Scarcity Hunter

I said it with a glass of wine in my hand, on a friend’s couch, surrounded by women who were being really honest about art and life and how everything is messier than we want it to be. Some of us were confessing, that once we got over the business of should, we secretly liked it this way. Other people honest makes me brave, and the gesticulating and yelling tends to get more intense. I drop more swears.

“I’m tired of building defenses to protect against her, I am going after that bitch with a stick.”

We were talking about scarcity. About the ways that we act when we are afraid there isn’t enough. Scarcity of love, of dreams, of time, of resources, of ways to mother, of potential spouses. I confessed that I burst into tears when I found out a friend just scored the thing I wanted. I am happy for her, and she deserves it and I want her to have that but…but I want it too. And scarcity rears her ugly head and says, there are only so many of those, this means your chances just got smaller. I guess you can celebrate with her, but really you should be mad that you didn’t get picked. Now maybe you won’t.

I’m so tired of scarcity getting a say in my life. She’s a liar who says mean things about me and I am not hanging out with her anymore.

I’ve been thinking about scarcity for awhile, and have even been re-structuring my thought patterns so that I can keep my space from scarcity. I thought we could have a nice clean break up, and then just leave each other alone. But scarcity is everywhere. How do you just build a defense around something that is so embedded in our culture?

I went to the Festival of Faith and Writing this past weekend. I’ve written a story that is true. One that is so important I get choked up and yell-y every time I try to give my two-minute pitch. There is just so much I want you to understand. I got really scared that no one would like me or my story, that everyone else would get all the things I want and I would be left in the dust, choking on my own jealousy. So, I emailed Esther to talk me down and she responded, as she always does, with the truth.

The only way to fight scarcity is with radical generosity.

In the blog world, sometimes it can feel like we trade social capital like baseball cards. I made it on this list, she retweeted me, he knows people I want to know. In real life too, she has more friends, he has cooler stuff, that person’s life is awesome so mine can’t be. It is exhausting and I don’t want to play that way anymore. It isn’t enough to build a wall and make sure the bad thoughts and feelings don’t get in. You can’t defensively fight scarcity. She is just too sneaky.

I saw Rachel Held Evans speak at the Plenary session at the end of the conference. She spoke about abundance and scarcity and I got mad. I had been thinking about doing something on scarcity but hadn’t had time. My friend texted me from the other side of the auditorium, “hey, that is your thing.” Now everyone is going to think I am a copier and a hack. She said it, so I can’t. I was believing in a scarcity of scarcity fighters. That doesn’t even make sense. I’ve got to get on the offensive.

I am declaring myself a scarcity hunter and want you to come join my pack! We can hunt scarcity down in our lives together. About twice a month,  you will get an email from me talking about how I have seen scarcity show up in my life lately and what truth I am replacing it with. There will probably be ALL CAPS and exclamation points. There will be conversations on Twitter (#scarcityhunter) and there will be radical generosity.

I hope to not just share the scarcity, but also our new projects and ideas, yours and mine. I want the scarcity hunters to use the giant stick of radical generosity to celebrate, encourage, cheer each other on. So, if you have an awesome lesson plan, or a new blog, or a book coming out, I want to celebrate you.  If you have a story about how you are a rock star, let us scream wildly for you. We fight scarcity with radical generosity.

So, let’s go after that bitch with a stick. I need my scarcity hunters. Whose with me?

Be a Scarcity Hunter



27 thoughts on “Scarcity Hunter

  1. Of course I’m with you. Of course, of course. You are one of a very few people who have read the last chapter of my in-process memoir. Remember how I wrote about a root system…cracking the sidewalk? Because I realized that I wasn’t the first one to do any of this stuff. And I wasn’t the last. I was a part of a system. RHE. And Brene Brown, who probably actually deserves the credit for putting abundance vs scarcity into the common lexicon. Way before RHE. And then, you know, Jesus, who was even ahead of Brene Brown (can you imagine?) with this message of abundance. Oh, those lilies…who don’t work and don’t worry. Remember? We are all somewhere in the web, and the secret is to reach out to one another and make connections stronger than the strength of our will to compete. So I’m with you, Abby. Connected to you. Go, go, go! And you will pull me along.

  2. Same problem with the form.

    I used to feel strongly about scarcity in the publishing world – that every book slot that was taken was one that wasn’t available for me, and the competition just got harder.

    But a long season of illness, pain, and loss have adjusted my perspective. It’s not really about scarcity, or competition, or trying to jump higher to be noticed.

    It’s about trying to fit into a world that doesn’t want me. The door’s closed to me – and it’s always been closed. I don’t have the right persona, or name, or even the right gender for what I write (I’ve had the comment from beta readers – several times – that if they didn’t know better they’d have thought the author was a lady).

    And that’s okay. I am what I am, I write what I write, and the dream of having people read the stuff won’t come true. This is not a tragedy. East Timor was a tragedy. Rwanda was a tragedy. Not being able to be where I want to be…uh, no.

  3. Girl, I’m IN! Micha and I were talking about this extensively on the way home – it’s so easy to get caught up in the abundance, which initially looks all good and dreamy, but really doesn’t give you life in the long run. Because as Lamott said, I need to stop comparing my insides to others’ outsides. Scarcity Hunters (and former-current high school English teachers) UNITE!

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