After a slew of smart aleck-y responses back at my friend on Facebook chat–which in text, the tone can be easily misconstrued–my friend asked me, “What’s wrong? What’s on your mind?”
I will preface that the “witticisms” were not very original. I was caught off-guard by the two questions. Did I sound distraught? The questions seemed random and out of the blue. I imagined as someone who joked around often, my witty retort would be received as nothing more than witticisms, and not sharp attacks towards a good friend.
While I was taken aback by my friend’s reaction, I’ll admit that I’m never 100% all right, but I can’t say I’m someone who is necessarily depressed or distraught at the moment. I often find ways to be excited and amused, but my thoughts and tendencies to overanalyze leave me cynical about society and the world. The lingering uncertainty of the future leaves me tense and at unease.
I’m a recent college graduate who has yet to find a job. The uncertainty of the current economy and the unstable fluctuations in the job market leave me very reluctant to apply to anything–afraid of the emotional sting of the potential rejection that may come my way–even though my student loans are tugging at me and giving me a forced reality check. I came across a job description for an entry-level at a upper echelon government consulting firm early this month. The qualifications fit me to a T. Most notable was the amount of experience sought for, and I fit that due to my internship at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. It all seemed perfect until a few days later when I discovered that the slot had been filled.
I came across an article on Elle about choosing between creative ambition over being financially stable. I am reluctantly motivated by money. I’m motivated by money out of necessity and the desire to acquire material goods and cultural experiences that I did not have the privilege of having as a child, not because I feed off of having an excess in my bank account–although any amount will surely help. I enjoy what I’m doing right now and for the past couple of months since I’ve completed my summer internship in DC: reading literature and blogs to become engaged in others’ thoughts and perspectives, and playing the guitar. I’d also like to spend some time to draw: my love. I’m also in the midst of organizing a citywide, intercollegiate youth summit for Asian Pacific American student leaders.
But unless all of that fun turn into sources of revenue, I am wasting away. I am giving up the potential to receive financial resources of which I need. Desperately.
I can’t help, but feel that I’m fighting a losing battle against a capitalist society that is controlled by the elite who push for the ever widening wage gap. Will I ever live comfortably in the middle class, and provide my future children with the best resources they could possibly have in terms of nurturing their interests, education, and health?
As my boyfriend and I were heading to the grocery store, I thought about Walmart and the poor. Walmart caters to the poor with its low prices. By widening the wage gap, Walmart’s customer base widens. The beneficiaries of Walmart becomes not the customers, but the people who run the corporation. It’s systems of oppression such as this that push me to want to do better, but I also feel exhausted by this as well.
I feel that I am highly capable of so much, but I’m lost as to where to go. I sometimes feel I am not worthy. I know it’s not unusual, but considering what I have accomplished as a young adult, I should be proud of myself.
I don’t think I can or will be until I can become financially independent.
It’s a logical circle I keep twisting myself in.
- Women’s Wages Across America: A Sobering Look (refinery29.com)
- How Walmart got government support, despite union pleas (salon.com)
- Walmart Protest in L.A. Ends with Arrests (charliemagovern.wordpress.com)
- New Wage Gap Numbers Aren’t So New (aauw.org)