March 12, 2013
Coffee Talk ~ Class and Privilege
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.
♥ watch my new video for "just the way you are" on youtube!! ♥
Labels: coffee talk
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