Yes, it’s a vulgar thing to say. And it represents uninspired writing on my part. I take pride in writing more intelligent prose. But this point is so important to me that “fuck them” is the only thing with enough punch to deliver my message.
I’m 32 years old, and I still get family help with my rent. Outside of my freelance writing work, I have never been able to get anything other than a seasonal or part time job my whole life. (Despite having a college degree, and applying for over 1,100 jobs over the years, when I stopped counting.) Off and on I have lived at home with my mother. I can’t promise it will never happen again. I am not married, in a relationship, or even visited at home by any local friends of mine.
Other than college I have never lived more than 15 miles from the hospital I was born in. And through it all, I have slaved, studied, investigated, searched, given up, started again, been close, failed, wondered what it was all for, fought harder still, and found myself moving backwards at times. All in an effort to get a decent job. Find someplace different and exciting to live. Do something for the world worthwhile with people that I respect. Pay the bills without killing my soul.
And I have met with some success in very narrow perimeters. And that only recently. But I am behind in many things, and I know it. I’m working on it. If you have similar difficulties, you should keep working on them too.
But if you are like me, you know what most people tend to think of those of us in such a situation. That we are lazy. Stupid. Perhaps even retarded or mentally ill. Unmotivated and lacking ambition. That we can only be clinically depressed loners, welfare gluttons, drunks, druggies or emo artists. Or some combination of the above.
So prevalent is the view that financial productivity and career placement define our very humanity, that it is almost a given anymore. People have bought into the notion that the entire purpose of existing is to secure a job, any job, right away at all costs. No matter what it does to our bodies, our souls, our spirits or our minds. Doesn’t matter if the only one you can find is a low paying job 2,000 miles away from everything you have ever known. Rent the U-Haul and get to it. “Paying bills and taxes are your primary responsibility,” such people spout. “You have to feed yourself.” ”A job’s a job.” ”Go where the money is.” “A job is supposed to make you miserable. That is life. Deal.”
Say it with me; “Fuck them.”
Don’t buy into this. Because to do so sets up a scenario wherein it’s far too easy to lose your humanity. Your self respect. Under this billowing flag of narrow mindedness, if you don’t force yourself into a job that you are not built for, if you are under employed, or lose a job, or just have difficulty in ever getting hired through no fault of your own, (like me) you are not a real person. People like us are third class citizens, under such a definition. (Conveniently, if not intelligently defended by those who say, “that’s just life.”)
But we are people, those of us who fail a lot. We are people who are willing to pay our dues, but we have just not been permitted to by circumstances beyond our control. We are denied, over and over again, the chance to pay those dues in ways that allow us to be who we are. Those that were just never quite shown the way. Never had a helping hand extended to us. Never really caught the breaks that most people catch.
And of course because we can’t pay our dues in the way that most people can, those same “most people” see us as marginal garbage. Socio-economic flotsam and jetsam that by our own choices have ended up just getting in the way of those who really are productive.
Again, fuck them. It may be the only two words to hang onto when you are at the end of your rope. Use them often, and use them well. Use them until you’re okay with the fact that so far, you have failed a lot. Use them until the views and attitudes of millions of others are pushed out of the center of your consciousness and replaced with what you know is the truth. Use those two words until all that remains in your mind is a clear view of what your problems are, and what your next steps need to be to solve them. At your own pace.
Use them until the only people who want to remain in the room with you are the ones that will love and respect you no matter what you say, where you go, what you do, and how often you fail. The people who will support you, emotionally and financially if need be, until you are on your own feet. Those are your real friends. Those are the ones that matter. And those are the ones who will join you in saying “fuck you” to anybody who offers you neither a helping hand nor a kind word as you struggle to face your problems.
Don’t avoid self improvement. Always face your issues head on. Don’t abdicate your responsibilities; work as hard as you can to fulfill them yourself. Don’t hurt other people. And for the love of the Divine, if you are able, help other people out of their situations any time you see a chance to do so. Be self-focused, not selfish.
Yet being so requires that you forget about what I know almost everyone else is going to be saying. You will in fact be so outnumbered in your struggle to do it your way, and obtain the help you need that diplomacy just won’t work. Only two words will beat back the tide.
Go practice it. Today.