5.03.2011

sitting pretty

All signs point to: privileged. Above average, blessed, wealthy by many standards. As a white gal born to a middle class family in the United States, I am exceedingly privileged.

Natalie recently talked about the privilege she and her husband have in choosing a job. My husband Scott and I are similarly blessed. He is a nurse and for the time being, it's a job in high demand. It still takes some work to find an opening that fits his wants and needs, but the mere fact that he has choices and is able to land a job at a good hospital is incredible. While so many people are going without, whether as a result of the recession or because they are already in poverty, I am sitting pretty with my nice house, electricity and central air, working vehicle, food budget, etc.

Tonight I found Corbyn's blog, and have been devouring every single post of hers, as if it is the only thing that will sustain me. She documents the changes her family has made as she lost her high-paying job and had to give up everything - cable, internet, gym membership, health insurance, car. Her family survives on a combination of WIC, food stamps, and dumpster diving. They ride bikes everywhere, no matter the weather. What's most surprising is her attitude. She is full of humor and (there's no other way to put this) realness. Here's a post she wrote recently on her shareable.net blog. What she has found instead of financial and material resources are what she calls "social resources", and that is exactly what I was getting at in my last post.

What's most important are the things that have fallen by the way-side - relationships with family, friends, neighbors. Sharing, supporting, loving, and giving in every way possible to those around us, in a safety net of arms. I want to strip away the things that keep me from real life, and dig down deeper to tend to the roots of the relationships in my life.

I feel that I posed the question to myself: what do you want? What are your dreams? And the answers are coming pouring in. There are things I want that are uncomfortable, like community. Do you know how vulnerable it feels to depend on other people? There are things that I want that will take some initial investment, like a rain barrel or some hens. But I want to work hard for a life that is more sustainable on every level, and a life that benefits not only myself and my family, but those around me as well. I want to live a life that gives more than it takes, and that can let go instead of holding on. I don't know where to begin, really, but I'm sure that as I continue to ponder the path from here to there, I will figure it all out with plenty of mistakes and with the depth of wisdom that only experience can provide.

3 comments:

Barbara said...

yes, I feel like you are speaking to things that are deep in my heart too.
I really love reading your posts about your thoughts on community and the relationships that you want to build.
Looking forward to checking out Corbyn's blog!

natalie said...

oh, girl. this is some hard stuff, but really, really good stuff. i want to get back with you on all of this once i really think about it. love you!

Mare said...

Thank you so much for this post. It is brave and it is authentic and it is so appreciated. I felt like I was reading my own deepest desires in your blog. I love that you want community! I want it, too. Because it takes a village, not just to raise a child, but to grow in consciousness as a human race. We reflect ourselves to each other (I don't know if that made sense).