For imagery’s sake, I am essentially a kid with a gun. You know, the kind where a flag pops out of the end saying “Bang!”
I have a college degree and change diapers for a living. I have no father, but live in an apartment with a doorman. I don’t cry but I also don’t smile. I am an educated, motivated, under-resourced, angry, tired, and passionate student of my peripherals. Consider it a trademark of my age, a whirlwind 20something shaking away the cobwebs attached to history’s painting of my reality and this country’s reality. All of a sudden, it seems to me, we are in an economic bypass; people are suffering at a rate unmatched in decades; uncertainty is not only wreaking havoc on Wall Street but on the American Dream. And the greatest symbol of this Dream since MLK is growing grayer around the edges every day.
But what you should consider is this, a caveat of my generation: “I’m pissed the eff off. “
- My childhood was filled with the cliches of hardwork, self-motivation, and respect; but no one ever told me that the blue-collar ideals of loyalty and dedication were dead. My history books were filled with Rosie the Riveter, intra-war booms and industry-filled opportunities for honesty and character-driven individuals to build satisfaction. But in the America of today and tomorrow, where technology has overrun the average worker, interviews are replaced with networking; age far outweighs passionate potential; and a degree is just a number in the deli line.
The world used to be such a logical, linear place: elementary school, middle school, high school, girlfriend, college essays, _____’s first beer, internship, job, career, marriage, 2.5 kids, white-picket-fence, 401K, grandkids, arthritis. (Sorry for the 1960’s-esk Andy Griffin-imagery)
I don’t know why I started writing that; I grew up in a city in New Jersey where weed was the only thing people did in the middle school bathrooms, and violence can sometimes elevate to grotesque levels. I have never had a silver spoon in my mouth, nor have I ever been sheltered by the realities of my environment. The train tracks separated property values but were by no means walls enclosing poverty, violence, and drugs. But I guess I grew up with a (disillusioned) idea that hardwork at least garnered you a shot – a chance to prove yourself, to be judged on the quality of person and work. But I am continuing to learn that things are never that simple, and the only way you get a shot is by chance. Chance of action, of personality, of economics. My father died of a heart failure unemployed for a year and a half at the age of 56; he had no chance. He was the victim of a recession, a blue-collar hard-knock education, and mitral valve prolapse. But my father and my $160,000 piece of paper signed by American University haven’t totally failed me – watch this math:% of “chances” for job/ career success = # of job applications submitted # of jobs
Simple right? Eff you history, everything’s about the hustle. I worked hard at one job, gave it my all, and when that promotion came around? Passed on. So now its time; I’m pissed off. I’m that kid with a figurative gun, whose going to wave it ’til you stop and listen, and hear me out. I’m going to think, and act; I’m going to write, and spread my word, until you can’t help but hear what I have to say. Until you trip over my work. Until you realize me, and my potential.
“Though our hands are chained like they are, they haven’t taken music from us yet. So that’s how I’ll fight. People tell me don’t quit like everyone else. I wont have no fear.” ~Tupac Shakur
Ladies and gentlemen, please allow this blog to serve as my music. (Conductor taps baton against stand for attention…)