It has been one and a half months since I arrived in Baltimore in the end of August and life has never been so different. When I was living in the well-protected college environment and driving to places, I did not know how different the world can be outside my comfort zone. I never go to the communities where people told me that are “dangerous”; I never talk to any stranger on the street, especially those homeless people who ask for money or food. There are times that I really wanted to help them, but hesitated to do so. Then I came to Baltimore living in the center of downtown surrounded by museums, business buildings as well as many people who are asking for a meal or a place to stay for a night.
The past week was rainy, cold and made people easy to get upset and disappointed. I felt bad when I was walking in the rain with wet shoes trying to catch up a bus to work. I saw two kids waiting at the bus station as well and they were just happy, at least happier than me. I observed them for a while and the little girl turned to me and we smiled at each other. Kids are always happy. They have not gotten into the adult world, the complexed one, the easy to get upset one. As the bus filled with these “unhappy” adults, I felt hard to breathe. Then, a lady said this loudly before she got off the bus “you all have a blessed day!” Something changed at that moment and even the annoying rain can not stop us being happy and hopeful for a new day.
I ran to inner harbor the other day and that was the best time of the week. When there was fewer tourists and more local people, I felt like being part of the daily routine Baltimore life. You can always live in a busy city while keep a quiet place in your heart where you can have some self reflections, recall old memories with families and friends, or maybe just daydreaming.
Even though I am still considered new to Baltimore, I think I am getting used to the rhythm here, working hard towards my goals while spending a lazy afternoon on a bench near the harbor. No matter what we all have been through, if we can pick ourselves up and move forward, the city will always welcome us like when we first arrived.
I wish all of us can find our own harbor in this beautiful city.