Baltimore Communities and Bridges

This is a question I have been asking to myself. What is there to like in this city? When I say I’m giving it time but probably Baltimore is not the city for me, my dislike is directed towards not-so-good public transportation, not feeling safe, the invasive interactions (if someone’s t-shirt has a brand label sneaked out and displayed itself publicly, it is absolutely nobody’s business to touch me and turn that label back inside), and the culture of peeing on the street (not the homeless). When I find more and more things to dislike in the city, how some people could find more and more love here?
The answer was simple as I have learned yesterday. Community, support, friends like family. My airbnb host when I came to Baltimore is an amazing woman who has a great taste in furniture and a big heart. She has lived in several cities, but chose Baltimore as her home. Her reason to like Baltimore as I understood from her examples was the community she has formed here. One might say as a counter argument if you want you can form that community anywhere in the world. But that argument doesn’t work. Why?
She has a big heart; empathy and healing powers, the best I can describe without invading her privacy much. The conversation that took place at last night’s Friendsgiving dinner was not meant for public, so I have to do my best to convey the message without specifics. So to give an example, I see the bad in any situation and get frustrated, blame myself or others and leave at that. But she tries to understand, she listens without judging. She builds bridges as she put it. That is her role in this life. She also accepts that everyone has a different role to play, and if you have a more aggressive approach to solve a problem that approach is not to be destroyed but to put in use for the situations that calls for it.
Taking into account the fact that she is a person that builds bridges, she should be able to form that community anywhere in the world, shouldn’t she? But she chose Baltimore for this, or rather Baltimore allowed for that community to be built. Not any other city. Baltimore. Perhaps there are some truth in her words. Perhaps Baltimore is a city full with people that supports each other, one just has to give the chance.
The question is now this: Am I ready for it? Am I ready to allow people to my world? Am I ready to invite people to my house, my temple and watch it to be filled with different opinions? Am I ready to be healed?
Some things are difficult to be rid of. For example my philosophy is any women who has/had access to knowledge should stop following/believing religion. This is a very aggressive argument. It is an all-out attack. I strongly believe that women are better off without religious craps. Can I find a way to phrase this not in an offensive way? I formed this argument after many years with the idea that it would make them question what they believe. It is not something I can give up easily. I came to like its offensive nature (yes I am evil sometimes). Am I ready to trade this argument to create space for those bridges?
No, not yet anyways, not this argument. But there is something to learn about building bridges. Hear, listen and understand before judging. Now that, that is something I can work on. Perhaps while I learn to do that I will find myself a community to love, support and be supported. Who knows maybe I will end up making Baltimore a home to myself.

2 responses to “Baltimore Communities and Bridges”

  1. Hi Ozge, it is nice that you try to think about it, and set your good attitude before judging. Everyone seems to like or dislike from one’s own experience in the city. I do not like Baltimore guess because we had so much trouble, like the car accidents, somehow a little bit bad luck. But guess people who got great experience will like Baltimore. But, you are one of the friends that I want to thank Baltimore and offer me great happy memories in this city 🙂

    Life is a process of experience, anything happens to be there, guess it is a reason for us to grow up.

    • I have to confess I try but I fail ,repeatedly, to see that awesomeness. I guess I am with you on this. For me it’s less about unlucky accidents and more about harassment and capitalism.
      It is an abusive system. Before I came, I thought I would be fine. But it fills me with so much anger that I am incapacitated. I am not as creative as I used to be, this bothers me the most. I was never skilful but I had a ton of ideas. I just have to remind myself that this is temporary.

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