Aug. 23rd, 2010

qoheleth: (pic#582996)
Breaking the ice is always bizarre and uncomfortable, but it must be done.
My life at the moment is sweet and maddeningly simple. I have everything I want, everything I could need and the guilt that comes with that is overpowering.  I live a privileged life, well provided for. I happened to pick the right partner and now I have a house, a car, and so much flexibility to pay down my school loans, I feel like I've cheated the system.
I am the picture of upward mobility: my mother's mother has nothing to her name but the double wide she lives in; my mother has a high school degree, but never made it to college; and I have two frivolous B.A.s, a masters in my near future, and am dating a Ph.D. student with thousands in stocks and wealthy parents who own a house on Maui half a mile from the beach.
The house I share with my boyfriend is outfitted with a swamp cooler in lieu of central air, composting bin, rain barrel, a prius in the garage, and soon to be solar panels this winter. We compost, recycle, or wash and reuse 95% of our waste. All this helps me sleep at night under my roof of Western luxury.
Someone I follow writes often on privilege and she makes compelling, outraged points that leave me reeling. I wonder what I am to do with my fair skinned, straight haired, 5'8", 120 pound frame self. How do I atone for my sins? The sins of my ancestors? How do I apologize for the color of my skin... or not apologize, but do penance for? My green-eyed, American-apple-pie face? Orthodontia perfected smile? Do I starve myself, fall in the dust, gnash my teeth? Do I educate the "unlucky" and teach them all I know about being a rich, young white girl in God's Country?
I am ashamed.  I am at a loss.  I can acknowledge the inherent evil of my existence, but what do I do?  It seems the only full and proper way to absolve my own nature and circumstances is death, but my survival instinct, that of an animal, refuses.

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