Over my adult life I have had only a handful of traditional jobs. My first job was at a clothing store on melrose when I was 16. I worked as a veterinary technician in my late teens and early twenties, and worked as a groom and riding instructor sporadically over the next decade. None of my jobs lasted more than a year. The bulk of my adult life has been devoted to the art of hoop dance (A questionable career choice, but oh so fulfilling). To be honest, I don't make a great employee. I start out well, but a regular schedule has long made me claustrophobic. The chafe of having to play a role, a role defined by someone else, makes me anxious and usually it isn't long before the rebel in me rises to the surface. I know this is partly due to me being spoiled with not ever having the defining moment that most have. That moment where you make the hard realization that either you figure out how to make money, or you are screwed. The incredible blessing of my supportive parents has also had the downside of a delayed financial adulthood. This I am ashamed of. Then, I am ashamed of being ashamed instead of delighting in my blessings with all the gratitude I can muster. There have been many years that I HAVE made enough money to get by, but its never been consistent. And so, my way in this world has always been colored with an underlying guilt. Guilt that I seem to be unable to make enough money without the help of my parents (sometimes more, sometimes less) and the guilt that I get this support, when so many are TRULY struggling.
I get that I don't know what real money stress is. I don't want to know what real money stress is. While this fact, the fact of a seemingly assured safety, points to just how privileged I am, I can't help but see the silver lining in my moral conundrum. In my safety net I had the freedom to dive into the creation of hoop dance as a legitimate art form with my whole heart. I have had the mental space to stick to high ideals. Like a 100% post consumer recycled hula hoop. Like a clothing line made in the USA. Like my DVD with eco-friendly packaging. I do not know if I would have had the option to choose this path if I couldn't afford the risk. My whole perspective on how I think the world should work is made possible by the reality that I don't have to worry about how the food is going to get to my fridge. I mean, I really really really want to pay my own way in life 100% and more. But this is because I think my self esteem would be better and my parents less burdened, not because I will be homeless if I don't. This is a very different set of motivations.
I don't really know the point of this blog entry. I guess it is just me sharing the reality of my life. To be honest, it's embarrassing. It's far nobler to have a story of struggle and making it no matter what (awe inspiring and tear inducing) adversity one has to get through to succeed in life. For me, I have no such story. My struggle is not letting myself rest on my laurels too long. My demons are hand drawn amalgamations of imagined things I post on my wall to light my own fire, in lieu of life lighting it for me. I know they pale in comparison to others real demons. Ones that bite for real. But, what is there to be done? I can't change my background and I wouldn't want to. I am working on embracing my safe life, even as I endeavor to go beyond it, if not for me, than for those that aren't so safe.
I suppose I am describing the essence of white middle class privilege. It scares the crap out of me to write this and more to post it. I am afraid of being hated because my life is far easier than most, and still I suffer. But me hiding the details of my life does nothing for no one. My life is MY life and it's about time I accept it, and better, use the privilege I have to hopefully make a difference in others lives that are perhaps not so lucky.