Thursday, January 27

How long does independence last?

In September, for the first time, my 12 friends from the institute – 2012 promotion of the IES Virxe do Mar de Noia – will be independent. That is to say: we will all have work, we will live outside our parents’ house and we will pay rents. It is a historical event, something worth telling: a group of 27-year-old boys in their entirety is finally able to fend for themselves. Without sharing a flat, without the help of their parents. Surely, in some cases the tuppers with food, in others, the crumpled 20 euro bills in the insistent fists of a grandmother, but the important thing, ladies, gentlemen, is that we become independent, we are leaving.

When we were teenagers, and we were active in the independence movement with more enthusiasm than we have now, I remember that the father of a colleague asked my friend Iván “why do you want independence?”, To which Iván replied, “first the we want, then we will see what to do with it ”. These days I can’t help but think that the situation is similar. We are independent, but how long will we hold out? Who will be the first to fall? And if we fall, who will take responsibility? We do not rush off the landing gear of a taking off plane, we are not a collapsing country, but we spoil ourselves every so often in a hundred other possible ways.

A few days ago, a real estate agency in Lugo launched a campaign through social networks to ask the owners of the city to rent apartments. Behind the call, dozens of calls from students who do not find a place to live at the beginning of the course. In a vacuum, receiving the echo of their complaints: tourist apartments, airbnb and the specter of gentrification that runs through Europe, they say, on flights low cost. Nothing new.

And if we finally find an apartment, can we pay the electricity bill? We can, I guess. Or maybe not. Does Social Security prescribe enough anxiolytics for that?

At the moment I have several friends with university debt, with loans that pay for private master’s degrees in teaching staff (the new driver’s license, the new just in case) and that are a symptom in Spanish higher education of the slow, silent advance of the American model. Myself, now that the summer is over, I think that as soon as I find a flat I will have to ask for money to face the two or two and a half months of deposit that they will ask me to enter. When I find a flat, I do.

Study, keep studying, and live abroad, keep growing, are more and more class privileges.

We are children of a generation with debts in little or no industrialized medium-sized towns, of people at the end of their quarantine or in their fifties who pay mortgages that inflated and deflated before their eyes always in an incomprehensible way, or who are still living for rent, accustomed to not answer the phone if the prefix is ​​Madrid or Barcelona, ​​intimidated by the banks. I read on Girl memory, from Annie Ernaux, that her parents, in post-war France, could only wish that their little ones were civil servants, that they surpassed their social stratum. Today, I note, the desire of those who are still precarious and were born in the 70s is the same: that we find the tools to resist, that someone take care of us, that we take care of them. I wonder how far that fictional story goes: the idea that we can solve precariousness by simply moving forward, as if the dust we sweep was not traveling in another direction. As if the garbage did not accumulate.

Independence is today more than ever a misstep. A minor problem, almost forgotten, among many other big problems. We slowly turn into indoor plants. We militate every other day in apathy and disillusionment. Between the peaks of enthusiasm when reading the horoscope every weekend or after listening to an intervention by Minister Yolanda Díaz, and the reality of the aleph infinity of The sword, the wall, it doesn’t matter.

Now there will be those who say that all this I tell, so many questions and so few answers, is something subjective (welcome to the opinion genre), who takes advantage of this article to tell their particular and non-transferable story on networks, or that of the efforts of their parents finally rewarded. Bravo! There will even be those who say that what I am narrating are exceptions. To all of them I will say: I have never intended to speak for someone who is not exceptional. I do it for my friends. No matter how long independence lasts this time.