The Little Apple That Could

I am realizing more and more just how much my upbringing has shaped my values. I have three relatives that are driving me varying degrees of bonkers because of what I view as their laziness. One is twenty three years old and has never had a job nor has he graduated from college. He is a semi-socially awkward and entirely overconfident computer nerd with a sense of entitlement that I cannot accurately trace. He makes me want to throttle him at least once every conversation, so I try to keep my communication limited.

I was mentioning over Skype that I get so frustrated having to admit in job interviews that I am not proficient in a Mac environment. This was his reply: I would answer them very snarkily "I am proficient in a Unix and Bsd environment. yes" if they don’t understand that. then there is no hope for them to ever be in a position of leadership over me

I instantly saw red and wanted to throw my computer into a wall. Understanding my penchant for kinetic anger management, I briskly walked out of the room.

The idea that he feels he is too good for a job, any job, infuriates me. The fact that he is not offering his services to any willing benefactor makes me want to set my hair aflame. I cannot understand the mindset that would allow a manchild to sit idly in his parents home, convincing himself that he’s too good for classes at his community college, all the while pooh-poohing the life of the working stiff. And yet, when I allow myself to take a step back and breathe, its easier to empathize.

I am thankful for my upbringing. It has instilled in me a healthy fear of poverty. I grew up dead broke. I lived in my grandmother’s house for most of my youngest years, then spent a great deal of time bouncing from the couch of one family friend to the next. When I was in high school I secured an apartment and got my mom and myself moved in. You’ll notice I said I secured it. I wasn’t yet old enough to hold a job, but somehow I convinced the manager I had the maturity to handle the situation. She allowed me to tour the unit and drew up the papers. I just needed my mother’s signature.

I love my mother as much as my heart can bear, but she too is stuck in a child-like state. She has suffered through abuse that I will never be able to comprehend and I try to extend as much compassion to her as possible, but her inability to deal with life forced me to grow up fast. The cousin who infuriates me so will (hopefully) never know what it’s like to wonder where his next meal will come from or pray that he’ll continue to have a roof over his head. He doesn’t know what it is to be forced into selling his body because there are no other channels of income. I don’t begrudge him that, but it does help me understand my own feverish desire to work. To produce. To create some sense of security.

I want to thank those of you that reached out after my last entry. It was written in a very dark moment. To illustrate the ugliness, I had just finished a shoot in which my character dies. Three days after we wrapped, I laid on my floor still caked in fake blood. Physically, mentally, and spiritually, I was too exhausted even to shower. I cried, I wailed, I sulked. And then I came out of it. I’m glad I allowed myself those moments of grief because now I’m more determined than ever to save my home and rebuild my sense of security.

I am decorating my walls. When Red moved to Bahrain, she bequeathed me a set of wall-mounted candle holders that I’ve always loved. It’s long been one of those "someday" tasks to put them up, but in the spirit of defiance I am finally hanging them. It scares me. For if I am defeated it will hurt that much more to take remove them, but it’s a symbolic gesture that I must make. I need to stoke the fire as much as I can while I’ve still got the will to push forward.

At this time next year I want to look triumphantly at my wall and smile at those twinkling candles.

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November 22, 2012

Ryn: found the movie’s name! Read my edit 🙂

November 23, 2012

You seem very strong and your background in poverty just makes you stronger.

November 23, 2012

I’m so proud to know you.

November 23, 2012

You have a good head on your shoulders. It’s sad you had to grow up so quickly and now be the “mom” to your mom. It’s often so much that way that when they grow up, they are missing so much of their life. And no matter how hard they search for it, it will never reappear. I hope you find what you want and need and live the life you feel you deserve! 🙂 I’m proud of you! *HUGS*

November 23, 2012

I hate it when people have a sense of entitlement. I’m sorry you’re upbringing wasn’t the greatest. But it does seem like it has made you strong.

November 24, 2012

Good for you. Fight on!!

November 24, 2012

I adore the entry title…understand you a lot better knowing some of your life experiences. Hope you can hit the ground running on Monday. There has to be something out there for you. ((hugs)) 🙂

November 25, 2012

I think you’re attitude to your situation is truly admirable. I’m close to someone who feels kind of like the person you describe, except in his case I think he’s anxious about change and that’s hiding behind snark and entitlement. It’s frustrating but scary, too.

November 25, 2012

What… I just used you’re and your wrong *and* right in the same sentence?! Hehehe I was going to delete and re-post but that’s just kind of hilarious in a way 🙂

November 27, 2012
November 28, 2012

RYN: Hey I am glad someone other than myself thinks so – it’s a Mama’s thing to think her kid hangs the moon… I guess I am fortunate that he obviously does 😉 Anyhow – Thanks!

November 28, 2012

Ryn: Sorry it took so long. Yes, those games seem like so much fun. I really want to try them out!

November 29, 2012
November 29, 2012

ryn: thank you!

People like this annoy me too. Also the people who say ‘I could never do a job like that’ about jobs that I’ve done – sort of as if they’re admiring of me, but also genuinely believing they’re somehow not able to do it (really meaning they wouldn’t want to!). Whereas of course they’d do it if they had to – if they really had no other way to make ends meet. They simply can’t imagine this though.

Also, thanks for the note. I’ve heard similar things about ‘Eat, Pray, Love’, although part of me still wants to read it out of curiosity. Hyped books always get me curious as to what the appeal is. I’m pretty sure it would annoy me though.

December 2, 2012

I can’t believe anyone could get to the age of 23 and not have had a job. Apart from anything else, how boring to sit at home when he could be doing something with his talents.