|I was kind of confused and amused as to why Tillie is on this sign?|
As I said in other entries, I have been spending a lot of time at the beach, helping to fix up a lot of the issues with our shore house. The house has two bedrooms, but it is only 750 square feet. My brother was with us for the first time in a while.
I told him, "For about 24 hours, I considered renting this from the family so I could have my own house for a while."
In reply to that, he said, "The problem is, it's just so small." (This is coming from the guy who considered building a tiny house, which is only like 250 square feet.)
It's true that I feel a bit claustrophobic in the house, but in all honesty, it is much larger than a lot of apartments....almost all apartments in major cities, actually. It's larger than the space in which the majority of the world population live. So, it sounds extremely spoiled for those words to have come out of my brother's mouth, but honestly, I feel the same way, because we were both raised in a huge house...Despite all of our problems, we have the luxury of the private space to get away from one another when we need to. Once you've lived that way all your life, it's really hard to go backwards.
Growing up, I used to always think of myself as "poor", because I was comparing myself to the kids I went to school with. We never went to Disney World. I never had great clothes. We went on and off of food stamps over the years. I could go on and on about why I classified myself as "poor"...but lately, I feel rich.
Nothing has changed. In fact, in a lot of ways, money has gotten worse for all of us ever since 2008. We are struggling with money, but my family has so much that other families do not have, and it has taken me until now to fully appreciate it.
This isn't bragging, so much as a call to everyone to just step back and appreciate what you have. If you are on the Internet reading this blog post right now, that means you are more wealthy than the majority of the world's population. I don't know who you are, but I already know this:
a) You have some kind of expensive technology to read this on. If sold, the money from that device could feed a family in a third world country for years.
b) You have internet access- either at home or somewhere near your home. Which means you are in a developed country/area, and you are not being denied access to information.
c) You have the luxury of free time to be reading this, instead of working crazy hours in a sweat shop or fields somewhere until you are ready to pass out from exhaustion.
d) You have the education to know how to read...and not just any language, but English, which is one of the most-used languages in the world.
I could go on, and on, and on. Some of you may roll your eyes, and think, "Well obviously. Are you going to tell me to finish my all of my food because children are starving in Cambodia, too?"
I bring this up, hypothetical sassy reader, because all of us are so ingrained in our society to believe that this is "normal"....That anything less than 1,2000+ square feet and vacations to Disney every year is "poor." And it's just not. I can be at the bottom of the barrel in life..and trust me, I have. I have hit Rock Bottom, but the Shannon version of Rock Bottom will never be as impoverished and destitute as much of the world. And for that, I am grateful. Really, truly coming to that realization and internalizing it as part of my identity is an adventure within itself.