Should I Give Up, Or Should I Just Keep Chasing Paper? ~ Maria Antoinette Olivo

Via on Nov 25, 2011

 “Little girl blue

feathery floating

made of paper

she writes,


over her heart,

reminding the Creator,

she breaths”

-Maria Antoinette Olivo

People don’t seem to understand that after working for nearly 8 years on your higher education: sacrificing, failing, getting back up again, succeeding, and then doing that all over again is exhausting.

Then,  at the end of the tunnel, the same people who promised it would be worth it all are saying the same thing as everyone else. Just get a job at Hot Topic.

Recently, I’ve spent time with people who live in the city and not on the “safe” outskirts of it. I’ve found that these people have a strong sense of faith and family, but they’ve accepted that they will always be hustling. The temporary solution is the only solution for them. They can’t afford to think past how they’re going to get through that day. I feel as though I have my feet halfway between each of these two worlds.

I come from this world and this is what people are currently asking college graduates to do: to think temporarily. To find a quick fix while waiting for something better to come along. Of course, this means I have to not get sucked into making a temporary solution a permanent one.


Instead I’ve tried to follow my passions, even if this means waiting tables, working multiple after-school program jobs or teaching artist jobs that pay crap and have no benefits other than getting to work with awesome kids.

Education taught my heart as well as my head. I believe in theater, self-knowledge, inquiry and that education can help people move forward. Love, unfortunately, does not pay the bills. Maybe one day though.

After working hard to earn a degree, I can see that  at the end of the day is it’s just paper. Money, bills, paychecks, and degrees, it’s all paper.

Love is less tangible but more substantial than paper.

Our faith and family units need to be stronger. We need to be more encouraging, even to the people we don’t think need or deserve it. If someone is asking you for love from the deepest place in their heart, or a hug or just a simple “its going to be okay, you just have to keep going” then give that to them. That is worth way more than any amount of paper.  Do not let your emotions dry up or die in your work.

I am an asshole. I’m not noble. I’m not perfect. I don’t pretend to be. But I am capable, we all are, of giving love. It’s all we have now that’s free.


Maria Antoinette Olivo has, after a long time, come to love the name given to her by her father, when her mother was passed out after giving birth. She is a graduate of UC Santa Cruz with a Bachelors degree in Theater Arts, with an emphasis in Rainbow Multi-Cultural Theater Arts. She holds a Master’s degree from Cal State San Bernardino in Holistic and Integrative Education (becoming a teacher for smarty-pants who learn in our own way and not like everyone else) and is currently finishing up her Master’s degree in Theater Arts with an emphasis in Youth Education from CSUSB as well. She teaches Holistic Theater, which provides students with basic theater practices that when coupled with holistic self-inquiry make for some meaningful time in getting to know their own character before trying to play anyone else’s.

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3 Responses to “Should I Give Up, Or Should I Just Keep Chasing Paper? ~ Maria Antoinette Olivo”

  1. __MikeG__ says:

    I love this post because it touches on my struggles with my career. My work is intellectually challenging but is not a passion. I make good money now but I have been poor in the past so I know what money can bring. Yes, money is "just paper". But money is also other things. Money is health care, good housing in safe neighborhoods, not having to work until one drops dead of old age and being able to have a car fixed when the engine explodes. Maybe the difference between us is that while I have interests I seem to lack the driving passion I see in people who pursue the arts or other endeavors as a personal calling. Personally, I feel some jealousy when I see those people.

  2. Rebecca says:

    Nice article Maria! I too am fighting the fight right now, pursuing that higher education. Will it be all for not? Shit, I hope not. At this point I think a job at Hot Topic might be better than waiting tables at Chili's. ;)

    I wish you luck!

    -Rebecca (your old coworker)

  3. Maria says:

    Heyyyy! Rebecca!! It won't be all for not… education is the only way to go. Hot Topic, Chili's… its all a job!! thank goodness for them right now.

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