These past few days I’ve realized that I have passively considered myself marginalized for most of my life. When I lived at home, I was non-white (according to US standards), in an abusive home situation, low income, came from an uneducated family, I took care of younger siblings. As a student, I was struggling like mad to get over these things and also to make ends meet to be able to keep studying. I had been depressed and struggled emotional, and was unemployed and unable to provide for myself.
Suddenly, I find myself graduating and emerging into the real world with a new job and a new life. I realize I am now educated, not a visible minority, gainfully employed, emotionally stable, living with supportive and loving partner, no messy family situation, taking care of only myself. I feel that I’ve left a vulnerable status and been accepted to a non-vulnerable status. It’s a strange transition, but a welcome one. I always knew I had a great deal of privilege relative to the rest of the world, but it was never such that it provided me enough stability to feel better off. Today, being better off is very palpable.
With this new phase of privilege comes greater responsibility to use it for good, and to help bring up those who are not here yet.