Sometimes it’s my accent – or what I refer to as my lack of accent – that gives me away as an outside. Other times the subject comes up naturally. Whatever the trigger, whenever I mention to native or established Louisville residents that I only recently moved here, the conversation that follows is identical.
“Oh,” he or she says with surprise. “Do you have family here?”
“Oh,” he or she replies, confused. “What brought you here then?”
“My boyfriend was offered a great job here, so we decided to try the city out.”
Yes, people of Louisville, not every person moves here because of family ties. In my conversations with people about moving here, people often seem shocked that nobody in my family lives here. They seem equally shocked that my boyfriend was hired here and that I found a job here shortly after he did.
I am confused as to why. Perhaps people in Louisville hear that the unemployment rate for their area is 8.7 percent, which is admittedly above the national average of 8.3 percent, and they translate that into a belief that the city isn’t appealing when it comes to job prospects. Yet, I moved here from Las Vegas, where the metro-area unemployment rate is currently 13.1 percent and the state unemployment rate is 12.7 percent.
So, the next time I hear shock in a native’s voice when I mention my boyfriend and I we moved here for jobs, not family, I may have to remind them that perspective is everything. While it may not feel like Possibility City to the 8.7 percent of Louisville residents dealing with unemployment, for some outsiders moving in, the city does.
Photo: April Corbin's Droid. Taken when flying here for an interview.