I have been unemployed turned self-employed since early May of this year. I had just moved into my new apartment 10 days prior-excellent timing (sarcasm intended). I worked for a SAAS company that shall remain nameless and was abruptly terminated. Terminated was the word they used when they called me out of the blue, while I was working from home with the flu (yes I was actually working). I had worked for them for a year and a half and it was disappointing from day one. I applied for a position, they hired me and simultaneously changed the job description during my on-boarding. I had to immediately lobby for a promotion during my first month there. I got the promotion without any pay increase, but definitely an increase in responsibility. Let’s just say they entire situation was a mess from the word go. I was miserable every day. Every day. I can appreciate the start-up culture but beer doesn’t make everything alright. Okay, at least not for me. I need more. More what do you ask? Diverse perspectives, meaningful conversation, intentional collaboration, and mentalities that accept the differences in people. Or even evolving to a place of respecting those differences.
The daily dialogue running through my mind: I am NOT like you! I am NOT a superficial person who is so desperate to fit in and is looking for the next blouse The Loft to do so. I am NOT waiting for Jennifer Aniston’s next haircut to feel pretty, and if I have one more conversation about Bravo TV I will scream! I am NOT you, nor do I want to be!
When I was finally put out of my misery, my predominate feeling was relief. I no longer have to pretend to be something I am NOT and do not wish to be around. I live in Chicago and with that-there are pluses and minuses. Great food, beautiful summer time, and the lake – plus , plus, plus. Segregation, political corruption and corporate clicks are just a few of the minuses. There are people actually living here that only feel comfortable in Lakeview, Lincoln Park, Gold Coast, and The Loops (there are a few). “We don’t go west of Western.” (Western is a street that acts as a line of demarcation between seemingly acceptable living and the questionable neighborhoods). I’ll let you figure out who we is.
Where you live and where you went to school , are mainly the only details Chicagoan’s will use to define you. Very sad, especially in 2015. I have learned a great deal living and working here:
1. Some people need everyone around them to look and think like them just to be comfortable.
2. Anyone can have a successful business if they work hard enough even if your idea or product is poor.
3. If you are single and can afford it – live alone.
4. Real communities are very difficult to find.
5. I have a God-given right to be who I am and I will exercise that right no matter how others feel about it.
Lastly, the only person you can compare me to is the person I was yesterday. Being like someone else has never been my goal. I am an original not a copy.