You Don’t Have to Capitalise Off of Your Interests

No seriously, you really don’t. If you needed a friendly reminder of that, here it is.

First and foremost, I do support people using what they love to support and sustain themselves. It’s creative, it’s smart, it’s strategic. But when you’re doing 20 different things at once to get some cash on the side and don’t really have time to breathe, are any of those things “interests” anymore?

I think quarantine has been littered with a surge of rise ‘n’ grind accounts trying to guilt people into taking business moves with their hobbies. There’s a sudden pressure to take out a business loan, buy equipment for mass production or standardisation, and try to promote work on social media in the hopes that a celebrity or key figure in an industry will happen to notice and become their economic saviour. I personally think that there’s this capitalist fantasy that anyone can just come out of the blue and start a random business without any knowledge of marketing strategies, research, product sourcing, legal understanding of business and just make it big. And this rose-tinted fantasy of getting rich quick couldn’t be further from the truth.

During quarantine I’ve had all the time to do all of the things I love other than the blog, and the number of people who think because I hand-sew clothes, or because I write songs I should drop everything I’m doing and start a business or start Youtube is kind of ridiculous. Plus, my sewing feeds into the Green Queen Diaries section of the blog where I encourage you guys to shop sustainably, upcycle old items or even make new clothes from scratch. My only hope in interacting with you guys in that way is that you’ll take sustainable fashion seriously and stop buying from these unethical brands. And as for songwriting, y’all don’t need to hear all that because it’s not targeted at you.

Another dimension to this delusion is that it becomes harder to separate what you do out of free will and what you do in the hopes that you could draw some benefits. I think I personally realised this in my relationship with God. Like, my career movements are actually directed by what I feel God wants me to do with my skillset and I know I want to serve God and show people how Christ has changed me, but then you think “okay, but how am I going to feed myself through that?” so then you start to find ways to sustain yourself through that. I mean, it isn’t wrong but at a certain point you find yourself almost talking about Christ for money rather than for the love of God, which is a dangerous position to be in as a Christian. So, where do I draw the line? I think the moment I’m more bothered about what the people who put money in my pocket think than what God thinks, it’s time for a review. You might not see anything wrong with this but it’s like your loved ones; purely capitalising off of them stops being an honour to them and becomes exploitation.

Overall, do what you love but don’t make it your poison. In light of COVID-19, I’ve been thinking about the urgency of things and I think it’s super important that we don’t ever return back to the everyday norms of killing ourselves with too many things to do under the crushing weight of our economic framework. Because the economic framework will at times crush you, and it’s your interests and different aspects of life that you love that will keep you sane, so don’t make them extra weights on top of what you’re already dealing with.

-Pepper

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