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ESSENTIAL

On Sunday evening (April 5th, 2020), I sent in my formal resignation to my essential job as a temp mailroom clerk. Well…maybe it wasn’t formal since I gave no notice whatsoever. It was a spur of the moment decision if you will. But what constitutes a ‘spur of the moment decision’ during these unprecedented times? Is it the sudden spark of fear & anxiety for the unexpected? Is it the fate of one’s life or fear of endangering others? Or maybe it was the gut instinct that said, “ENOUGH, this isn’t right.” If you live in the United States, you know most things aren’t quite “fair” in regard to human life. Most of us struggle to support our families, pay off our student debt, make time for those we love. Yet, throughout it all, we remain committed to our jobs- ’cause money does NOT grow on trees (though sometimes I wish it did). We show up to work on time & rarely call in sick, if ever. Taking a ‘mental health day’ sounds impossible. In the back of my mind, I question how long it’ll be until I get fired. Just thinking about it breaks my heart. The commitment that we as people put in, and yet rarely, if ever, will receive in return.

But this is the reality – it has been for a very long time. With all of these thoughts circulating my brain that Sunday night, I just didn’t feel right. I’d been out ill for the past two weeks due to an unknown flu-like illness. I didn’t feel OK going back to work with my coworkers joking about “getting the ‘Rona.” I was agitated that some people weren’t taking it as seriously as others. I was agitated that MY LIFE was in danger. It agitated me. It agitated me that some people were not taking it as seriously as others. It agitated me that money is more powerful than ANYTHING else in the world. […] Money controls us, it controls almost EVERYTHING. And if we don’t go to work, we lose our jobs, we lose necessities, we lose hope. We run the risk of our lives changing in terrifying ways. But hasn’t that already happened? With everything going on [COVID19], the tables have turned and life on this planet will not be the same. So, who or what really has control? I’ll leave that up to you.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that your life is so much more important than anything else in this world, including money. And though the future of our jobs, bills, etc. are at stake, it’d be a hell of a lot worse if YOU weren’t able to see that future. So shed off some of that guilt. Whether you are working from home, an essential worker, or unemployed, we stand together. If you are on social media, watching the news, or watching your loved ones keeping communities safe, you know that human compassion hasn’t left the building. It’s growing exponentially and we are at a time where change has come and we are looking at a potential BEAUTIFUL, BRIGHT future.

So dance in your underwear to some YONCE, tell your mom what your passion TRULY is, get that dusty old notebook you’ve been graciously avoiding and put some good use to it. There’s a reason for everything. And you are here for a reason; that is, to keep moving forward and get to know yourself above all else. Because my life and yours is more essential than anything else.

Be free, with love.

Author, Khadejia

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