Reflections

A Note on Privilege

When I announced my sabbatical, I received a flood of support and praise. Two particular words were so graciously thrown around: brave and courageous.

But today, I want to focus instead on two other words: privileged and lucky.

In my first post, I noted that this blog is not meant to be prescriptive in any way. That is because I am abundantly and humbly aware that not everyone would even have the means to take a sabbatical like this.

I have been privileged to secure high-salary jobs that allowed me to save up as much money as I have.

I was lucky to find an inexpensive, rent-controlled apartment when I moved to Oakland — and probably privileged to have my rental application approved despite a low credit score.

I am privileged to be leaving a company who is so generously continuing to cover my health care plan for a little while longer after my departure. And even after that expires, I am privileged to have multiple health care options available to me and the means to afford them.

I am privileged to have the equipment I need — computer, internet, phone, car — to do this type of career exploration.

And I am so lucky to have a network of people who can lend advice, support, tips, and encouragement; who can connect me with the right professionals; and who can even offer support services for free.

I am not sure if it was courage, or just plain desperation, that sparked my decision to take this sabbatical. But it was privilege that allowed me to follow through on that decision. And I do not take that for granted.

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