Sunday, September 30, 2007

A year ago, I decided that stripping was the perfect job for a 20 something year old girl who wants to do other things. I've worked lots of shitty jobs, multiple shitty jobs at one time, struggled to pay my rent and hated my life and compromised things that are actually important. I now makes lots of money, have lots of time to spend in my studio and go running and read and have lunches with friends on sunny patios while everyone else is stuck offices. When I worked as a waitress, I had to pretend that I actually cared about the shit jobs I was doing soley for the money. I was not there to be personally invested, I was not passionate and excited about the fish and chips and beer, I did not want to be friends with everybody I worked with, and I did not want to hang out after work every night and drink and talk about who was fucking who and all of the petty restaurant drama. And I think I was resented for it, even though I was nice and did a good job. I couldn't get the good sections because I didn't suck up to the managers and act like my dream in life was to be them. No one had my back because I wasn't out stumbling drunk around campus with them after work. I wasn't "one of the gang." All I wanted was to go to work, do what I was hired to do, make my money and go home. Instead, I was wasting too much of my time for not enough money.

Well now I don't work for an incompetent asshole. I don't suck up to anyone. My income is the direct result of how much I work and how good I am at what I do, not how much someone else likes me or doesn't like me for whatever irrelevant, personal reason. I don't have a lack of job security. I don't wonder if I'll get too many hours or too few hours or worry that I'll get a string of shitty sections and not be able to make rent. I have absolute control of my schedule, my income and my life. I don't have to rely on anyone else... I can invest money, travel, go to school, buy the desperately needed new laptop I'm writing this on. I can take off for Spain for 6 months, come back, and instantly be employed again. I'm not tied anywhere. It's an amazing thing. Of course, I realize that I can't do it forever. But by the time I'm too old to do this, I'll have an education that I didn't go into debt for, a retirement fund and a nice little nest egg that should launch any ambitions I have. So then, you have to ask yourself, in this world, does it matter where your money comes from or just what you do with it?

I've always hated that speech "I'm young and the world is at my fingertips." Whose fingertips is it at? My friends who are graduating with degrees and no job prospects in a saturated market that tells them they're overqualified? My friends who are still working in restaurants to pay off their tens of thousands of dollars in education debt? The people who spend their lives tied to shitty jobs that they hate and making sacrifices constantly of what their want their lives to be for the sake of "security"? Who has all of that figured out? I don't want any part of that system that's designed to entrap people in a material hell and make them believe that dissatisfaction is somehow the sign that you're doing everything right.

This isn't supposed to be career propaganda for stripping. It's just supposed to pose the possibility that maybe doing the lease amount of bull shit for someone else in order to get by the world so that you can live your own life is actually the way it should be. People throw away their whole lives just to be part of this machine that promises to protect them, but really, people don't need that much security. People need identities and lives and dreams and adventures. We've evolved out of a survivalist species. I can insure security for myself with some ingenuity. I don't have to rely on some horrible job that will turn me into a nameless, indentured servant out of fear I will end up starving on the streets.