The area that I live in is one of those ghettoised areas that the government tries so hard to refurbish. But it never quite works. Mostly because no one cares anymore. We’ve all given up in our area looking the best and we are quite content on what it has to offer. As long as we can walk around, there are a few parks and major supermarkets, I don’t think anyone minds too terribly if our area is the poorest in London. But, that, is mainly because of the people. Because we are way too familiar with the prospects of always gaining less than what we want.
Like, I went to one of the rich parts of London with my school once. Don’t get me twisted, it wasn’t the snazzy rich parts of London like the West End or anything. It was a part of London which was so intrinsically rich that I found myself feeling sick while we passed through it on the coach. And it’s weird, because the thing that made me the most sick was imagining their daily lives. How the kids would all commute to school in a car with their parents driving them. Because it was one of those places where you couldn’t possibly get around the area terribly easy without a car. I also thought about how they would probably have somewhere where they could sit and do their homework. And not only that, but the fact that they could chose where they did their homework. Their bedrooms with a desk or on the dining room table. They could also have a meal everyday. Three times a day without it being a struggle for crying out loud! With loads of snacks and fizzy drinks and all that. And they would have their own bedrooms, their own space where they wouldn’t need to share with anyone. And they could personalise that space how ever they wanted to. If they liked the Jonas Brothers or something they could deck their walls with posters of them. Only if they really wanted to. And they probably would. And I could do none of that. I could do none of it.
I should probably explain my mentality before visiting that area a little bit more. Basically, I was of the belief that there was absolutely no difference between a person who was richer than me and myself. I had always believed that “yeah, they got opportunities” but so did I. I could go on the school’s netball team, I could play the violin, I could get an A in maths. I could do all of that. But, never did I dream that these “opportunities” ran so deep. So deep into the way they lived. It never crossed my mind that our basic needs were met in different ways.
I think that’s why it all astounded me so much. Made me sick to my stomach. I couldn’t help but think that all these opportunities were lost on me, because when I needed them the most, I didn’t get them. I was stripped of what they would class as basic needs, one after the other and I’d never regain them. And that made me sick. That made me so astonishingly sick.
I’m not saying that I’m ungrateful for all the hard work my mum has done for me in the past. Please, don’t get me wrong. My mum did her best with what she had. She provided for me in a way no one else could. And for many, many years I did not realise I was at all at a disadvantage to others because of my parents financial income. As I said before, it never even crossed my mind. But a few weeks ago, it did. And it’s sad that there are still differences. And I’m aware that I sound like a selfish and spoiled teenager but this has been on my mind for a while. The weird and mild inequalities that continue to erode at the foundations of my life. It just started getting to me. Real deep and all.
It’s like all these people are superman, their fists curled into a ball, resting on the slight dip of their waists, sitting on the spinning globe of the Daily Planet. And I’m some passerby, staring up in awe at the mighty and merciful power of the people. And, damn, do I hate that role in life. It’s damn near paralysing.
I just hate this stupid world because my role in it is damn near catatonic.