Ya know it’s a hard question to answer. “What do you want to do when you grow up?” And honestly, it’s not exactly productive how we guide children, pre-teens, teens, young adults, and finally, adults to figure that out. John Lennon sang in his Working Class Hero: “When they’ve tortured and scared you for twenty-odd years. Then they expect you to pick a career.
When you can’t really function you’re so full of fear. A working-class hero is something to be.” I know “technical adults,” 18-year-olds, as well as, grown folks 40-year-old that still have NO CLUE!!!
Some of us have it figured out early in life. For me, I was in the 3rd grade. 8 years old. At that point, something clicked about school. I wanted to “go to school” and help others. Good students. Bad students. Struggling students. Smart students. Poor. Rich. It didn’t matter the color, because that DOES NOT MATTER. As time went on, I narrowed down the field of education I wanted to be in. Music or Math. Went to a University in Central LA, and earned my Bachelor of Music Education. Acquired a job, and then within time acquired a Master of Music. Within 17 years, 15/17 out of my years teaching band, were what I would consider successful.
I had it figured out at 8. I was driven. I worked hard to attain those goals. To live that dream. I earned the expensive piece of card stock… TWICE! I worked hard teaching, and in all the logistics, and in all the handshaking/baby-kissing areas. But somehow/somewhere I lost touch, I guess. So here I am at 40 trying to scramble and re-evaluate my place in life. All because of my unwillingness to yield to the good ol boy system and being told to do something, not in my student’s best interests or asking too many questions.
So, the bottom line (please understand this isn’t a designed pity party for me) I’m making 3/4 less than I was. I work for a grocery store. My health insurance went from $80 through the ISD to $380 through COBRA. I guess the overall point of these series of blogs will be multiple ideas. 1. I’ve taken for granted my salary job and it’s benefits. 2. How do other folks live off of one or even two minimum wage jobs (and support a family)? 3. My positive mindset in seeing blessings instead of seeing negatives and blockades. 4. How I feel our entire system in the US is completely broken. And how it only benefits the grossly overachieving HAVES, while penalizing/placing much more weight on all of the HAVE NOTS, mostly the middle class and the poor.