I like it here, it’s quirky.
Knoxville is a city on the rise. Businesses, shops and restaurants are opening, and the downtown is being revitalized. Things I value are held in esteem here — music, movies, art, theatre, and libraries with actual collections of books in them. There are also farmer’s markets and natural food stores, and I have heard there are some damn good restaurants to be enjoyed. The mountains are a short drive away, as are several big tourist destinations.
In the past seven years, I have moved a staggering eight times. Knoxville was never a part of any idea of the future I ever envisioned. In fact, I would go so far as to say it was completely off my radar. Living here for two months now, I still feel a little awkward. I’m not so much a fish out of water as one swimming in a completely different school than I have before. Although my Midwestern heart beats strong, as a traveler, I’ve always had a great appreciation of the South. This may be a new beginning, but I have a lifetime of experience packed in my bags I can’t wait to unpack.
Are there downsides? Yes. There is a hella homeless problem. A tent city lives beneath a viaduct near downtown. Poverty, drugs, and crime exist in this and every city, but there are groups trying to help here more than I’ve seen in the other areas I have lived.
The most important news is Daughter #1 finally landed a job with the potential of enormous growth. It is the total change of direction she has been looking for since putting retail management in her rearview mirror. She’s working in human resources and will pursue her degree in accounting in the evenings. This is the first solid step toward building her dream.
Next up, I would like to find some part-time work, do some volunteering (hear that, Tennessee Theatre? I am aiming straight at you).
Update: January 2019
Things have not turned out quite the way I’d hoped. Daughter #1 lost her job as a recruiter after refusing to outright lie to her job candidates. After a change in management, her new boss insisted she not tell the temps when they had been turned down for a job to “string them along for as long as possible.” D #1 said, “That’s playing with people’s lives. They could lose their homes.” Morally, it was absolutely the right thing to do, but it’s been… difficult.