So today I got my first check with my pay raise in it and it comes out to approximately a 2% raise. This averages out to about a tank of gas a week, and while it is something, I am incredibly frustrated that this is considered a "merit increase." I mean, really, this is hardly even a cost-of-living increase with housing price increasing by 20% in the last several months and gas prices hiking up almost a $1 over the past 3 months.
I am frustrated, and, yet, pathetically grateful for the extra cash. It's the awful conundrum of living in the middle ground of not-impoverished, not-wealthy. This is the wasteland of my life it seems. I'm one of those people who can go out gambling and neither win big, nor lose big...leaving me feeling somehow left out of some secret way of life either way.
Now I know that this is all mindless angst. I truly am glad that I can pay my bills and have a wee bit left for renting movies, going for coffee, and thrift store shopping. But there is an internal struggle with it too. I feel so close to breaking out of this purgatory. One month of no pay, and I'm in the streets (well, knowing my friends, sleeping on their couches). And all the while, I'm aspiring to something more comfortable than the comfort I've got.
On a positive, unrelated note, I was listening to the best poetry this a.m. on KPFA. They are having a youth poetry slam this weekend in the Bay Area. I forget how a good, slam poem can just bring tears to my eyes.