When I was a kid, my family was not very well-off financially (to put things nicely). We weren’t starving, but we did get some help, and we definitely didn’t live a very middle-class life. Now, of course, my father’s business is quite successful and my mother’s job is great — it’s been years that we’ve been lucky enough to have a very comfortable life. But either way, they were in their 20s and still finishing school/building their business when they had me, and we definitely lived a very humble lifestyle for some of my younger formative years. Having gone through a rougher period is not something we’re ashamed of, but it’s a part of our lives nonetheless and something that has undoubtedly shaped who I am in some ways.
And yet, I feel that the perspectives I hear about the modern 20-something generational narrative seem largely middle-to-upper-middle class, and paints us all with a brush of having been given the “helicopter parent” treatment of endless lessons, tutors, and projects to ensure our “uniqueness.” For myself and many kids I knew, this simply wasn’t the case. I think most people who at some point experienced a lower-income environment don’t often hear their perspectives and their upbringing talked about.
If any of my readers have stories/anecdotes/thoughts about growing up on limited income, overcoming financial difficulties, hitting rough patches, or generally having a childhood that you don’t feel is often shown in media or descriptions of your generation, please send me an email to talk about it
I was originally going to do just a personal essay on the subject, but I think it’s an even more powerful story to tell with many voices and experiences involved. I look forward to hearing from you.
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- unamant said: Thank goodness for this. I love Thought Catalog, but one of my biggest frustrations with the website has been the relative lack of attention paid to lower income experiences. I might submit something this weekend.
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- ohmenver said: My 3 siblings and I were raised on a teacher’s salary. Early on I knew I needed to rely on good grades & part-time jobs to get where I wanted-ie private college and now law school. Some people assume I’m here b/c my parents helped me.. so frustrating
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- fist-rockbone said: I don’t relate to any of that shit either. It’s so odd. Even in high school, it was so weird to me that there were all these kids who, you know, got signed up for all this SAT prep and extra classes and classes at the college and whatnot.
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- kandles said: my friend’s family went through a divorce, and the mom got all 3 kids and was on an entry teacher salary. for a year or so they moved their rabbits (they bred rabbits) to our yard b/c they moved to an apartment. They drove over twice a day to feed them. Random little story…
- ohheythereworld said: Agreed on the not often heard from front.
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