Ambition is like a poison and a gift tangled together and it makes you leave and leave and leave again, leave places, leave people, leave your whole life. Ambition and something else that I don’t know how to name but it’s what I share my house with, the house of my body, ambition and something that is ruthless and cruel and says only, ever, Is that a good story, and if the answer is no it says Move on. The best we can hope for is to be good enough to justify how brutal we are. The summer after I graduated I had no idea what I was in for or what I had started, no idea where that move would take me, no idea that I would come out the other end transformed. Not a butterfly but a vulture or maybe on my better days a bird of prey. When you are a woman or a girl or female no one says to you Look, artists who are great take without asking and take and take and do not apologize because when you are a woman or a girl or female the only thing you are supposed to take is a lot of other people’s shit. No one says to you Be sure you are strong enough to take and not apologize and keep going when the taking leaves you nothing to go back to. Be sure you are strong enough to steal and live alone with what you’ve chosen to make yours.
I realized that I had been lying to both myself and God. I was never a “poor” college student. I was never a “poor” non-profit worker. I was never a “poor” young professional in D.C.
When I was in school, with very little expendable income, I still received a quality education, had consistent access to food, my housing was stable, and I had health insurance. My starting salary after college put me above the national poverty threshold (about $24,000 a year… for a family of four).
reading all the annoying crowing from conservatives about the “liberals don’t give money to the poor data”, I remembered this article and why I liked it. I think it’s some pretty awesome real talk for ~my people~, by which I mean young, single, underpaid non-profit workers from nice middle class families who are kind of full of shit about how poor and underpaid we actually are in the grand scheme of things. (via galesofnovember)
I often hear talk from ~certain people~ about being “starving” students or grads, and I always think to myself, I’ve known starving people and you do not look or sound or act like a starving person. White people (oops! it slipped out) love to overstate their hardships, dumpster-diving in Kenneth Cole boots sewn in Chinese sweatshops and busting out the emergency credit card for midnight pizza and beer, even as the taxes drawn from the family estate pays for a military empire which patrols every ocean with aircraft carriers and nuclear submarines and rains bombs on bustling Third Word cities and remote dollar-a-day villagers.