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I’ve been on my job since the end of August 2020. I’m three months in. I want to talk about what it was like to get started from where I started. I am literally and figuratively not whole today. I am so much better off than I was pre-employment but I don’t get to relax on a cushion of funds. Money is still tight.

Let’s stop right here and acknowledge my privilege today. I earn significantly more than the average American salary. It’s not trivial for a Black woman, with no degrees to make over $100k.

With that said, I’ve lived underwater for so long. Not having enough money and adequate healthcare coverage has had health implications. I’ve been accumulating debt my entire adult life. I’m pulling myself out of a deep financial hole.

Words are getting stuck. I know I have more to say but I can’t right now. Maybe I’ll revisit this when the words come back.

The last thought I have is to consider stories like mine when you talk about pay equity and gender and racial wealth gaps. Even at $100k, it’s going to take a while for me to get to zero net worth compared to a negative one. It’s going to take months to get the medical and dental treatment I need to not be in pain and discomfort daily.

I am in a race to get to a place of safety and just okay and I still have a job to do in exchange for this salary. I’m looking forward to the day that the fog of poverty lifts and I can see what I’m capable of at my full capacity. I have no idea what it’s like to not live under constant financial stress.

I’m going to try to record this journey as I live through it.

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