Yesterday I was reminded too many times to recall, just what an impressively spoiled douchebag I am on a regular basis. The source of the mirror that reflected this embarrassing reality back to me is most likely the super fun new medication I am munching for my super serious sadness disorder. That, combined with access to the struggles of beautiful people I am blessed to know got me to thinking about just what a grade A asshole I actually am.
I am swimming in a sea of confidence, support, financial freedom, health, community, and there’s a nice ripe cherry of white privilege on the top to open doors and give me pause to feel smug for doing all the things and smashing walls, doors, ceilings and barriers.
Oh, and the HYPOCRISY! We must not forget about all the ways I find to be a raging hypocrite. For an environmental activist; my carbon footprint, food waste, self indulgence, hedonism and even grooming regime is appalling. I live in a sprawling home where I killed my worm farm by feeding them banana peels and I always forget to water my garden. I claim to be a social sustainability and equal opportunity activist and I live in the least diverse and most expensive neighbourhoods in one of the most expensive cities on earth.
Do I take this shit for granted? Absolutely. Am I aware of the spoiled asshole I am? You better believe it. So I’m determined to remain aware of it and do what I can to earn my stripes and share air and water with people who are already, and would like to be gentler to the planet and all the plants, people and creatures we share it with.
I am not inviting challenges or lessons, as there’s been a fair number of hard knocks and sacrifices getting to where I sit fat, privileged and with some level of influence today. I’ll get my plateful of grief, hardship and struggle. We all have our turn dining at that dark and difficult table in this life.
What I am saying, in my characteristically less-than-delicate way, is that I don’t ever want to be the sort of person who feels superior or smacks around paltry advice like “If I can do it, anyone can do it” or “you just have to really want it”. Fuck. That. Fuck that sideways and seriously, because people are all fighting a hard fucking battle and don’t win every fucking time, but they ought to all be able to celebrate the shit out of and feel fucking fabulous when they do. For fuck’s sake.
Life is hard, life is not fair, and the reason I wanted to remind myself and anyone who read this of that point is this:
Some of the strongest, kindest, smartest, hardest working people of various colours, creeds, religions and socio-economic backgrounds have reached out over the past few days in various ways. They are struggling with loss and challenges that break my heart and would send me to a padded cell. Yet they smile. They show strength. They complain in private to trusted friends and confidants. And they keep going.
People who are kind enough to say “you’ve worked hard” or “you deserve it though” are very sweet, but the results of my choices in this life are as much luck as they are effort. I married a mild mannered man who grew into a passionate innovator who’s changing the course of history and revolutionizing an entire industry for the second time. I did not seek out this fairytale, but I sure as shit feel blessed to be a character in it.
My four amazing, healthy, kind, irritating, impossible children remind me every day that I am an asshole and a failure, and I am so glad of that fact.
So I’ll go out today and know that I am an asshole and try to do some good to balance it out. Thanks for reading. And thanks for being my friend. Even though I am a bit of an asshole for real.