Trigger Warning: if you live a charmed life, this might offend you.
Let me start off by saying I am very happy with my life. I don’t think I’d pick another one any day of the week. Of course, I might change some variables if I could, but I love the person I am and most of that is shaped by the life I’ve been given.
That being said, if you are someone who hasn’t really had much of a struggle, I invite you, no I beg you to please check your privilege. Take a good hard look at your life, and cherish blessing you have received. In suburban America, I do not consider myself privileged. On a world scale, even on just a more macro scale of America, I do consider myself privileged. So I can also use this pep talk every now and then, but let me talk to those above me on this privilege scale.
Let’s not even talk about material things. Let’s talk emotions. Disgusting confession: I hate when people my age (19) are devastated by the loss of a grandparent. I know it’s such a horrible horrible thing to say, but it’s the honest feeling I get in my gut when people talk to me about like that specific thing. It’s so messed up, and I know that but I can’t help it. I send my condolences and move on with it. I know, some people are super close with their grandparents, I’m not really one of those people, and I won’t say it’s not a sad thing, but to me, it’s just so minimal on the emotional damage scale. I know I’m really messed up in the head, but can you blame me? I lost my dad when I was 12. Yes, I’m playing the dead dad card, but that’s my reasoning. I started losing grandparents when I was 5 I think. Will I be sad when I lose my remaining grandmothers? Absolutely. But I don’t predict it rocking my world the way losing a father did. To me, you’re supposed to lose your grandparents. It’s like the circle of life. You’re supposed to lose your parents too. Hopefully not when you’re 12, but hey! That’s life. So that’s my horrible thought of the day. Back to privilege though.
What I’m trying to get at, is this idea that we all have something that is the worst thing that has ever happened to us. For me, it’s losing my father. For some people, it’s losing a grandparent. For some people it’s losing a dog. Literally. I’m not teasing or trying to cheapen your pain, but that’s when you know you have a charmed life. Like, I sometimes wonder what those kids write their college essays about. I feel terrible just putting these thoughts onto a screen, but you know what? I’m not sorry. Because what I’m really trying to get at is more on a world scale.
When Caitlyn Jenner first appeared as Caitlyn Jenner, I thought, “Great!” I didn’t see it as a win for the Trans community or a huge step in equality or anything like that. I really saw it as “Great! Another celebrity has the ability to accept herself and has the financial ability to change her physique to accompany that and the social status to still have some respect for it.” However, her speech at the ESPYs last night changed my mind a bit. My favorite quote was,
“If you want to call me names, make jokes, doubt my intentions, go ahead, because the reality is, I can take it,” she said. “But for the thousands of kids out there, coming to terms with being true to who they are, they shouldn’t have to take it.”
That’s when Caitlyn Jenner started to matter to me. I know a speech seldom makes an actual difference (that was a little bit sarcasm), but I’m glad she said it. I wish her youngest daughter could take a lesson from her @ Kylie Jenner. That quote is what it means to check your privilege. Mean things said about celebrities might hurt them, but for every mean thing said about them, they still make money and 12 nice things are said about them. That’s not true for kids growing up in adversity.
I think that’s all I have to say. Another whirlwind of a thought-piece by yours truly.