Musings for a New Year.
On Wednesday, I leave Baltimore. Of course, I have left Baltimore before. School, vacation, and other trips have drawn me away many times. I’ve never left Baltimore like this, though. I’ve never left it not knowing if it’s going to be my last time living here permanently, not knowing if I will have anything to come back to when I return. I feel like a bit of my soul lives here, and I’m thankful for that because so many people I know don’t feel any genuine attachment to their hometown. At the same time, I wish I just didn’t give a shit because that would make some of the decisions I know are coming up in the next year a little bit easier. Chances are I will have to move to California or New York for at least the early years of my professional life, and assuming I am successful at my career that move might be permanent. And considering I have about a 95% chance of finding employment directly following graduation, the long lazy summer days in Baltimore that I love so much will probably be few and far between. Finding that perfect bench on Federal Hill where the breeze and shade are just right and sitting for hours staring out at the harbor, window shopping at the funny stores in Hampden, driving around the Reservoir and smoking with my windows down and music playing much louder than necessary. Not to mention things like Artscape and outdoor movies at Hopkins and general goings-on with my high school friends (wallflower though I am). It breaks my heart to know that these things might not be a part of my life, not only this summer, but ever again. This is what they can’t teach you in college, or anywhere really. How to literally tear your roots from the ground and plant them somewhere else. How do you do that without feeling uprooted forever? How will I ever find a place that I hold as close to me as I do Baltimore?
In any case, I am thrilled about how my 2013 is looking. I get to spend 5 months living in the UK and basically traveling around Europe as I please. Then I’ll have my two-ish weeks back home before jetting off to San Francisco for an incredible internship opportunity where I will get a taste of what my career could look like, apartment living and paycheck included. Then I get to start my senior year of college (wtf… already?) which will hopefully blow the other 2.5 years out of the water. I am so excited for all the growing I know I’ll do and all the people I’ll get to meet and places I’ll get to go. It’s very likely that 2013 will be one of the best years of my life, and I will take full advantage of it.
Baltimore, I love you. And life, I love you too. Change is scary, but change makes life spicy. I’m ready to go.
Nobody can beat the birds at home.
It’s like the city wants us to win. The Ravens have been playing so shittily, but Baltimore is watching over them.
A story about today.
Today I was on the bus and a thirty-five-ish year old woman in a wheelchair got on with her father and her daughter. She started talking to another man, also in a wheelchair, about their respective handicaps. It came out that this woman had been shot three times in some kind of dispute. One bullet was fired into her back, which has made walking a near-impossible feat for her. She was such a cheerful woman despite this. She made small talk with others on the bus and even broke out into a gospel-style refrain of the Hallelujah chorus with an elderly man. It’s always nice to be reminded that there are people who have it far worse than you that still haven’t been broken.
Anyway, as we were getting closer to my stop, the woman’s father asked the woman’s roughly 8 year old daughter if she was cold. She was hunched over in the seat and looked like she might be shivering, so the answer was obviously yes. I had a hoodie in my lap that I got at a thrift store for probably 3 or 4 dollars, so I offered it to the man and told him the girl could keep it. He looked absolutely dumbfounded, and when I assured him that I had about a billion hoodies and that I wouldn’t miss it, he turned to the woman in the wheelchair and said “This nice lady just offered Tiana her sweatshirt! To keep!” [Aside: Every time someone calls me “lady” or “woman” I feel alarmingly old]. The woman looked equally surprised that I would just give up something like that to some people I didn’t know at all. I insisted they take it and got off the bus.
I really hope that girl keeps that sweatshirt for a long time and that it helps her remember that there are people in the world that care about her just because she’s alive. It seems like her mom can teach her that, probably more powerfully than I can, but if I helped even a little that’s good enough for me.
I’m very excited
that I may have a shot at this research opportunity at UMBC this summer. Meaning I’ll get to be in/around Baltimore instead of some unfamiliar city but still get to do something that’s more productive than the other summer job I have lined up. I love Baltimore in the summer.
I’m still waiting to hear back from a few other places, including UMD College Park (which is the one I really want based solely on the content of the research), but UMBC would be really great. I made the short list, so I have to submit another essay, my transcript, and my proof of US residency before they make their final decision. I’m keeping my fingers crossed.
Straight up fiending for crab mac right now.
Google Maps tells me it would take me 24 hours flat to walk to Paper Moon. That’s reasonable right?
I love the Baltimore accent.
We dig in.
I can’t wait to go back to Baltimore and make up for years of denying my new-found love of crabs. Old Bay for the win.
We should have a crab feast all together! But we shouldn’t pay for it cause we pay for everything.