Sunday, December 19, 2010

Why I am continuously surprised that I have to work for what I want.

This started on Twitter, but it's too long to post there so here I go.

Twitter

You know...I think my problem is that I never really realized that someday I would have to fight for what I want.

This is ironic for a girl who grew up in a family with parents who routinely worried about how to pay rent or buy groceries...

Mostly I was given a lot of what I wanted with not a lot of work. My parents threw a lot of money at keeping my siblings and I happy.

This really is the truth. I admit that I go on and one about the sob story that is my life, but the honest to God truth is that my parents would have done an awful fucking lot to ensure that I was happy and had opportunities.

Maybe if I'd had to work for those opportunities I wouldn't have squandered them so badly. My mom and dad paid for ballet and jazz and tap, gymnastics, singing classes, piano and guitar classes and even a shrink at one point.
I quit dance, If you asked me to do a back hand spring I would laugh in your face, I stopped trying to become a broadway singer and I can't play an instrument to save my own life...well maybe a kazoo, but that's all your getting. Admittedly I can still sing, but I doubt that singing in the shower or while I make dinner has kept my vocal range where it used to be (think Christine from Phantom of the Opera, I could hit those high notes with the right warm up once upon a time) and I highly doubt the amount of hot tea and coffee and acidic drinks I drink has help my vocal cords.

The point is, I never worked very hard. My parents handed me opportunities and I never really tried to capitalize on them. I think, somewhere in my childhood, my mind fixated on this idea that anything I wanted would be given to me, that I wouldn't have to work for anything.

And really...this is ridiculous. It's not as if I grew up unaware of my family's money problems, I knew we had trouble making enough, especially during my teen years. I'm not entirely certain where these entitlement issues come from, but when I got to college and I suddenly realized I wasn't going to just be handed my dreams on a golden platter...it was a hard blow. When I gave up college to go to work I met another blow, more than one in fact, when I realized I was barely qualified (or so it seems) to do more than retail work, I can't even find work as a waitress and isn't THAT a sad state of affairs?

As I said before, I go on about how absolutely, god-forsakenly, tragic my life has been. Mostly it was because of certain chemical imbalances in my brain that, while I understand more fully now, still have control over me. Just because I know my depression is not rational does not mean I can control it, but that's another issue entirely.

I'm not entirely certain what to do with my realization about my entitlement issues, but I know that if I ever want more in life I'll have to start working for it. If that means student loans and years of work to pay them then that's what it means, I hope to find a way around that with an online degree, but there is no guarantee. I have to stop waiting for someone to hand me what I want for free and start being willing to pay for it.

Maybe if I'd had to pay for those ballet lessons myself I'd be dancing in Swan Lake now instead of sitting in an apartment in a low-income housing building. Maybe if I had to pay for gymnastics I would be at the Olympics instead of working at a parking garage. Maybe if I had paid for the singing classes I would be on Broadway instead of singing in my shower and maybe if I'd paid for the music lessons I would be playing in an orchestra somewhere instead of wishing I had stuck it out long enough to play more than Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.

The more you pay for something to more it is worth to you. Anything you get for free is something that you don't care about throwing away.

I've let so many opportunities pass me by. When am I going to start taking what I want instead of waiting for it to be given to me?

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