This will teeter on controversial. Bare with me...
I come from a city of misery. As much as I love what I learned from the people of Greenville, TX [my city], I despise what the unintended gloominess of a non-progressive era has done to ruin the city and kill the motivation of the people in it.
I am guilty; I hardly ever go "home". In fact, the last 7 years of my life I have been home less then 14 times; which means I have seen my city, my people, less than 2 times a year. What's even sadder is the times I did go home, half of those were for funerals. It's not a statistic I'm proud of; nor, is it one I beat myself up about.
Going home reminds me of why you should never look back. It's the same scene, different day. Time seems to sit still on the lap of many people there. Don't get me wrong, there are some progressive and successful people in my city, but I find that they are far and few between the world I know.
I've had the same conversation with a store clerk on Wesley street the past 7 years I've visited. Let's put this in perspective: the same girl has taken my money for gas the past 7 years, her name tag still reads "clerk"; she is in the same position at the same place of business 7 years later. Now, it may be by choice, but I find it hard to stand still in conditions that favor progression. When others around you grow, you have a better chance of growing too. Hence, this is still missing from her life.
The first time I met her, she'd just graduated from high school. She told me that she was planning to attend Texas A & M Commerce in the fall; fast forward 7 years later and she's yet to finish. Odds are she likely never will. Nevertheless, every visit since the first visit she says to me as if routine, "Girl, you still look good. You must have a good job. I'm planning on getting back in school next year." I've never once actually responded with an answer about my life; never wanting to make her feel smaller in her apparent small world. I smile and tell her it's good to see her, and wish her luck on her pursuit in education.
As a person who's passionate about the power of LIVING and not watching life go by, it's very difficult for me to filter at times. But, I feel like I've watched this girl become a woman and transcend to the very thing her surrondings has allowed her to be- common. She could do more. But, I wonder if she knows how to? Does she know where to start? Or, does she even have enough determination to change her circumstances?
She's a victim of indifference. It's the number one theme I feel, hear, and see when I go home. People who are surrounded by people who lack enthusiasm about life. They say one thing but never act on it. It's as if depression is walking in the air, and people just breathe it in like it's the norm. It's hypocrital to judge the very world that has helped me become the person I am today. To say there's nothing fallible about my feeling towards my city, would be a lie. But despite it all, I love my city.
I love my city for everything it taught me not to be and for everyone who told me to be better, what to watch out for, and to never look back. A lot of people harp on their circumstances because they've decided to be victims. However, everybody has a story; everybody can pin-point something in their life that could've stopped them from progressing. At some point, the store clerk decided that was the best she could be. She consciencely declared defeat. She's lost her aspirations because she became a victim to her own circumstance.
You can rise against anything if you never claim the self pity it makes you feel; if you fight to have a presence in this life- to refuse mediocrity- then the sky is truly the limit. Don't allow yourself to be a victim in this limited gift of life. Proclaim your place in this world. Be persistent at LIVING and never look back.