The following is a story written by Kali Walbring, a member based in South Bend, IN. She has degrees in Linguistics, Creative Writing, and Asian Studies, with minors in English, Japanese, and History. Kali likes to focus on the helping and valued assistance aspects of Simbi.
A few weeks ago, I had no idea there were online economies. Money was the sole useful currency now and I was going to spend the rest of my life trying to scrape enough together for that pile of bills every month. It had never occurred to me that there might be another way. I was, and still am, living with family to minimize my costs. I cut coupons, resist temptations, and pass up opportunities and interests with my head full of worry for the future. I don’t struggle, but nor do I feel satisfied with my situation. My future was going to be utterly determined by my ability to procure money, and my fascination with travel and culture just wasn’t going to cut it in little landlocked Indiana. Enter a contending opportunity.
A friend had posted about looking at Simbi on Facebook. I popped on five minutes before I had to leave for work because the logo was interesting and the little tagline was catchy. In those five minutes, I found someone in a bit of a financial situation with school supplies needed but none of the funds to get them. I logged off and drove to work, the whole time thinking about a fellow student low on cash and in need of assistance.
I signed up and my first “service” was money saving/budgeting tips. I contacted him and offered up a page and a half of all the ways I knew to get school supplies cheap, with some side tips for inexpensive or free clothing. In return, I got some dream analysis and a tarot reading which were fun and fascinatingly helpful. Then, I was done and it was all neatly closed and over. There wasn’t anything else I was going to be able to help people with. I’d leave it open, but no one was going to need my help any more. Then I saw another request: crowdfunding advice for a comic campaign. I’d been a part of one of those before; I could help! And that was the real beginning. Realizing that, no, I might not be crazy qualified or have the money to do all the things I love, but I had experience and I could trade that for other people’s help.
I offered story editing and needed some in return. That need got met without fuss or embarrassment. There are cooking classes, acting classes, custom art, programming advice, and so much more.
I can get services that I need that aren’t even available in my state! I’m able to do activities that were so outside of my financial reach now that I’m overwhelmed with choices. It’s like a sampling buffet filled with choices and assistance.
More than anything, I am supremely impressed with the growing community on Simbi. So many people seem to just want to help others. Flip through the available services and you’ll find dozens of people willing to listen, to talk, to just be present in the lives of strangers. It seems like an especially safe place for LGBT people or others who have been labeled minorities. What is a career ending secret here is nothing more than a casual conversation on Simbi. We seem to take all the experience we have with the world and hold it out for others to use, expecting little to nothing in return. That kind of community, that gives of themselves to others, is one I can be proud to be a part of. I look forward to all the new experiences that Simbi has opened up for me and the friends I make along the way.
Simbiotic Stories are real anecdotes told by you and other Simbi community members. Tell us about your Simbi deals and experiences with other members. If your story is published, we’ll credit your account with 150 simbi. Submit your entries by starting a conversation with us via this link.