The Taste of Freedom

Ok, so I just got to thinking about this whole Occupy Wall Street thing and on top of that I've had a large portion of coffee which has really got my engines turning on this whole 'issue'. I'm a capitalist threw and threw. But I'm also not blind to the issues capitalism inherently creates, no one system is perfect and includes everyone on a fair level, not even Socialism. I've been sorta, lazily keeping up with the play by plays on the actual protests, but really, what has gotten my attention the most has been the opinions that my friends are voicing. I seem to be stuck right in the middle while a lot of posts I've seen on Facebook, Twitter, Blogs etc are very opinionated. There's the 'get a fucking job you stupid hippies' mentality which I laugh along with and a certain part of me is like yea, stupid hippies, what are you really getting done by sitting on a sidewalk anyways?? And there's the opposite. The 'I am the 99%' mentality, which, well, basically put I am the 99%.

It's no mystery to anyone that knows me or maybe doesn't even know me that well, that I didn't have a hard upbringing. Maybe I did in comparison to the super upper middle class lives my peers had, since my family was being supported by one parents income rather than two and we technically lived in Lisle instead of Naperville. Ew. But it was still very cushy. At any rate, I was surrounded by people with high expectations of getting their own car when they were 16, attending a top 10 university and having all this paid for by their parents. There was a small time period when I was blissfully ignorant and thought 'Yes this is what I expect too, I will have it all!' But I remember the moment I realized my life was going to different than the rest of my friends. When having a discussion with my mother at about the age of 14 I mentioned how one day when I move out she would, of course, be helping me with my school and rent costs. She quickly put the brakes on and asked where the hell I got that idea?? I remember thinking 'Well, what do you mean? Isn't that whats suppose to happen?' I had been so brainwashed by my friends conversations and life style that I just assumed that that was how the world worked. Holy wake-up call.

At that moment I realized and have been realizing more and more with every new experience, that hardly any place on earth is like the town I grew up in. So yes, from that day forward I've learned that you have to work your ass off for everything you want and if you don't want to work that hard don't fucking complain if you can't eat. But then there's the other side. I work my fucking ass off and because I made the "smart" decision by not going to college right away because a) I didn't know what I really wanted to do and didn't want to waste time and money on a degree I might not even use and b) the thought of being done with college and having more or less $100,000 in debt hanging over my head scared the ever loving shit out of me, I have to work even harder to get what I want. Sometimes to no avail.

To the people who are of the 'get a fucking job you stupid hippie' party, I have one thing to say to you; I'm TRYING! The only reason I have a job right now is because an awesome friend, that I will be forever grateful to, hooked me up. I go on Craigslist EVERYDAY and send out at least 5-10 resumes. I've gone in person to more than 15 businesses that are hiring in last month and have had only 2 call me back. Of those 2, I have had 3 interviews with each and I definitely didn't get the job with one and the other is still up in the air. Not to mention, I'm a pretty girl who is well spoken with TONS of experience. And I still can't get a fucking job! So tell me, how is someone who had a lesser education then I, might not be as well spoken, has hardly any experience because no one will let them in the door suppose to support themselves?? Hell, the only reason I'm not on the streets right now is because I do have a family that is well off and loves me. A lot of people don't have that. Now you might say, hey that's capitalism baby! Got it. But since when has capitalism meant being an ignorant fuck is ok, and being an insensitive dick is a requirement?? What I mostly notice about the divide of opinions as well, is that the people that have never been poor, or below upper middle class, and have cushy steady salary paying jobs are the ones that hate the "poor people". Where as most of the people that had a harder upbringing in maybe say a working class family are all about supporting their own, the 99%.

You may say, duh, so obvious Jessica. But what I'm trying to do here is speak to both sides I guess and really just work out my own thoughts on paper. I have had experience on both sides. And to the Occupiers I say, I love what you stand for and I think this is a time when SOMETHING has to be done even if it is sitting on a side walk yelling at people in their office buildings. I UNDERSTAND your struggle. I'm in the same boat, in fact most of the people that are against you are in the same boat. I also say to my friends that are of the insensitive capitalist party; great. You are entitled to that, you have worked hard for what you have but I bet nine times out of ten if I asked if you had any help from Mommy and Daddy with that degree you'd say yes. Which is fine. That's what they worked to spend their money on and I don't hate you for that. Am I completely jealous?? Fuck yes. But, like I said, I'm a capitalist. Your family worked hard for you and Im sure you're working hard for yourself and that's why I'm not on those streets waving a sign. Because I'd rather be working, fighting the good fight, no matter how shitty the job may be. But how can you be disgusted by someone who didn't have the opportunities you did? And how can you criticize them for being born into an unfortunate situation that never gave them the opportunity to better themselves?

This is one way in which I am definitely against the "hippie haters". I would assume that a lot of the people Occupying have been in their shoes before. Having a some what cushy job, maybe had alright education and ya know, I bet they even worked just as hard if not harder than the people with the $350,000+ paying jobs. But I KNOW most of those bloated salary havin' folks have NEVER been in the Occupiers situations. They most likely had a good family who supported them in their educational and financial endeavors, had a solid upbringing. And if not more power to them. But how can you so brashly speak on matters you have never had the displeasure of partaking in?

After being in another country for 5 months, the one major thing I took away is that I fucking LOVE America. In that time I have also seen and experienced, to a certain level, where we might be headed. We are still a country with a middle class, however dwindling it may be. We are still a country where you can be born into poverty and still have a chance to work your way out of it. But all that is definitely starting to change and something needs to be done to stop it. And really, if you can't get a job anyways you might as well go out and hate on all the greedy motherfuckers that are keeping you from getting one.

THE Taste of Freedom