The privilege in my panic

March 20, 2020

IMG_0817.jpg

I already know I will talk to my therapist about the grocery store. 

Months from now, when we’re dealing with the aftermath and not the slow and overwhelming early days of the Coronavirus pandemic, I will wrap my head around the feeling of walking into the grocery store and not be able to find bread, milk, and eggs.

And then I will talk about how, if I get there early enough the next day, the grocery store employees who worked overnight have restocked the shelves. 

Because this is America, not in a famine, and every day, food and goods and Clorox wipes are restocked. There is more, always more. What a privilege that is. 

I have approximately one trillion thoughts swirling around my head right now while I get to nurse a baby and play games with a 5 year old instead of teaching my students the complex characters in Crime and Punishment. There’s fear, peace, concern, and confidence. 

And I should note that nowhere in this thought process is there a color-coded lesson plan of what our day looks like. I am not about spending an hour planning a 6 minute activity. I’m officially adopting my version of the “free range parenting” philosophy until further notice. 

But the most pervasive thought is of those images of Trader Joe’s shelves stripped down to just the crumbs and nametags that are left. 

The empty grocery store shelves make my skin crawl and want to go home to my parents, but traveling is not wise and their shelves look the same.

Inside my mind is racing:

  • “We don’t have enough eggs! How will we get protein?”

  • “I don’t ever want to go to the grocery store again. We will be fine with rice and cashews.”

  • “But I have a baby! I have to go to the store at 7 a.m. so I can actually get chicken before it’s gone!”

And then I come home, open my cupboards to see that they are FULL.

I HAVE ENOUGH.

Are there people with more in their extra refrigerators and garages? Yes.

Are there people who have less than me in their cupboards? Absolutely.

I am overwhelmed by the thick, palpable privilege I am waking up to every morning. 

  • It’s a privilege to think I don’t have enough of something and then go to the grocery store in my working car and buy some.

  • It’s a privilege to have grocery stores that restock, even if I have to buy chicken sausage instead of chicken breasts.

  • It’s a privilege that while I am off work, I still get paid. 

  • It’s a privilege that I can find out helpful information to keep me healthy in a matter of seconds. 

  • It’s a privilege that I live where it’s warm outside and I can see the sun and ocean and remember that I AM but a blip on the radar. 

Yes, my skin crawls with panic, but even more than the fear, I feel my privilege unraveling, exposing my own selfishness, my own entitlement, and my desperate need for control.

And I hate it. I hate that this time in our lives, where I have clean drinking water and four different types of vitamins, is so uncomfortable for me. It’s a reflection of injustice and systemic issues, for which I am culpable. 

So one of my (many) mantras I’m trying to repeat under my breath when I hear of another city lockdown, or a video of people in Italy warning us is this: I have enough. 

I have enough, we have enough, I am enough. 

What a privilege, what a wildly undeserving gift that is. 

So when we have established our new normal, post lockdown but still in the aftermath of this financial devastation that will certainly take us years to come back from, I will talk to my therapist about the grocery store shelves.

I will process the fears of not being able to feed my kids… AND what my deep-seated privilege actually looks like. 

Work with me

share this post

hey, i'm corrie!

I help people-driven companies, large and small, connect with their kind of people with brand voice strategy + personalized copy. A believer in public schools and Ted Lasso, I love getting to champion the best version of your brand. 

IMG_0817.jpg

I already know I will talk to my therapist about the grocery store. 

Months from now, when we’re dealing with the aftermath and not the slow and overwhelming early days of the Coronavirus pandemic, I will wrap my head around the feeling of walking into the grocery store and not be able to find bread, milk, and eggs.

And then I will talk about how, if I get there early enough the next day, the grocery store employees who worked overnight have restocked the shelves. 

Because this is America, not in a famine, and every day, food and goods and Clorox wipes are restocked. There is more, always more. What a privilege that is. 

I have approximately one trillion thoughts swirling around my head right now while I get to nurse a baby and play games with a 5 year old instead of teaching my students the complex characters in Crime and Punishment. There’s fear, peace, concern, and confidence. 

And I should note that nowhere in this thought process is there a color-coded lesson plan of what our day looks like. I am not about spending an hour planning a 6 minute activity. I’m officially adopting my version of the “free range parenting” philosophy until further notice. 

But the most pervasive thought is of those images of Trader Joe’s shelves stripped down to just the crumbs and nametags that are left. 

The empty grocery store shelves make my skin crawl and want to go home to my parents, but traveling is not wise and their shelves look the same.

Inside my mind is racing:

  • “We don’t have enough eggs! How will we get protein?”

  • “I don’t ever want to go to the grocery store again. We will be fine with rice and cashews.”

  • “But I have a baby! I have to go to the store at 7 a.m. so I can actually get chicken before it’s gone!”

And then I come home, open my cupboards to see that they are FULL.

I HAVE ENOUGH.

Are there people with more in their extra refrigerators and garages? Yes.

Are there people who have less than me in their cupboards? Absolutely.

I am overwhelmed by the thick, palpable privilege I am waking up to every morning. 

  • It’s a privilege to think I don’t have enough of something and then go to the grocery store in my working car and buy some.

  • It’s a privilege to have grocery stores that restock, even if I have to buy chicken sausage instead of chicken breasts.

  • It’s a privilege that while I am off work, I still get paid. 

  • It’s a privilege that I can find out helpful information to keep me healthy in a matter of seconds. 

  • It’s a privilege that I live where it’s warm outside and I can see the sun and ocean and remember that I AM but a blip on the radar. 

Yes, my skin crawls with panic, but even more than the fear, I feel my privilege unraveling, exposing my own selfishness, my own entitlement, and my desperate need for control.

And I hate it. I hate that this time in our lives, where I have clean drinking water and four different types of vitamins, is so uncomfortable for me. It’s a reflection of injustice and systemic issues, for which I am culpable. 

So one of my (many) mantras I’m trying to repeat under my breath when I hear of another city lockdown, or a video of people in Italy warning us is this: I have enough. 

I have enough, we have enough, I am enough. 

What a privilege, what a wildly undeserving gift that is. 

So when we have established our new normal, post lockdown but still in the aftermath of this financial devastation that will certainly take us years to come back from, I will talk to my therapist about the grocery store shelves.

I will process the fears of not being able to feed my kids… AND what my deep-seated privilege actually looks like. 

Work with me

hey, i'm corrie!

I help people-driven companies, large and small, connect with their kind of people with brand voice strategy + personalized copy. A believer in public schools and Ted Lasso, I love getting to champion the best version of your brand. 

share this post

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