By Anuoluwapo Bamiro, Contributing Writer
Welcome back to “What’s Up with Anuolu.” This week I want to give some encouragement to people out there trying to make their dreams come true.
Now that most people I grew up with are well into their twenties as well as growing families, living on their own, or planning to, the current increases in the cost of living can make it seem like those dreams are nearly impossible. With minimum wage just now set at $15 an hour, that calculates to roughly $2400 a month, which is the average costs for a one-bedroom in the Inglewood/LA area now.
I know for me, sometimes, I feel played with this whole adulting thing. Like I know we should have appreciated our childhood more, but it’s deeper than that. Most of our parents and family members had their own apartments or house by the time they were our age. So, they think our generation is lazy and lacks loyalty to jobs. But we do not have the security that our parents and older family members had. We are working the same number of hours or more yet can’t afford a spot of our own nor be able to obtain it with one or even two jobs.
It makes a lot of my generation over hustlers, meaning we find a way to bring in an average of 3-6 different streams of income, or we’re stuck with having 1-4 roommates to survive. I know many people will say, “Well just move back home.” But in doing that, I feel like sometimes, parents can stunt one’s spiritual and emotional growth. This is never, ever on purpose, but mostly because they will always see their kid as their baby. So, what does our society do to babies? It coddles them and keeps them safe from a single thing. We make the entire house baby-proof so that they don’t hurt themselves. So, it’s not that parents do it on purpose; they do it out of love. But that doesn’t really give us the breathing room to fail, to make mistakes, and have only our connection to God, to help us through. So, with the cost of housing so high, a lot of people in their 20s are stuck at home in places that don’t give them the space and autonomy to thrive and grow. In addition to that, the cost of buying groceries is insane. It seems like it is mandatory to have between $100-$200 a trip just for a single person to buy some fruits, veggies, and maybe two types of protein. And don’t let me get started on gas. It is slowly creeping back up to $5 a gallon for regular. It is as though no matter where we turn something essential is going up to 2-3 times the previous price.
So that is where the disconnect usually comes from. The cost of living then verse now is not the same. It can trick us into thinking the world is against us. I know that these times are hard and difficult, but I also know that I and my generation are a resilient group of people. We have been taught how to make ways out of nothing. How to keep pushing through even when it feels like our back is against the wall. I know that even though it feels like all odds may be stacked against us, this generation is going to push through and make it great for not only ourselves but for the future generations to come.
I wanted this week’s blog to shed some light on what I and my generation may be feeling about the rising cost of living as well as the rising cost of food, gas, shelter, and water (you say as well as, but these things are the cost of living). It can get discouraging and feel as though we aren’t doing enough when we are doing so much. I know as we get older and create families, it almost feels impossible to achieve living well and enjoying life. But I know we can, and I know things will get better for us. We’ve lived through so many tragic and life-altering events in the world. Yet, look at us–still here, still brilliant, and still resilient. I hope when you read this column you feel seen, and heard and know that no matter what, you will get everything you dream of.