One of my goals for the future is to be a part-time waitress, on the weekends or something. I’ve never waited tables before. I want to know what it’s like to have to work on your feet all day, to deal with rude and frustrating people, to be at the whim of a customer’s every need. Not because I need it on my resume, but because I need those life skills.
I am an extraordinarily lucky woman. I know this. You don’t ever have to think I am not consciously aware of it every single day. I’m lucky because I don’t have to wait tables for a living, but that’s not because I was born with a silver spoon in my mouth, and not because opportunities fell into my lap or I am, dare I say the hot button word of the week, privileged. I am lucky because I worked my ass off to get here, and I most certainly didn’t arrive easily. But I will always consider myself lucky, because the alternative implies that because I worked hard I am entitled to what I have, and I don’t believe that’s true.
I am lucky because I get to communicate with people, even if it’s just through silly lists or other fun things to get us both through the day, but especially when it’s a more serious issue that’s close to my heart. I have the chance to reach out to other people and connect at a very human level. This, aside from all the other awesome and secure things that come with having a job, is all someone could I ask for… at least, that’s how I feel. Because in the end, I think that the bills have to be paid, sure, but that life should be more of a journey toward self-discovery than to the next paycheck, and we should stop measuring success in fruitless, shallow ways.
In the never ending plight for affirmation and acceptance, people end up choosing what other people feel is ideal because they misinterpret the way other people feel with how they do, and end up acting on the former vehemently believing it’s the latter. The people who are most self-interested aren’t the ones who are truly involved with their own feelings, they’re just acting on derivatives of other people’s, those of which they are disillusioned into believing are their own.
It’s how we all play a part in this. Generally, we are all stuck in the mindset that our ideas are the ones that are correct. It’s not a conscious choice, rather, a subconscious disposition that we were either crafted into or I don’t know, maybe born with. We think that because we feel one way or want one thing, everyone else does too– or should. We believe that they should be offended by the things that are most obviously offensive, and they should make choices for themselves that are most clearly the right ones and they should change their lives in X, Y and Z ways because that’s definitely what will yield the best results for them. The problem is is that all of that is completely subjective to the individual. And what’s funny is that we spend half of our time arguing that we should be able to lead individual lives without society’s oppressive opinions, and yet, we spend the rest of the time contradicting that, forcing people into our own standards and making them feel guilty when they don’t fit. There is no one life fits all, and that’s something we all have to work on getting over, for ourselves, sure, but for other people as well, because at the end of the day, we’re all looking to change society while seldom realizing that we are society.
And so, I don’t know about you, but if success means a mind-numbing desk job, I’d rather be unsuccessful. And if being thin means being a size 0-2, I’d rather be fat. And if standing up for myself makes me a bitch, then fine, I’m a bitch. And if people will feel bad for me for being single or not settling down by a certain time, then fine, feel bad for me, but I’m not going to settle so you can feel okay about my life. And if I’m honest about the experiences I’ve been through and people want to call me names for having been through them, fine, you can label me within your mind, but that doesn’t change who I am. And if I want to try being a waitress for the sheer fact that I think the work that gets you knee-deep in the human experience is more important than work that pays you well, and you want to dub me an idiot for that because I don’t have to do it, then so be it as well. Because the only way to change things is to change yourself, even if you stand alone in doing so.