I remember the first time I realized that I had to move out of my home town. While my home town of Fort Pierce is a back water town in Florida that no one has ever heard of, that wasn’t the reason.
One day when I was in high school, during one of the may busy work hours where we were given some pointless work sheet to do, I started to sketch out what I would do if I own a comic book store. I drew up the floor plan, and laid out where each aisle would go and what would be there. You wouldn’t want the RPG books and tables to be near the comics because RPG players would bother the comic readers. And you would want to put the Pokemon cards way in the back because fuck those guys.
I put a lot of work into this.
I even started to write down what our customer loyalty program would be: ten dollars of store credit for every hundred you spend. After class, I took my plans to show some of my friends that were hanging around in the hall. Upon seeing what I’d done one of my friends immediately said, “you’ll never have that.”
That’s the moment I knew that I had to get the fuck out of Fort Piece. We both knew that I wasn’t going to go out and apply for a business loan, scout a location, and dedicate ten years of my life to getting this store off the ground, but it important to him that I know it wasn’t going to happen. There were lots of people like that in my home town. People who lived by the ethos “life is shitty and everyone better be having just as bad a time as I am.”
Now I fully understand that those kinds of people are everywhere, but I knew these people. I had been to their houses. I had talked with them at length about all sorts of things. And I knew that if I didn’t get the hell out of dodge as soon I could that they were going to create an environment to ensure that I never could. Because that’s where the power is. Reality is the lie we tell each other, and I knew that if I bought into their lie of “you can’t,” instead of my lie of “I can” then they would be making my choices for me. That’s power.
So I don’t own my own comic shop. I also don’t work at Walmart, staring down the barrel of shift on Thanksgiving. It’s a trade off.