Tag Archives: priviledge

Selling Myself

10 Aug

A tale about the failed American Dream, lies Millennials believed, and the cynicism that sets in in your thirties.

Three weeks ago I went to Disneyland. I love Disney, it makes me feel like magic still exists. I know the company has its problems, the parks cost too much, and everything in them is overpriced. Yet, there is nothing like walking down Main Street U.S.A, forced perspective in full effect, and seeing Sleeping Beauty’s castle off in the distance. That, my friends, is mesmerizing.

About a month before I went to Disneyland, my summer cash flow was questionable at best and I started to realize I couldn’t afford to go to the most magical place on Earth if I didn’t find a new revenue stream. I was processing this predicament with a few coworkers one day and one of them mentioned how they used to donate plasma in college. I was never very strung up for cash in college so I had never explored the venture, but I was aware of the concept. It took me a bit to work up to it, but eventually, I went in and got myself signed up. I’ve been going fairly regularly for almost two months now.

Before I started going and donating my plasma, I had a preconception that the people who frequented these places were drug addicts or homeless or working at McDonalds (the fact the I always pick McDonalds is also a bias I need to confront, but that is for another day). I have been privileged in my life and I understand that when I have these thoughts, they are not always true. I do believe, however, that we are only going to get over them by being honest and owning up to them. I have discovered that while there are people who are clearly struggling, there are also a lot of people who donate who are probably a lot like me. People who are in a tough spot because of a few poor financial choices, have a bit too much credit card debt, and have their student loan companies breathing down their necks.

At first, it was an uncomfortable experience for me. I felt judged and not just by the people around me in the clinic. I don’t feel that way too often when I go now. Maybe I grew numb to the inner voice or maybe it just became a familiar enough place that my anxiety decided to categorize it as normal. Either way, recently it has just felt like another chore. A job I go to for a couple hours at a time to make a bit of money.

It paid for my Disney trip and I kept going after to see if I could cut down my credit card balances. I did that math and if I keep going regularly, by the end of the year I will have made almost two thousand dollars in almost six months.

I don’t feel shame in this side hustle, but sometimes I do feel anger. Anger at a system that set me up with an idea of what my future would be that doesn’t match the reality. I don’t think I dreamed big. I never had hopes of owning a Maserati and a summer home in Paris. What I thought was attainable was much more conservative. A job that pays the bills with a little left over to grab drinks with friends a couple times a week. Enough set aside in my savings that I could take a vacation somewhere nice once or twice a year. I wanted stability.

Instead what I have is debt and anxiety dreams about paying back that debt. I can’t blame it all on the system. I made some decisions that had a negative impact on the stability I dreamed of. I take my share of the blame. There are things that were and are out of my control, however, and they make it hard to recover. I was young and dumb for a while, but I don’t feel like I was abnormally idiotic. I don’t know that the punishment for my crimes is a fair one, and that is where the anger comes from.

I am only 32 and, God willing, I have a lot of years left to make up for the mistakes I made, to learn the lessons that might get me to the promised land. For now, I will just keep selling pieces of myself and hope that I don’t sell the pieces that make me me.

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Little Boys Playing Big Boy Games and Losing

6 Nov

As a woman I have never felt so disrespected in my life. This week has been a shit storm of disgusting, hateful, derogatory comments about sex, genitalia, and the use of women for the enjoyment of men….no, boys. I expect it to some extent, they are learning, but to this extreme, it has eaten at my heart and soul. No one, men, man or teen has the right or privilege to talk that way, no one. Yet I have been subjected to sit, listen, and put up with a string of commentation about my gender. Forced to keep my mouth shut because if I allowed the words I wished to say out of my mouth I would no longer be a desirable employee.

I lost it tonight on a young man who has the audacity to come into my program and discuss his male prowess in getting females into bed. If a woman, if any person, is giving you the gift of spending a night or even a moment with them, then the very LEAST you can do is give them the respect that action deserves. If you can’t even do that, you don’t deserve that gift from that person or any other. Your sexual partners are not locker room banter or a way to prove to your buddies that you are the god you think yourself to be. You are not a god, you are scum and should not for one second think otherwise.

No one is an object, whether they have slept with only you or with a hundred others. Notches on your belt don’t make you a more worthy person and they don’t make you worthy of love and affection. What DOES make you worthy of that precious event is when you are able to see it for what is is, and respect and worship the one allowing you into their most intimate spaces.

There are not enough showers to wash away the grime I feel coating every inch of my body. These are young boys and they shouldn’t already be so disenchanted with the world to treat it this way. The most unnerving thought I have is that they must have learned it somewhere. What role models do they have that they already believe the words coming out of their mouths and appropriate and acceptable? What state is our world in when from the very start, these boys are taught disrespect and fowl language are acceptable ways to address their counterparts?

To make it even worse, I have only discussed one small part of the bigger picture. Yes, their language about sex is concerning, but so is the language they use about sexual orientation and race. It is hateful language and I could preach for days about how wrong and misguided they are, but they aren’t going to change because it is coming from a 20-something white girl who in their mind doesn’t understand their generation or their communities.

I started by saying I was disgusted, but in reality maybe I am just sad.