Upper Middle Class Weight

Wow. So I really did not expect to run headfirst into this. I am realizing that a lot of my stress over finding work likely comes from a good load of upper middle class expectations.

Thinking about it… I got out of high school, went to college, got out of college and after an internship and some traveling, start looking for ways to get paid to do social change work. Not a totally atypical story for someone with leftish politics, and my class standing.

Now after three years of telling my mother I did NOT want to be a professional, I’m busy spending my time trying to find some way to fit my politics into a job structure. Not entirely anarchist of me.

Acknowledging that I want to eat, and live in a house or apartment or something I need to figure out a way to earn money. Up until a few months ago, I was perfectly fine with that way to make money being childcare, but as my travels have gone on and the prospect of being out of money and back home looms the prospect of professionalizing myself bears down on me.

What does professionalizing myself mean? Does it mean getting paid to do something I enjoy? Probably not. Does it mean adhering to authority and exerting authority over others, probably.

So is there a way for me to navigate this minefield? Am I focusing on this part of going on with life to avoid thinking about what other things the change means? Like changing community, safety, responsibility…


3 responses to “Upper Middle Class Weight

  1. We, the kids of the new left, are caught in this cycle where our lives have to reflect the spirit of the struggle. Yet, part of what makes capitalism evil is that it makes people feel they are defined by the work they do. But, the streetcleaner is more than just a streetcleaner. The fact we need to eat, and working is the only temporary way possible then, we got to do what we got to do. I was lucky and found this job, but for kids in labor union, non-profits, ngos they maybe doing 70% of what they dont want to do in order to do 30% of what the want to do. I just hope we dont get jaded. love


  2. agreed- it seems like the problem word here is ‘career,’ which encompasses a lot more than ‘work,’ and encourages the feeling that yr employment also includes a lifestyle.

    At the same time, working takes a lot of time. Like, a lot – and that can drain energy, and re-make you. the link of ‘work’ to survival under capitalism means that working requires pouring a lot of yourself into your job, and sometimes we come out in the mold of our employment.

  3. I keep coming back to this comment that Aaron made when I first met him (you) at school. That our burden as children of the baby boomers was to continue on a similar track of class mobility but that in the current economic set-up this is getting less and less possible.

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