Success. Successful. It was successful. You’re a success. It’s all anyone really wants to hear. Knowing that the priorities in life have mattered enough for the right people to find value and praise is truly the point of existence. So why is it so damn complicated?
In my experience, success has been measured based on professional and academic achievement. It’s proven to my family that I’m worthy to talk to. I’m valued because I graduated college, and work for a bank so now I’m successful. I’m successful, but I’m struggling, as is the millennial way.
Since my earliest memory, I was told I needed to go to school, learn, and achieve. I needed to follow the straight and narrow and stay away from anything that could possibly blemish my reputation. It was the only way to stay in the good graces of society. I was told it would give me the upper hand over my peers.
Let me just add to the growing millennial history. It fucking sucks. I’m praised for doing everything I was supposed to, I went to school, I got an acceptable job straight out of college, I never asked anyone for money, and instead accrued debt on my own. Let me tell you where that has led me, however.
$0 in my account. I have no true value in this economy. My net worth? Negative seventy thousand and some change. I pay my bills and keep a roof over my head only to sacrifice everything possibly fun because who can afford to live, when businesses only pay you enough to their standards of living.
I’m successful though. According to my family, according to my friends, and according to society I’m successful with $0 in my account. Do you know why I’m truly successful? Instead of being treated like an insolent reflection of low academic status, I’m now held to full expectations.
Expectations to live a full life on 1/10th the amount of money I make and am now I’m left with after paying my bills. Rent, car payment, phone bill, student loans, credit cards (they were necessary), gas, electric, Wi-Fi, taxes. It’s what is expected for the first-world millennials. We should be grateful.
I keep the calm collected peace that is expected of me as I tread through my twenties working two jobs and finding projects to keep me entertained. I dismiss the fact that I have to say no to splurging because I need to stretch my money for the next two weeks. Is this complaining?
I think I’m just noticing that this article is one of millions telling the same story. One that is currently being rejected and ignored because we all had to go through it. All I’m saying is that I’m successful with $0 in my account. I’m successful because that’s what I’m told and that’s what I must accept.
Marymount University Alumni Domonique Pierce is an upcoming talent. Well-versed in the administrative efforts of non-profits, her goal is to help bring light to the short comings faced by low-income individuals. She enjoys writing opinion pieces on current events and is slowly venturing into journalism. You can follow her Instagram @th.nk_diff3rently.