I am a city girl. I love how in many cities you can be completely anonymous to most people but still be able to find tastes of small town life.
I’m now working in a small town. It’s nice because I can walk to get a cup of coffee or to go to the bank, but I’d much rather live in a city.
Funny, though, my two favorite characters on TV lived in small towns.
I’ve been thinking about these two fictional women because I find myself identifying with them so much more now that I’m working in Hanover. Let me introduce you to them.
Emma Swan is a character on Once Upon a Time. She lived in Boston but moved to the small town of Storybrooke, where she became the sheriff’s deputy, and later on, the sheriff. She is fiercely independent and doesn’t take anyone’s crap. She’s pretty intimidating.
Lorelai Gilmore is from the show Gilmore Girls. She is a single mother and runs her own inn. She, too, lives in a quirky, gossip-prone small town called Stars Hollow. She’s sarcastic and does crazy things like wearing shorts and cowboy boots to drop her daughter off at private school.
Anyone who knows me at all should know why I like these two characters. I see aspects of myself in them. There are parts of me that want to be more like them.
That’s why I have learned to channel my “inner red jacket.”
I chose the pictures above for a reason. Both of these characters have a trademark red jacket they wear in an early season of their respective shows.
My roommate got rid of a pile of clothing a few weeks ago and let me pick at it before she donated it. I took a maroon pleather jacket, hung it up, and forgot about it for a few days.
It’s been unseasonably chilly the past few weeks. (Now I miss it, because I do not do 90-degree weather) I’ve had to bring some kind of jacket or cardigan to work. I wore the jacket one day to work. I felt so much more confident wearing it!
I started wearing it for a few days straight, whenever I went to cover an event, or to visit a police station. I started wearing it during the times where I needed a little boost. Even though I have been in journalism since high school, there are still some things that make me anxious. (For instance, I hate walking up to random people and trying to talk to them, but I’m getting paid now so I have to get over it.)
The red jacket made those instances of minor anxiety a bit sweeter.
Now, it is entirely too hot outside to be wearing anything other than short sleeves and the jacket has returned to the closet. I wished I could have worn it yesterday when I texted my mom panicking when I was sent to the county courthouse to do something I had no idea how to do and my car’s check engine light turned on. I felt like a timid, stupid little girl who needed her mommy.
So I channeled my “inner red jacket.” I sucked it up and called my boss for help, and then marched to the correct office to get the paperwork I needed, then drove back safely to file two stories in a short time frame on topics I had previously known nothing about.
Another thing I know nothing about? Small towns. I’m learning. I’m learning that some of how small towns are portrayed in movies and TV are true. I’m learning that some things are even worse in real life. I’m finding the quirky things about this town. I’m learning that a lot of people know me, but I do not know them.
I wish I could have a guarantee that one day I will have a job in a major city. But for right now, I have a job. It happens to be here. Just like my fantastic semester in Washington, D.C., my not-so-fantastic semester in Philadelphia, and my upbringing living 15 minutes outside of Pittsburgh, this will be a learning experience. I want to return to work in D.C. I can’t push it, though. I need to be here.
While I am here, I’ll continue channeling my inner red jacket.