically searches Ravelry for a copy of my own*

        I introduced my friend Rox to Angstventure. Her response: “That is the most perfect. Sadly, this will come in handy for us, like, all the time.” (She’s not wrong.)

        JYSK, I happen to adore your naturally understated personality. And, I sort of think I need a life-changing spreadsheet. Though, I may not implement it until after the UK trip of wonder. 😀


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