As-salamu alaykum

I was born to live in the city.

Well, technically I was born in the North Bay of San Franscisco; Marin County, an area known for its natural beauty and liberal politics. One of my favorite authors, Isabele Allende resides there now, as well as every death row seeking inmate in California (at San Quentin) How ironic that traces of where we came from often show up in where we go. I love everything about cities. I love the hustle and struggle, the constant movement and sirens, the diversity, dirty streets, and unspoken sense of community. I love that when I left my apartment today there were two homeless women going through the trash bags full of clothes in from of my gate, and my neighbor ( a clinically diagnosed insane black woman whom I love, Robbie) was overseeing the shopping experience and shuttling the women back and forth across the street to reload. I pass this event on my way to the bus stop, and get a friendly goodmorning from Robbie. . .  “oh theres Amy, hey Amy how ya doing girl”

On the bus I theres a adorable little boy who smiles at me. As his single-mother mom pulls his arm, dragging him to school everyday, ushers him off the bus, he walks with his head turned around, staring, smiling and waving at me. I smile and wave back. He melts my heart.

Walking home from work, I see three of the girls who live below me crossing the street. In unison I am bombarded with a “HEYYYY AMY” …. “Oh hey gilrs!!”  And I holler back. And I aint no holler back girl.

These interactions may seem insignificant, but they happen every day. And everyday they make me grateful for living here, they make me feel like a part of something bigger than myself, like a part of a humanity that breeches race and economic lines. And for that I thank God. Because it could be different.

You know how when you grow up and go through life changes, you often reflect back on them and realize “yeah that really changed me”? Well its happening to me now, and I can feel it now. I can feel that part of myself changing and transforming. I can feel it sitting in a huge auditorium in a wooden desk at school watching Malcolm X speeches, I feel it rising. Like I know this is changing me.

Ive also been thinking a lot about my friends. Several months ago my dad and I were talking about all my friends and he said “you know, of all your friends, if theres ever one that you really need “something” done, Shane is that guy. I know he has your best interest and would do anything for you” Shane has been one of my best friends since I was 15. He has seen me at the lowest of my lows, and encouraged me on the way to my highest highs. I love Shane because he never judges me when I make poor decisions (and I’ve made A LOT) and I never feel he is disappointed in me. I think when people condemn you or make you feel bad about something or that you have somehow let them down, its usually because they have ulterior  motives and therefore are more effected by your decisions. Shane has never done that. He has never made me feel like anything less then what God created me to be, wonderful.

“I’ll stand behind you no matter what. .. . I take that back, Ill be beside you”

 And that to me is priceless. Yesterday I needed someone to do some “dirty work” for me regarding my car. A text away and Shane is over at my parents, getting the job done. There’s an understood friendhsip, even though we dont see each other nearly as much as I’s like, and we are both busy in our own lives, Shane is the kinda guy who you dont have “keep up the friendship with”… I know he loves me and would do anything for me. I guess dad was right. He is always right.

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