I had secret thoughts that all the rich people who lived on the northside of Chicago were snobs. I thought if I joined a gym here, all the white girls in spin class would sneer at me, my ethnic shape, my old shoes. I thought I would feel insignificant.
I thought I didn’t have the talent or the resources to make enough money to afford a lifestyle in north side neighborhoods, so I hunkered down in my own, on the south side. My outsider point of view has made could be effortlessly valuable, using my talents to fight and champion causes that plague my own neighborhood. But that work has left me stagnant, unfulfilled and broke.
I’m changing. . . .
Two weeks into Jay Abrahams challenge to change my routine and I’ve already joined that beautiful boutique gym on the northside that I thought I never could afford. It actually turns out to be cheaper than the so called no-frills yoga classes I was paying for previously. There are women here with curvier shapes and older shoes than my own. The staff treats me like the sun shines out my ass and because I love the atmosphere of the gym, I’m already working out 2 times more than I did before, a hidden profit. People in the neighborhood smile and make small talk. I’ve befriended two old men whose perspectives would even be viewed as a bit racist, but I think we’re interesting to each other.
The girls in my spin class pass friendly tips and thumbs ups during class. Now I’ve been visiting “the other side of town” so much that I feel this is still just as much my part of town as anyplace else. The city is a playground to be explored. Every neighborhood is just an expansion of my backyard. Granted, I’m not delusional. There are assholes everywhere and at any moment somebody could say or do something socially wreckless to kill this wet dream but I’m okay with that.
Now I know what happens to people who “forget where they came from”. They don’t. They just move toward higher ground. They just keep walking into the light. They learn as Napolean Hill said “that the study of poverty never made anyone rich” and the more you dig in, the poorer you become. I think it’s important to give your time and resources to the communities that once nurtured you. But I also think it’s a cosmic duty for each of us to come into our highest potential.
-From a fancy sidewalk café on the “north side”