I went to college on a partial scholarship, a gang of loans, a wing and a prayer. Despite literally being the hope and dream of my hard working parents, I majored in a major that don’t make money. And now, nearly 10 years after graduating, I’m realizing that I will probably never be a baller. Unless I just happen to marry up or win the lotto, I’m just never gonna be paid.
And I think I’m okay with that.
Growing up without a lot of material things, I could not wait to grow up and become a doctor, lawyer, banker…anything I needed to be to have tons of dough. I resented my parents for having modest jobs and felt like my responsibility to the family was to make us all rich. But then I feel in love with meaningful, modest paying work that helps people more than it does my pockets. I once dreamed of 745s and furs. But I’ve found so much fulfillment in the richness of LIFE. So much so that I almost feel guilty. How can I raise kids when I’m really not pressed to bring home a big check? Did I go wrong somewhere?
I’m rather certain that I’ll be paying back my loans forever–which seems to be more normal than not these days. I live in a rapidly gentrifying city that is rich with culture, but essentially devoid of affordable houses to purchase (another fantasy gone). And while some of my friends are really about that life of flossing and all the trappings, it seems like most of us are doing just…aiiight.
I wonder why I was so convinced that success had to come with a Gucci bag, a closet full of Prada and a luxury whip. I suspect that the over indexing of ballers in Black popular culture has something to do with it. Jay and Bey essentially taunt their fans for not sharing their wealth. “Urban” fiction focuses on uber successful sisters in red convertibles with walk-in closets. Movies like The Best Man franchise highlight the lives of people who look like us, but live a whole lot more lavish. It’s as if there’s only two types of Black people: rich and poor.
Well, this is my dispatch from the middle and I can report that it’s not so bad at all. I eat good food, wear cute clothes nabbed from sale racks and thrift stores. I go to concerts and plays and I have great friends and family. So much so that I would say I’m “very rich,” word to Nene. We’ll never be “royals” around my way, but I gotta say…I’m not too upset about it.
Sent from my iPhone, so please pardon brevity and errors.