I was looking through my archives today and noticed a comment on this post that I hadn't seen until just now. And 'anonymous'.... I am not calling you out, because trust me you aren't the first person to -in so many words- call me a hypocrite for complaining about being poor and then getting tattoo'd. My skin is pretty thick, so I'm not offended by any means... but I think a response in necessary because I should be able to explain myself and then if you still think I'm a hypocrite, at least I'll feel better knowing we are just on two separate pages. It's ok to disagree... in fact, it's healthy at times.
Our society is seriously fucked when it comes to priorities. Yes, I chose social work... but why are the jobs that are sometimes the hardest, emotionally and physically, paid the least? There are many, many other jobs that come to mind.... teachers, police officers, I'm sure you can list underpaid workers for days. The thing that bothers me, is that this working class -the backbone of our society- is under appreciated. 99% of us are getting poorer, while the top 1% continues to get richer and richer.
Everyone's heard about the protests going on lately, and I am so proud of Richmond every time I drive by our little park and see the 'Occupy Richmond' protesters and tents. Peaceful protest is our right, and honestly nothing makes me happier than Americans expressing their opinions and working to improve our society. I work with so many people on welfare, and while some ''abuse the system,'' a lot of them don't. They're victims of their circumstance, and continue to fall between the cracks.
I work with teenagers. Many of them were born addicted to crack or some other substance. They are born into poverty. They are exposed to drugs and violence at an early age. Learn to steal or sell drugs in order to keep food on the table. And most who graduate from high school (which isn't many) do so without knowing how to read. The system isn't working for them. These people are stuck. Should we ignore them or blame them or even punish them? It's not a black and white scenario.
But the system isn't working for people like myself, either. I went to college, accrued a massive amount of debt, chose a field that doesn't pay much, and live paycheck to paycheck. I'm 25... and while some of my friends do have a savings account, most of us are just struggling to get by. Especially those of us who aren't still living at home or have the luxary of our parents paying for our bills or cars. Most people that I know can identify with having to decide to pay a bill or get groceries... and that doesn't always stop at age 25.
I chose all of this. And guess what, like I mentioned in that post... I am so very thankful that I am independent, and that while there isn't a lot of money to spare, I am still paying my bills and my loans.
So back to the original comment about why I pay for tattoo's (which let's be honest, aren't cheap) when I could probably be investing that money or saving it or whatever. You only get so many years here on Earth. There's only so much time that we have with our families, our friends, ourselves. I don't feel bad about saving up for several months so that I can slowly get a piece finished over the coarse of a year, because I work hard for my money and tattoo's are something that I enjoy and that make me happy. I've earned it.
Sometimes, I only have about $30 in my bank account. And guess what I do with that $30? I go to brunch with my friends, I go see a movie, I buy fresh flowers for my living room. This is my choice, because I work hard and I think it's important to enjoy life also.
And I love my life. I love my friends, I love my family, I love my husband, I love my broken down piece of shit car, I love making pizza out of hamburger buns, I love spending $7 on a bottle of wine and getting lost in the moment.
I work hard, and therefore I APPRECIATE everything that I have.
But not everyone enjoys tattoo's. Not everyone likes the river. Not everyone likes everything. I think the important thing, as a part of the 99% who are just barley getting by, is to appreciate our uniqeness and realize that we are not alone in this fight. Most of us work damn hard, and it's ok to splurge once in a while and treat yourself to something that may or may not be ''financially smart''. There's a time to stress out over money, and there needs to be equal time given towards appreciating life and all that it has to offer.