Friday, October 12, 2012

I am a full-time student. I now only work 16 hours a week. 

I make about $350 every two weeks.

They now tax out $85 on my 350. When I worked 32 hours a week, they only taxed about $90 on my $600.

When I first started working the taxes were significantly less. I know taxes have gone up. But for fuck's sake, I am a student. I drive FIFTY miles to school and back, four days a week. Even with my car that gets 35/mpg on the highway - when we include driving to work, the grocery store, the gym - that's about $40/week in gas - and this is all assuming I don't sit in traffic for an hour (which I frequently do). How am I supposed to save money here?

Why am I paying for people's health insurance, when I wasn't even granted my own until LAST YEAR. I only receive health insurance from Walmart now because I've worked well over 3000 hours. That's right, I worked for it. I work to have my insurance, my car, my life. And I am so appalled that while I bust my ass to make a piddling pay check every week, there are people who come into my store with wads of hundred dollar bills in their pockets and pay me with food stamps. It sickens me. Equality doesn't mean you get a third of the money I worked for. Equality means you have the same chance to make the same money, or better, if you fucking work for it.  Civil liberties means you get the same opportunities as everyone else, regardless of color or religion or what have you - not food stamps, free housing and free cell phones. I understand that people struggle - oh I do. My father worked in construction and sometimes he'd be unemployed for half of the year. But when he was working, he'd work 60-70 hours a week. 10-12 hours a day, 7 days a week.  It's called being a good worker, and having a strong work ethic. Perhaps this is where my intolerance comes from - I was brought up being told that you work hard to get where you want, you don't expect handouts. And it seems like more and more, that's all anyone in this country wants.

Tax the people who work, give their money to people who don't. The people in need. Yeah, please. I'm far from being wealthy. And being taxed for $200/month probably doesn't sound like a lot. But when you're only making $700 in a whole month to begin with, that is almost a third of my income. It just doesn't make sense to me, how people justify this. I've worked my ass off just about every day that I've gone to work. I didn't get the raise I was promised, the raise I deserved. But I still work just as hard as I did before. Because I can, and because I really don't know any other way. And because I want to be successful in life and I don't want to be one of those people who slacks off and waits for others to pick up my pieces. Because I was raised to be proud, and to take care of myself. And part of taking care of yourself is doing your job, and doing it well so you can keep that job. And part of being proud is not wanting to fail at something because you didn't put forth your best effort.
I know there are in fact lots of people out there trying to better themselves, and high five to all of us. But there are still also many people who don't try at all.

I'll never stop trying. Regardless of how angry that makes me. Because, if I stop trying, I'll be one of those people too.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Tonight, we ramble.

I What Not To Wear'd myself.

I have new clothes, all new clothes, for the first time since I was ohhh about 18-20. I've obviously purchased a few things here and there, but mainly in the form of yoga pants and new hoodies.

I own new skirts. Dresses. Jeans. Hair bands with bows, heels, boots. Cute things.

When I look in the mirror now, I feel like I look like a grown up. No one mistakes me for a 16 year old when I wear make-up and have on a nice pencil skirt with cute shoes. It feels good. I like the way I feel in these new clothes. I feel like a new person. I think this is part of why I've let my hair grow so long (currently its only a few inches away from my waist) - its new. Its not the pixie cut anorexic-me had. These are not the clothes that I would have worn back then. And these are not the clothes I would have worn while I was in the midst of recovery, lacking a sense of self and completely afraid of the body that was beginning to develop beneath my over-sized hoodies and men's sweats.

Its a bizarre thing, really. The way wearing things that fit you, that compliment your best features makes them stand out even to you - I hate to sound vain but I do like looking in the mirror and thinking "Damn, my legs look so long and elegant in this skirt/that dress/these pants". The way that putting in the effort to look nice actually has made me feel like I am taking better care of me, than I did when all I wore was yoga pants, hoodies and flannels.

It feels like freedom. Freedom to accept and enjoy my body as it is, and not to be afraid of it. To not hide myself. Which I've done for a very long time. And now I'm not doing it anymore. And it's pretty awesome. I think I was afraid of being seen as pretty. I didn't feel like I had the right to feel beautiful. I'm not sure if that is a leftover thought from anorexia, or if its just because I've never had much self-esteem. Even as a kid, I never believed my mom when she'd tell me I was beautiful. I mean like 5-year old me would tell her "You have to say that, you're my mommy."

 Even now, when R compliments me (which he does every day just about) I can feel my face burn red with embarrassment. I'm not sure when I began to criminalize myself because of my appearance - a therapist would probably tell me its because for most of my life it's been the only reason given to me as to why girls hate me- but, I'm trying to unravel that particular thread of thought and pull it out of my mind. I don't think I'll ever be one to walk around with my nose up, hot to trot, but it'd be nice if I could stop belittling myself. Work in progress, for sure. As long as "I look damn fine today, I deserve to feel this good and acknowledge it" moments aren't going on the decline, I like to think progress is good. I know it sounds vain, but I think anything that one can do to make themselves feel good gets some kind of judgmental term. Wanna take a bubble bath? Oh! Look how indulgent you are. Hey, you enjoy that wine? You're a lush. Oh! You want to feel pretty? Now you're superficial. Oh fuck that. I'm gonna go sit in front of the TV and eat some ice cream sammiches when I'm done writing this post. Come at me, gluttony. Whoever decided these terms should be applied to enjoyable activities obviously didn't know how to have a good time.

OH! And on a completely unrelated note- last week or so, my public speaking professor told me that I am a young Joan Rivers. Which basically means I'm funny in that crass-omg did she just say that kind of way.  I felt so bad-ass. Which also leads us into the reminder that while it's important to feel pretty on the outside, you have to feel good about you on the inside too. I personally don't have much problem with that - unless we're talking about my romantic relationships. Then not so much - I get very insecure when I feel like people are getting close to me. I'm afraid of R seeing me on a bad day with things - I don't think males are equipped to deal with a girlfriend sitting in bed half naked and crying because you've convinced yourself none of your pants will fit when you're on your period. Yes I've done that, but no he didn't see it. And I think that it MAY actually be a normal female thing that goes wild in my brain because well yknow, body image is a big thing for anorexia to prey upon and also I think that being on birth control may kind of give me an estrogen over-dose once in a blue moon.
Back to my point here. We all have shit about us that makes us cool and unique. Maybe you're funny, or an excellent writer, or maybe you do card tricks. Doesn't matter - you're good at it. And maybe you've got the patience of a saint, or a heart of gold or people can trust you. So! Think about all the things that make you awesome. And then go buy yourself something nice - I think shoes are a great place to start since no one ever blames their feet if a shoe doesn't fit.  And then while you're wearing your new shoes, look in the mirror and think about how awesome you are and how great it is that awesome you is wearing such cute shoes.

And now, sick-ass me is going to go take some cough medicine and have a chicken soup/ice cream/movie marathon.