Depending on the way you view it, constancy can be comforting or daunting. On the one hand, constancy is necessary and reassuring. It’s the morning routine, the familiar coworkers and family members you come home to after a long day at work. On the other hand, you could view your life as the same work… day in and day out.

There is something comforting about some things remaining constant in our lives. It’s nice to know that our loved ones will continue to love us and maintain the relationship we have built with them. Similarly, it’s nice to know that at the end of the day, we come home to a house with water and electricity. It’s nice to know that the things we enjoy about our lives have some level of constancy or permanency.

Constancy becomes an issue in regard to the negative aspects of our lives. Right now, I feel like I read at least one article a day that discusses the fact the Millennials are significantly poorer than their parents were when they were that age. I, like most people in my generation, am living that reality. I am working myself almost to death, often putting in 60 or 70-hour work weeks. I come early, stay late and often end up coming in on the weekend. Despite my hard work, I can barely afford my life. Right now, I am five days away from payday and I have basically nothing to my name. This cycle of being broke for the majority of the month is the constancy that I am dealing with right now. I have a routine of using my entire first paycheck for living expenses and then just holding on for two weeks until the second paycheck of the month, and then trying to prepare for the next broke period to the best of my ability.

I am not the only one in this position. Almost everyone I graduated with is in a similar situation. One of my coworkers and I often joke about the poor things we do to get by. One time, I had a breakfast event at work. The hosts over-ordered and ended up with an entire extra catering size tray of breakfast potatoes. They were traveling out of state and couldn’t take the leftovers with them. Typically, I leave leftovers out for the members that work out of our facilities. However, I had so few groceries that I ended up taking home the potatoes. I had eight eggs in my fridge and I had been to the grocery store the night before and picked up ½ a pound of salami from the deli for $2.35. That night I combined the ingredients and made hash that I ate for every meal for the next eight days.

I tell this story not seeking pity, but to acknowledge that constancy can also mean an overwhelming struggle. Right now, our country is being plagued with hurricanes and storms that are ruining people’s lives by breaking their constancy. Whenever something tragic happens in our country we rally together as a nation with donations and volunteer to get these people back on their feet, while there is no real, sustainable effort to help people whose lives are constantly difficult. This country is hard on low income families. It is expensive to exist in our society and for people who are barely getting by, there are not a lot of resources.

I’m going to break through this constancy, I know there is a light at the end of the tunnel, and when I come out of this I am going to be better for having experienced it. The one thing I want to learn from this and share with you is to be aware. Don’t assume anyone can afford anything. Not even a cup of coffee. You never know someone else’s situation, so please remember to be sensitive to it.  The comforts that are constant for you or even for me are not a luxury that a lot of people experience. Never take anything for granted and never lose touch with the reality of the majority’s constancy.

-          Bria