So I have spent the last two days working on a new obsession; photography. I set up a blog, dug out my old photos, and found my digital camera.

It has been a long time dream of mine to learn photography and to take stunning, professional quality pictures. Sadly my education drifted away from the arts and into psychology because it was more likely to result in a decent income. However, that doesn’t mean I can’t try, right? The internet is a boon of information, and I already have a good foundation of composition and other design elements from my artistic background.

However, like many other projects of mine, I almost immediately ran into the roadblock of money.

Everything I want to get into has invariably led to this point. Even just sketching requires a pencil and paper. Now if you want to get into the really good stuff, a decent pencil and nice paper. To get better, you need better tools, and spend more money. Painting? A set of acrylics isn’t all that expensive, but I want to really paint like Bob Ross that would mean oils and canvas. Ceramics? All sorts of money required there. Scrapbooking? Easy enough, but if you don’t want to damage photos, you have to use special acid free papers and inks. Customizing My Little Ponies, Pysanky, sewing, quilting, needlepoint, all require an investment in the tools and materials. I could go on and on about the number of hobbies that are just sitting and waiting and collecting dust until I have enough money.

Better tools make a better artist. Those better tools require money. So yes, I can play around here with my very cheap drawing tablet from ten years ago with a free art program, but all the talent in the world does not replace having a drawing tablet with pressure sensitivity and a beastly art program with all the bells and whistles.

So I dig out my old camera. It is a Canon PowerShot A510, a rather nice model at the time I bought it. However, by today’s standards it is seriously lacking. It has 3.2 mega pixels. The camera in my refurbished cellphone has more mega pixels than that. Yet a new camera would cost half of my monthly income. So that just is not going to happen.

The same can be said about transition. I can make due just fine with a binder through an exchange program, haircuts I do myself, and working on things that don’t cost money like my gait, movements, and speech. Therapy, medical care, surgery, hormones; everything costs money. And I know that is just the way of the world, but down here without two quarters to rub together, there really is nowhere to go.

How much potential in the world is being held back by the roadblock of money? People living in poverty, in worse situations than mine, what wonders could they contribute if they were not stifled by the all consuming process of trying to survive?

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