So we're moving. A long way away.
I don't have a job yet, but I'm confident I will be able to do better there than I did here. The market is robust, and especially in my field. It didn't exactly rocket my self-esteem to have to settle after 15 months for an unskilled labor gig that a high-school graduate could easily muster. That's not why I went back to college.
I'm grateful for that work, however. And I had a boss who was a prince of a guy. Him, I'll miss.
But the people in the rest of this place... not so much.
There were many, many good people here. But there were also many, many cliquish, selfish and self-serving, unprofessional shitheads here as well.
Unfortunately, a lot of the latter types had the jobs.
The two places I worked here had some good people there; some will be lifelong friends even though we'll now have many miles between us. However, a team is often built in the image of its leadership. And in my experience, that created some problems.
I've come to look at my work experience here as similar to dating a seriously flawed but very hot girl (or guy, if you're into guys).
When you meet this person, you're reduced to your most basic state. Beautiful plumage, the Norwegian Blue. You get swoony and you start overlooking things, because you're just enamored with the physical. It's even worse if the sex is good, because then you start making more excuses.
But what if the person is a smoker, or a drunk? Lindsay Lohan is (or at least was) attractive. But she's a total train wreck. Do you want to deal with that on a steady basis?
What if they're rude or a jerk? Some women love the "bad boy" but that really works out long-term, does it, ladies? Being stood up, not having phone calls returned, being treated shabbily... at some point, you get tired of it.
What if they're criminally stupid? What happens when the crowd you run with gets wise to your date's ignorance and gives you that look when they do something embarrassing? What happens when you want to discuss something important and significant in the world and they want to non-ironically tell you about the hilarious thing they saw on Jersey Shore?
What if there are huge philosophical differences in things you like? There are things I like in my life that I feel make my life more enjoyable. I love watching sports and football. I love music and movies and books. I couldn't imagine myself long-term involved with someone who didn't like any of those things. It's just not a good fit. Someone who wants to spend lots of time gardening or going to church, or participating in Renaissance Fairs... I'm not against any of those things, and they could even be interesting at times. But in general, that's just not me, and it's not going to be me.
You realize at some point that the limited pros are significantly outweighed by the glaring cons. I suspect most of you know exactly what I am talking about.
It's beautiful here, the air and water is clean. The fall is the best time here... but like that ill-matched love interest, it's not enough. It's not progressive enough, it's not smart enough.
I see way too many confederate flags and symbols. (NB: You lost. Get over it. And, it's offensive. Educate yourselves.) I see too many people who cling to their guns and religion and shun peace and science. I see too many people who don't take advantage of a world-class library but spend hours repeating talking points they hear and see on right-wing media. I see too many people who are quite happy to settle for a mid-level job in a mid-level town. Many choose to do so because despite the flaws, it's generally OK here and "acceptable" to raise a family. It's not hard work to live here if you're willing to forgive some things.
I've never been able to do that. Is the grass always greener? I don't know. But, I know myself enough to know that I like the advantages a real city has to offer. Culturally, I want to be able to experience music, movies, art and other things as it develops. People here got excited when Blue Man Group did a show.
Blue Man Group started 25 years ago.
That's just one anecdote, but it's typical. When we scouted a place up there two weeks ago, we were able to order Chinese delivery late one night. That doesn't happen here. It's pizza. Or if you want late-night eats, there's McDonald's, Taco Bell, IHOP. That's not OK with me. The streets here roll up at 10 p.m. It's even worse in Bentonville.
It's not hell, but it's not me. It's you.