Dear Ariana Grande....Let me rephrase that. Dear “Hardest working 23 year old human being on earth,”
My name is Tommi Wildnauer; my name to you and 99.9% of the world doesn’t even matter, and never will, but I hope these words find you.
I was never a big fan of following famous people on social media. I normally ignore the drama in the media, but I couldn’t look away from the photo you posted of yourself with the caption in your own words stating: “when you’re cute but you’re also the hardest working 23 year old human being on earth.”
Like you, I am 23. Like you, I am a lot of things.
I am a new mother to a 6-month-old baby boy. I am a Quality Control Technician at a Powder Metal Factory- in other words a peon in a group of nobody’s. I am an owner of a $10,000 house. I am a girlfriend to a man who is also a peon in a group of the same nobodies.
I am a daughter that was born into a broken home. I am a college drop out. With all of this being said, I might sound lame, but in fact I am the proudest 23-year-old human being on earth.
Everyday my alarm goes off at 4am. I wake up in an empty bed because my boyfriend is working nights at the same factory I work at. I give myself enough time every morning to snuggle with my 6-month-old son, Sylas. He is the best thing that has ever happened to my life.
I go into the bathroom, throw on a little bit of makeup that will eventually be worn off and most likely replaced with powder metal by the end of the day.
I lace up my boots, drop my son off at my grandmother’s house, and off to work I go.
I started off at $10.50 an hour working nights, sitting at a table staring at thousands of little pieces of metal, packing them into boxes and sending them on their way. I was able to work my way up enough that I now work in a nice, air conditioned lab on day shift making $21.50 an hour.
At 20 years old, I started at $21,840 a year, to now at 23 years old making $44,720. No college degree, no experience. $44,720 might be the price of diamonds on your neck at an award show, but for me its my living that I doubled in 3 years time, and I couldn’t be more proud.
My task in a day is to test, measure, and ensure that the products we make at our factory are at the highest quality possible. Chances are the products that have passed through my dirty hands are now in the expensive, luxurious cars that transport you to and from your extravagant events.
When I was little, if you would of asked me what my dream job is, I wouldn’t of told you this. I probably would of said I wanted to be a famous person like you, Ariana. However, now that I am doing what I am doing, I wouldn’t change it for the world.
8-12 hour days go by pretty smooth, because I work with a group of amazing people. There are men and women that leave that factory every day, covered head to toe in black powder, only to come back in the next day to put another days work. The best part of my day is when I get home to my little family.
My boyfriend and I bought a little 3 bedroom, 1 bathroom, $10,000 house. I’m sure my house is the size of your bathroom but this house is my first true home, and other than my son it is the thing I am proudest of.
I've moved around from house to house over the years. I have moved 16 times trying to find myself and trying to find “home.” I lived with my grandmother in Pennsylvania, all the way to New Orleans, bouncing around from place to place. All I ever dreamed of was finding “home.” This little house might not be the fanciest, biggest house, but with the help of my boyfriend and a lot of hard work, we flipped this house into the coziest little home; my first home.
Inside this home is my boyfriend and true best friend, Kendon. He is a true blue collar man. To me, he is the hardest working 26-year-old I have ever met. When he gets his mind set on something he gives his entire self into achieving it. He once worked 212 hours in 2 weeks time to pay for a truck that he wanted. Last year, together, we made less than a percent of what you made. Last year, we also made the most beautiful baby that we have ever laid our eyes on.
As I am typing this, I just got home from work and kissed my boyfriend goodbye as he goes in for his 12 shift. I’m staring at my son, bouncing happily in his little chair, smiling for no reason at all. I realized he is smiling because his father and I have worked hard to give him this simple little life with everything that he needs.
Unlike your opinion of yourself, I am certainly not the hardest working 23-year-old human being on earth, but I have truly worked as hard as I possibly could for this life that I have now and I couldn’t be more proud of myself.
You can parade around with your diamonds and materialistic pride, but just know there is a 23-year-old nobody that is praying for you to have the reality check that you need. I hope that when the fame dwindles down, after all of your “hard work,” you have a life left that you can be proud of. I know I do.