I don't care what any politician says about government assistance, the people who use it, or it's effect on the current culture.All I care is that right now I am able to have a place in aspects of American culture that I had to give up for a while.Today I can proudly say that I am receiving government assistance, and it has bettered my life.

For one thing, while I am still a ball of anxiety, I no longer have to worry about food or medicine and not being able to replace things or whether I can afford any little bus trip somewhere for an interview or just to go somewhere.My government assistance isn't a permanent aide, but it takes away the immediate anxieties so that I can work on my long-term goals. I can get back to treating my depression and anxiety because I'm insured again (thanks, Obama). I can eat food instead of whatever scrap is available because real food costs more. I can look for work and be able to make myself look "employable" by society's standards.The most important thing of all, however, is that I can take part of modern American culture.

Now, I'm not saying that everyone in America lives this way, or that there isn't something messed up about these things being a priority, but these are things I used to do. Before now, I avoided reading beauty blogs, fashion magazines, and all types of things because everything, especially if it was really good, costs money. America for The Youths of today is very consumer-oriented when it comes to self-identity. You are either a Mac or a PC, you paint your nails black and wear red lipstick as a statement, you pay for this and not pay for that because you are the kind of person who buys this thing over the other. It all involves money, and once you don't have much of it (or none at all), you're pretty much left out. Companies, and politicians by extension (sadly) aren't changing to accommodate poor people because they don't provide oil for their machine. In consequence, people without money have little say in changing corporations, politics, and even culture. This is one of the most covertly dehumanizing aspect of poverty: whether you like something or not, there is almost nothing you can do about it.

But now, while my voice as a consumer is a little tiny one, I have a voice and a choice and a life beyond worry and surviving. It feels great, to be honest. I feel again the carefree optimism that defines being born and raised in a wealthy country. I want to go places and think things beyond "oh god, how much is this going to cost me!? ". For the first time in a while, I feel that things are going to be alright.