March 12, 2013

Coffee Talk ~ Class and Privilege

puerto rico

Good afternoon everyone!! Crazy thing- I noticed I hit 1,100 followers today, and I sort of can't believe it. It's such a random number... I don't know why it makes me giddier than, say, 1,000 or 1,200 followers. But it stunned me when I logged in today and saw it. And thank you all for helping me get there :))


Anyway, I hope you've been enjoying your day and week so far. I know I promised fun-and-sun pictures, and they are surely coming. But there's a little something that's been on my mind since I mentioned "slipping away" for a few days to this tropical destination. I've been having some issues with how I've been feeling about going, and in sharing these photos on my blog.

Why these particular photos? Why this particular trip? Why is it coming out now? I have no idea. It's not as if I've never taken a trip before. And I'm all for lovely photographs, as well as going to pretty locations to take them. But the truth is, I come from a very different background than these pictures (and sometimes this blog) may present.


Growing up, we weren't really the type of family who would take the yearly vacation, if you know what I'm saying. We were more the type of family that would get Christmas present donations from women's shelters. I was the type of kid to wonder about the nightly dinner selection- rice... or rice with gravy tonight? And my mom was the type of mom who slept on the living room couch in our two-bedroom apartment, so that my brother and I could have separate rooms.

My family has been through a lot financially. And as an adult, so have I. Maybe it's for that reason that I feel like I misrepresent myself here sometimes. Not that it's the Internet's business, or that I feel I have to explain myself, but the actual money I make from my various jobs (singer-songwriter, blogger, music teacher, assistant) really isn't very much by society's standards. Yet I'm happy. I still have a modest savings (all of which I will probably spend on things related to making art.) And I do still like to savor occasional luxuries. Like buying a nice lipstick, or shopping at Whole Foods, or taking a trip.

This particular trip makes me feel lucky and guilty. Like I'm not being true to my "tribe." The tribe being, I guess, "the 99%." Posting these pictures to me, feels a little like gloating. And like I'm pretending to be something I'm not- wealthy.


This sort of misrepresentation, especially in reverse, is a particular pet peeve of mine, and I think is actually really harmful. It irks me slightly more each time I notice- The "starving artists" with trust funds here in New York. The NYT profiles of the "self-made" entrepreneurs who secretly survived on their million-dollar inheritance until the business got up and running. People acting like it's so easy to stay inspired! To live a beautiful life! If you really cared about your art, you'd find a way to get that $25,000 to make your next album!!

Yes, you can make your dreams come true without lots of money... I'm living proof. And yes, I do understand that all circumstances are different, and it doesn't necessarily mean people with money are happier. But the fact is, all those things are much easier when you have fortunate financial circumstances.

My whole life has been a balancing act. Because I truly do believe in staying inspired. I believe it's important to find yourself, and stay connected with creativity and the Universe. And I do believe in nurturing yourself and others with all the love you can muster. And in a perfect world, that should come first. I'm just hurt when people suggest that it's always easy, no matter what.


I never want to suggest that my life is one big bowl of easy sauce.

I do think it's always important to do the best you can, whatever your circumstances.

Then again, who am I to dispense life advice to anyone? Just try to be happy, whatever that means to you.



Anyway, I'm not here to say I deserve a vacation, or I don't. Or anyone does. Or doesn't. The truth is, it was a relief to be near the beach. The truth is, I do feel guilty. But the truth is, underneath the guilt, I'm happy.


There will be some more pictures later. xoxo.



chantilly

♥ watch my new video for "just the way you are" on youtube!!

Share:

22 comments

  1. Beautifully written. Well said x

    ReplyDelete
  2. thanks for sharing so openly and honestly with us. it's really great that you are honest with yourself and who you are. i'm glad that you did get a chance to get away and that it brought you some joy and happiness. you deserve it. you have a beautiful voice by the way!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. i try my best to be honest with myself, and look at all angles of situations. and i do enjoy writing about what's really "grinding my gears" every once in awhile :) so i'm glad you appreciate it. and happy you like the music! x

      Delete
  3. Your honesty is refreshing. I know what you feel like and have been debating doing a similar post on my blog (about how hard it can be to blog on an empty wallet)
    Everyone deserves a vacation though so I hope yours is enjoyed!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. you should write the post. i always find that my "honest" posts get a much better reaction than i think they will. everyone always appreciates truth... and the truth is, it IS hard to blog no an empty wallet! blogging requires a lot of time- time that could be spent working and making a paycheck. i think some of the bigger blogs forget that sometimes. it's not always feasible to be magically inspired 24/7 when you've got bills.

      Delete
  4. Love this post, I can really relate to everything you said. I grew up in similar circumstances and sometimes feel out of place in the blogging world. Thank you so much!

    Stephanie
    www.violetlilacplum.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. don't feel out of place! blogging is for everyone. there are people out there with similar circumstances that would be absolutely relieved to hear about your experiences. x

      Delete
  5. Lovely, honest words.

    Some of the girls at my work hold down other jobs simply to support their lifestyle. That's never been me. I'm just not willing to sacrifice my downtime and well-being because I want the luxury of several-hundred dollar handbags, overseas trips and drinks out every night. I just don't get it (but can't complain, of course - it means I ALWAYS find good scores at the thrift shops, hehe)!

    Megan

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. thrift shops ftw! even though there aren't a lot of great ones in nyc. :( xx

      Delete
  6. I'm glad you're having a good trip. Don't feel guilty, what you spend your money on is your own business. ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. thank you katie :) i mentioned in another comment... the feelings are more related to a shift in mindset. A mindset of "poor artist struggling" to "doing kind of okay." it's jarring, surprisingly.

      Delete
  7. Sounds like you and I had very similar childhoods! It is definitely easier for people who have access to finances. While I don't begrudge people who are able to buy a $5000 camera or who run a fashion blog solely based on their designer wardrobe, I do feel like it is harder to both stay inspired and be able to share that creativity when you have limited funding.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I love the way you worded this, the importance of staying inspired. I truly believe the same, that's important to stay grounded. I think it's easy for people to get the impression, especially from bloggers that our creativity and inspiration is easy to come by. Great post :)

    ReplyDelete
  9. Such a great heartfelt post. I can certainly relate to some of it. It seems that my growing up was similar to yours. And now, I sometimes feel guilty for having more than others or being in a better situation. But then again, I remind myself that there are some that are more privileged than me also. There will always be someone struggling, and someone not struggling. But I'm allowed to be who I want to be. At least, I'm privileged enough to have that option.

    Glad you enjoyed your vacation; your photos are beautiful!

    Stephanie
    http://sharelovealways.blogspot.ca/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. thank you for your thoughtful reply :) i agree.

      Delete
  10. Very well said. I just assumed that you saved your money, found a great deal on hotel and airfare and off you went :-) It's always great to take a break from the real world anyway.

    Monica
    www.pear-shaped-gal.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. that was pretty much the deal. thanks monica! xx

      Delete
  11. I loved looking through your vacation photos! Knowing that you're an artist (and this is coming from an artist, myself :) I know that it can be very difficult to get steady work. You deserved every bit off this break to relax and rejuvenate! I have always admired your honesty on this blog and your courage.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I like this side of you. Honestly I'm kinda annoyed with how much money bloggers spend on clothes. Especially since reading them everyday influences me and makes think I need that too. We need more creative fashionistas that know the value of a dollar. I grew up super poor too. I'm extremely thankful for it. Most people I know don't know that they had it good as a kid and still don't know. Growing up poor makes you so thankful.

    ReplyDelete

thank you for taking the time to leave a comment :) i appreciate your thoughts.

© Chantilly ~ | All rights reserved.
Blog Design Handcrafted by pipdig