I grew up comfortable. Since everyone around me was also comfortable, I didn’t realize how privileged I was. Even if my parents made me buy CDs myself, they offered me private lessons in anything I showed interest in, if not aptitude for. (See guitar lesson from seventh to tenth grade.) I don’t have college loans, and I know that makes me absurdly lucky. Right now, the idea of having $200,000 lying around for a liberal arts education is kind of astounding.
So now I’m writing a book and I make money in hours outside of 9 to 5. But even though I’m struggling now, I still feel like some type of success is inevitable. My parents set it up that way, and even I have trouble blaming them for that.
One of the things that everyone loves about New York is the diversity, but people only think about it in terms of food. The other day, my neighbor asked me where my shoes were from. I answered Urban Outfitters, and she commented that she had never heard of them. This girl and I have both lived in New York our whole lives, but we were raised in two different worlds.
The next day, I was walking in Manhattan and I passed Urban Outfitters. In the window, was a t-shirt that read, “Broke is the New Black.” See, it’s ironic. People who shop at Urban Outfitters aren’t really poor. Or black.
Perhaps it’s absurd to hinge a social realization on a chain store that no one admits to liking. And I know the inherent unfairness in society is an old observation. But I’m noticing.