I hate my girlfriend’s privilege.
She’s got the finances to go to school full time and work on a doctoral degree, while not having to work, and maintaining two households; one in which she supports a spouse and three kids and one where bills are split 50-50, until summer comes and she’s paying for the whole electric bill because she likes it freezing. I digress.
She has privilege. Her privilege allows her to pursue her dreams and act on her goals while I am stuck in a job that, though it pays the bills, provides zero emotional satisfaction. It’s my “career”. Ya know, the thing that you go to college to find what you love so you can do that for the rest of your life. Well I want a college do over.
Yes- I am lucky to have a salary and benefits, long term job. I have privilege in countless ways, and I am aware of my privilege. Though proximity to someone who has more privilege than I do is eye widening to say the least. I never knew it was possible to only have to work one day a week, and work as an unpaid intern, while still having not just bills paid, but excess in the bank. Seeing someone who feels largely fulfilled in their work is a thing I so deeply desire. What sucks is the fulfilled person is sleeping next to me at night.
I have the luxury, perhaps, of working from home. My day is spent 8:30-4 practically glued to my laptop working nonstop ay my job. I know for certain that people in my position have hours in the week where they are not attending to work because they work from home, but I don’t. My integrity is too high and my distractions too low. So the thought of being home with my girlfriend while I am glued to my computer and she can go to the gym, Disneyland, play video games, work on her blog, catch up on reading, take a walk outside, sleep… the thought drives me insane with envy.
What would I do with my time if I didn’t have to work at my current job? I would invest more time into blogging. I would work on graphic resources to help educate people on trans everything. I would create content and perhaps curriculum to help schools and work places be more inclusive. I would market myself as a trainer in sex/gender diversity. I would advocate for youth. I would start a youth support group. I would sleep in and admittedly spend more time at the beach or by the pool, within reason. I would work toward building a career that I wanted and got emotional fulfillment from.
But I can’t. I don’t have the financial resources to up and leave my job. I am aware of how much my job takes from my day, not just in time, but in energy too. I feel a need to make the most out of my day and use my time wisely. Somehow reading a book in the apartment where I have spent all day working isn’t as appealing as running errands, spending time with my girlfriend, dancing, or just zoning out. Writing takes a connectedness that is harder to achieve after a full day of work. I know if I had more down time in my week to conceptualize and plan, my social media graphic project would be off the ground already.
But I can’t and it’s not.
Proximity to privilege creates angst. And my proximity is close as fuck.