Two times in the last two weeks I’ve been asked what I’m doing with my friday night. Both times I’ve only belatedly remembered that it was indeed a friday night. Whether this is simply absentmindedness or indicative of a descending level of sanity I’m not sure.
What does seem apparent is that my activities if not my priorities, have changed since I was bright-eyed and bushy-tailed out of 1st year wonderland. These changes are measured in days, credit-hours, harry potter movies and birthdays, but it’s pretty rare for me to be surprised surprised about a real, measurable change in my lifestyle.
Two years ago my friday July nights were frivolously filled with friends at the beach, dark nightclubs with bright lights, and the whiling away of the hours that baking and cooking, reading and movies, that seemingly limitless expendable time affords. And here I am in the waning days of July, and my time is similarly frivolous, though fundamentally changed. My few fridays left before my imminent trip across the world have been consumed by wedding celebrations surrounded by normally far-flung family, hours on the highway to spend half a day writing an exam, and an evening exploring the workplace, medical ethics, and life’s incentives with a good friend.
Where do I find the luxury of a lifestyle that allows me to spend so much of my time enjoying myself? Yet it seems that career, family, and philosophising with friends are recent reconnections now that the glitter of first year has finally settled.
But the mere fact that I have the privilege to focus on a career, not to mention that I was given the time to detour and then refocus to me is astonishing.
Will the 20-year-old children of my coworkers in Ghana have the license to determine their desired profession? Or will they have the expensive choice afforded by a resource-strapped circumstance, where time and opportunity to work towards a profitable goal is in short supply?
My life has turned enough profit even now that I’ve been able to spend countless hours towards endeavours that are just icing on the cake. But what if all my time invested just barely allowed me to break even, like Alice with the Red Queen, allowed to run in place. What would my friday nights look like? I have a hope that my family and friends would still feature highly. But it’s fruitless to try to tell. This is one white privilege that I will never be able to run away from.