How To Be A Victim

It’s 2017 and you’re in your mid 30’s. You feel young most days, and you  still look half way decent when you apply the effort. The gray hairs around your temples can still be counted on one hand, okay – maybe two hands. You live an average life: Average income, average house, average cars, average problems.

You think about the journey that led you to all the things you have OR don’t have in your current life. The time you got fired from the Parks department for being an asshole and “dating” the married maintenance guy. The other time that you decided it was time to get your shit together and put in nearly 10 years as a solid, trustworthy and dependable employee, allowing you to purchase your first home and begin life as you know it today.

You remember people telling you your misfortunes were because you were female. When you got the job over your male competitor those same people said it was because they would have had to pay the male more. You continue on, doing your thing – working your jobs. A conflict arises, a fellow co-worker doesn’t like you. It doesn’t tear you up too much because you’re sort of that way. People love you or they can’t stand you. You’re OK with this, its kind of become your thing. You chuckle about it as you’re telling a friend, and try to remain still faced and serious as she gives her two-cents.

“Its because you’re Mexican”

You nod and pretend to consider, but deep down  you know its actually because you can be a loud mouth and are known to always say the wrong thing even if you have good intentions. Some people can handle this, others cannot.

College was never of interest to you. Two years was a sacrifice you made because you were still deciding what you wanted to do and needed something to occupy your time. You put minimal effort into each class, some you passed and others you did not. When your overly educated and unemployed acquaintance lends you some sympathy you don’t say a word in response.

“They make college so unattainable for most people! It’s no affordable and access is ridiculous”.

You try and relate but can’t. You never enjoyed community college but not because it was “unattainable” or “overly expensive”. Registration was as simple as going in and explaining what I wanted to accomplish. Buses from all over the city dropped you off right in front of the campus. FAFSA, Scholarships and loans were available for anyone who put the paperwork in.  When and if you were ready to transfer to a University, there was a department to help you with that. Sure, you might have some debt when you graduate but you never expected anything different. No one tricked you into anything. All your life people would tell you something hadn’t worked in your favor because you were Mexican. You feel guilty about not speaking up and saying that things haven’t worked in your favor because of your own choices.

You turn 30 and then 35. You have a baby boy, you start a business, you buy another house, you do your thing. You work hard and save money to feel secure about life, but end up having to send it all in to cover your income taxes. You are angry and hate people who don’t work for what they have. It was a personal attack, if anyone asks you. You think of all the $5 coffees you purchased and the $100 dinners you splurged on. You add up what you spent on those things and are angry at yourself now.

It’s almost summer and you’ll be 36 soon – closer to 40 than you are to 30 now. You self regulate and allow yourself an allowance, and save as much money as you can. You dine out less and make healthier choices for both your wallet and your waist. When someone asks you how you like your life in The Dalles, they may be surprised to hear you say that you feel “Powerful”. Starting over, isn’t always about a new house or a new town. It’s about learning to take responsibility for your choices and using your strengths / weaknesses to catapult forward instead of wadding in the same muddy waters.

 

 

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