(video courtesy of youtube)
Ladies aaaaaaand gentleman, step right up! Come see the freak of nature!
She’s a personal trainer who actually thinks she can make a living that way! She thinks you have to know what you’re doing when you work out! She drives in the snow! She walks to the grocery store! You won’t believe your eyes, folks. A bona fide city slicker, right here in our midst! You can talk to her!
My new money-making idea: I’ll charge people five bucks each to come gawk at me and tell me that the only money in Asheville is in the service industry.
These days, I’m feeling like an alien. I know nobody and nobody knows me. This town is all about the “community,” the “word-of-mouth,” the “I’ll-scratch-your-back-you-scratch-mine.” Well, that all sounds great for a struggling entrepreneur. But right now it feels like a clique that I can’t get into. If Asheville were Heathers, I’d be Veronica.
Turns out I have little value to new gyms because I can’t bring in any existing clients. But I don’t have any clients because I can’t get in front of gym members. I keep knocking at the door even though it keeps closing in my face. I have been told at least once daily that I’m going to have to wait tables. “That’s what everyone has to do here.” Hmmm, no offense Asheville, but I am not everyone. I refuse to accept that as my fate. Here’s the real bitch of it though: even if I wanted to wait tables (and I think it’s pretty clear that I don’t), I couldn’t get a job, because you have to know the “right people” for that, too.
Where did I move to, L.A.?
To add to my frustration, today marks the first real Snow Day of the season. Except….there’s not very much snow. I couldn’t go out this morning because last night there were like forty wrecks in an inch of snow. People, please! This is very hard for an Ohio girl with a December birthday. I learned to drive in the snow. I then spent several years in the city, relying on public transportation. And when it snowed, I bundled up and got where I needed to get, snow or no.
Granted, in Boston there is much silliness about the snow, and cleanup is not what you would expect from a New England town. But people do go to work in the winter. Colleges don’t close because of a flurry.
I’m so tired of everything being so difficult. I’m tired of not having a career. I’m tired of hearing the same shit from everyone I talk to. Here’s a sampling:-It’s really tough to find a job in Asheville. -Service industry. That’s where the money is. -It’s a different market down here. The fitness industry is not the same. -Do you want to join my pyramid scheme? -Yeah, the first year in Asheville is really hard. -That’s just what people do here. The service industry is full of people who can’t find work in their field. -You just have to be positive!
It’s been three months. In the scheme of things, I suppose that’s not very long. But I’ve had at least one job since I was 15. Three months out of work is seriously messing with my sense of self-worth. Yeah, I know I should be positive. I know that I am in charge of my own destiny, that if I put out negative I’ll get negative back, and if I put out positive then the universe will help me. Blah, blah, blah.
YOU try it.
And there it is. I am alienated and alienating. It is a self-fulfilling, self-propelled, vicious cycle. And I am trying to break it. Really, I am. But it’s hard. I ask a great deal of myself. Network, stay positive, start a business, earn money, stay in shape, eat healthy, take care of Matthew and the cat, be okay even though you’re not okay. Be happy.
I try. But sometimes, it’s just too much for little old me.
I usually try to avoid blog entries like this. I don’t like reading overly personal or angry blogs, so why would I write one? I like to set a more positive tone, for two reasons. 1) It makes me feel better, and 2) I don’t want to bum out my readers, or worse — lose them entirely. But I am nothing if not authentic. So today, loyal readers and fellow members of the blogosphere, I apologize. I just don’t have it in me this morning. What I can do instead is offer a discussion prompt:
Use the comment box below to describe a time in your life when you felt like a stranger. Maybe your story will help someone else feel a little less strange.