“I’m unemployed” ……….. You have been judged. I have been judged, by many people, both close to me and total strangers by this simple statement. It’s a loaded gun and in England (at least) is a big maker-or-breaker of status.
Seb, 8 years ago: “People who don’t work are scroungers. They claim benefits, money taken off people who work hard, and spend it with abandon. They are lazy, often aggressive, and arrogant”
Seb, 2015: “People who don’t work have a stuggle on their hands, myself included. We are treated with disdain for not keeping in line. Yet we have tried to create a “one size fits all” society, and the only ones who don’t complain at the absurdity of this, naturally, are the ones whom it fits. Many would love to not rely on the system to survive, but we are given no choice. No choice”
What changed me? I fell off the ladder. I had been on the modern day society ladder for over 15 years, following all the rules to become a model citizen. But then I cracked…SNAP… and over several months I moved from confusion to astonishment to anger to dispair. For it dawned on me that I had sacrificed my identity, my childhood, individuality, all to work towards spending my adult life working for someone else, following their rules, dressing how they want me to dress, waiting for a paycheck.
Am I the only one who finds this astonishing?
Sure, this works for some people, and it provides a structured society which a government can work with. But surely we should be given a choice? I was never given a choice.
“I’m not born for this. Shit, I need to make this work. Fuck, i’m failing at this. PANIC. Maybe i’m not right for this life.”
See I want to be myself and this should not be seen as wrong. I don’t care for thousands of pounds, especially if I comes strung to conformity. I am already ensnared though, naively I jumped into student debt. I was too young, blind and trusting to know any better. I want space, freedom to be anonymous when I want to be, the choice to make a living how I want. But these things come at a premium now. I can’t even afford a patch of land to build myself a simple life in the country, living off that land.
My mind was sculpted into the standard mould and set. It ended up shattering into a million pieces. I’m re-casting it my own way. I’m not ashamed of being unemployed. I’ve accepted I don’t fit that standard mould, and am learning to embrace it. It’s hard, unforgiving path i’m on, but at least it’s my path.