Minimum wage goes up to 10.18 an hour in Vermont, effective 2018. My friend tagged me on Facebook musing that Vermont must be calling me back, which was a reference to a similar post I had made a few months ago when I encountered someone from my alma mater whilst working one night at Generimart.
A part of the self-guided therapy that this blog is meant to be is to focus only on the present or and not on events that happened in the past. There’s a greater over all logic to this policy but suffice it to say, the idea is that things in the past are not going to serve me now and if they are only going to make me upset, there’s no reason to dwell on them because I can’t go back and change what happened. Talking about recent events keeps me focused on the here and now and if I do reference past events, it’s only to set up the explanation as to why the current event is upsetting to me.
That being said, I don’t want to go into the entirety of my childhood, which was spent between Western Massachusetts and Southern Vermont. I will say something that did not occur to me until just yesterday. 2009 was the end of the old decade. It’s no coincidence then, that I finally moved to Salem, Massachusetts in late 2010, the beginning of a new decade and therefore a new chapter in my life.
2011 was rough. I spent most of that year homeless and without a job and it was a struggle to keep my sanity as I tried to find my footing, but I found it and I’ve only been climbing higher since then. The progress that I have made over the course of these three and a half short years since moving to Salem has been far more consistent than my entire life in Vermont. Being mostly alone, with fewer self destructive crutches to fall back on has forced me to grow a sharper set of teeth as well as a thicker layer of skin.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m proud to tell people that I am from Vermont. There are a lot of great things about the Green Mountain State that I am happy to brag about. On the other hand, I live just a mile from the town where an American Idol winner, a well known comedian, and a famous inventor were all born and raised. I live up the street from where my favorite childhood board game was invented and developed. Yet I was a born in a town where a crazy lady fired a gun from the top of a battery factory and the assholes that made fun of me for picking up loose change became heroin addicts.
I will most definitely return to my hometown someday, but only for a visit. And only when I am ten times more successful than I was the day I left. Ten dollars and eighteen cents could never be enough of an incentive to return to a place where I endured emotional and psychological abuse at the hands of family, friends, romantic partners, and people were supposed to care for me but ultimately made me their scapegoat. I see a lot of Vermonters and we have pleasant conversations, but I live in Massachusetts. We’re neighboring states, so that’s not exactly turning water into wine in the department of life changing miracles. If I were living in Gnome, Alaska and I just happened to encounter a family on vacation all the way from Bennington, Vermont, that might be more of a divine sign than a simple temptation to see just how green the grass is.