I recently moved to Nashville, and my first day here was pretty terrible. I drove from Detroit with my dad and we unloaded everything into my cute little apartment. As soon as he left, my dog started bleeding out of her butt. In a panic, I wrapped her in my white jacket (not the best idea in retrospect) and jumped in the car. I had no idea where I was going, but I found a dog groomer and thought maybe they would know where to direct me. Luckily they did know a vet right up the street. I was told her anal glands had ruptured (gross) and she would need emergency surgery. I left her there and took my other dog to the nearby park.
I walked around aimlessly, trying to calm my other distressed dog. An older guy came and struck up a conversation, which I was not really in the mood for but continued out of politeness. He asked why I was here in Nashville, and I told him I had just moved here as a songwriter and session singer. He scowled and told me I needed to go back where I came from, because "millions of kids just like you move here everyday for a shot at fame." I had no idea what to even say. First, I'm not a kid, and second, I don't care about fame. I came here because this seemed like the best direction for my life, and I want to make the most of the couple of decades I'll be here on Earth. Did I owe him an explanation for this? Maybe it was my mood because of my dog, but I tried proving myself to him. I told him about my many years of experience with session singing, how I do it full time, but he countered every point with "I've been in this business for ages and I have more experience than you and you need a different job."
Mind you, this dude had never heard any of my work. He had no idea who I was, and he was now determined to make me leave. Finally, I did leave the conversation. Something snapped in my brain and I couldn't handle the argument anymore, so I wordlessly walked away. I went back to my car and cried for a few minutes, but that was the only amount of time I would allow for it. I decided that since my first day was so terrible, the rest of my days would be great (since they couldn't be worse).
Luckily, I haven't encountered anyone else like that guy, although I'm sure they are out there. I'm wondering if anyone else has had to deal with something like this? If so, how do you handle it? This one was relatively easy to deal with since he hadn't heard any of my work and had no idea who I was, so I couldn't take it personally. If you've had any experiences like this, it's important to remember that others' opinions of you are way more about them than they are about you. This is way easier to say than to put into practice though, because we are all self conscious about our own work and having some jerk tell us it sucks is rough. If you've had something like this happen, let me know! I'd love to commiserate with you and come up with a plan to exact revenge (kidding...sort of).
Oh and if you're curious, my dog is totally fine now and back to normal :) And I was totally right, every day since that day has been way better. I have a real problem with Nashville's highway system, but that's another blog topic entirely. Drive safe out there people!