J.D. Bentley on comparing his design job to the work of his blue collar relatives:
I used to take pride in this separation. I used to feel like I was living in the future and they were living in the past. I used to feel like I was the better prepared to earn a living and to make something of myself. I used to feel my skillset was more relevant.
I know better now. I’m the weakest link in a line of hardworking laborers.
My great grandfather built naval ships in Baltimore during World War II. He farmed this very land for most of his life. My grandfather was a machinist and a mechanic. My dad a truck driver and delivery man. My brother worked at the sawmill, then in a local bodyshop.
And I never had a real job a day in my life. I sat around making websites like a pussy.
There are so many amazing things in this piece, but this really stood out to me. As a Southerner, most of my family has made a living working their ass off using skills our society no longer sees as important.
I relate to this in my own work as, no matter how successful I become, I will never have a "real job."