As I read through their signs, my eyes teared up. Here I am worrying about redistributing the funds in my bank account to see if I can cover both my phone bill AND my electricity and these people are talking about redistributing their wealth.
Some confessed to being charitable on their own, but all want less taxes for people like me to help us be able to support ourselves, and more programs like universal healthcare.
I have relatives who are against universal healthcare. I cannot fathom why.
Every job I’ve ever had has been physically demanding, low paying, and lacking in health coverage. Even the jobs that claimed to provide “affordable healthcare” really didn’t make it all that affordable.
My estranged spouse worked for an international retail establishment for several years and could afford to cover himself but if he tried to add me or the kids on, the cost jumped to half his check. So for a brief time earlier this year he covered himself and got some things checked out.
I haven’t had health coverage (other than the very limited coverage of pregnancy medicaid in the second half of gestating either of the girls) for most of my life. I do have it now, through a program, and people think it’s wrong.
I am trying to finish graduate school so my children won’t feel this strain. But I know a PhD isn’t a magical cure for being in the 99%. I have a close friend who flips burgers for a living and (I imagine) averts eyes away from the BS earned a couple of years ago. Sometimes it’s life circumstances, inability to relocate, etc., but sometimes the jobs just aren’t there or there are too many people looking for them.
I knew this going in. I knew that racking up thousands in debt for a series of degrees wasn’t necessarily going to end up in huge financial windfalls. But I knew that with the same fervor that I used to sling freight at said international retail establishment I would pursue the jobs, wherever they were.
The problem is feeling stuck, knowing that now I’m doing this alone. I have to think about how I only have a small amount of money each month and few resources. I have to think about how I’m not getting any financial help from the other parent of these children (until a government agency steps in and enforces it, in which case that money will go into special accounts for them and help pay for things they need like diapers and school supplies). I have to think about what moving would cost and what traveling for an interview would cost.
Some days I fleetingly consider giving up, when I wake up early and plan the day for maximum efficiency and then one kid has the shits and the other loses her breakfast and I have to call in to the volunteer job that has the potential of leading to paid gig if I play my proverbial cards right–I feel like screaming and throwing in the proverbial towel.
But I can’t give up on them or myself, and I certainly can’t trust that they’ll get the right treatment if la casa de sus padre really is conditioned the way he claims (yeah, his new doxy is totally going to be all nurturing to the spawn of the wife he cast aside in favor of her…).
So I keep sending off resumes, keep filling out online applications, and tuck my pride into the sock drawer when I navigate my browser to the employment app page of a popular fast-food chain.
I will get through this, eventually. And somewhere over the rainbow he’ll wake up and realize hating me–even if he can somehow justify that hate by some stretch of the imagination–is no reason to be distant from his children’s lives.
I hope that a year from now I’ll happen across this post on one version or another of my blog and I’ll be confused by the title, so I’ll click on it and read through it, tearing up in a good way because future me will know that things have improved dramatically by then.
I am the 99% and I’m trying to rise above.