Thursday, June 23, 2016


this is something I wrote some time ago (in the winter obviously) and found in my file today and thought I'd post

I am privileged.  I have always been privileged.  And I knew, I was cognizant, from the time I was six years old and standing in the front yard under the pin oak tree wondering why I was well off, well coordinated, and white, that white was part of it.

And money is definitely part of it too.  I got to do things because of money.  Not talent, not deserving.  That I am even alive is because of money.

I have always found the "well coordinated" part of that a little funny, but then again, being in touch with your body, having proprioception, just flat being able to do things, really does make things easier.  Like everything else, a whole lot of that is just practice.

But we have chosen in our lives to forego most of the money part.  Although we own our land and house and so comparatively we are wealthy because of that.  But money flow wise, it would be difficult to be more poor.  Poverty is not an easy path, for sure, despite the memes.  But it isn't a path one is supposed to "choose" either.  One gets there by being "sorry" -- too sorry to work.  Sure I work, but I like what I do, and I only work for good people too, and there are things I won't do and don't do.

What I don't do is work for as much money as I could, or work in "my field", or work full-time, or work for or much with people I don't like, lots of other things. 

See, I took some paperwork by an office the other day, stood behind the sign that rather rudely stated to wait until you were called, got called by an invisible person sitting down behind a window, left her a sheet of paper, and left.  And thought, with only a few different choices, that could be me.  Actually, that could be me now because even with the age of my degree, I could get that job if it were open.  If I'd stayed in the field, I could have been like "director" or something.  And just exactly like the photos of the yayas with whom I graduated with their bleached hair and perfect make-up and scarves around their necks and matching paint by numbers pictures, I think, "Shoot me.  Just freaking shoot me if it comes to that."

But I do know that expectation wise I *should* go to work like that.  I mean, I don't have insurance and Tennessee won't expand Medicaid.  I don't always have "reliable" transportation (in this storm, should anyone really be going anywhere?  I think not).  Right now I'm even chilly, and my bedroom will stay in the 40s if I'm *lucky*.  Going out to Red Lobster would be a major savings commitment, and going to the Chinese buffet only happens a few times a year.  Some people would think that we should not even buy the occassional six pack of beer, or have pets, because, well, because we are not wealthy enough to deserve to buy that.  And it is funny because people will give you stuff, but often they expect to be lord and master because of that, in your perpetual debt.

Well, no.

And make no mistake, I am still privileged, I know that.  Privileged enough to NOT work that deadly dead end dead job.  Privileged enough to actually do something I'm passionate about without the need to compromise it in order to "make a living".  Although that could disappear in a heartbeat. 

Perhaps that's the thing with privilege -- that it could disappear.

And people get so damn defensive about that.

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