image credit... alex ibsen
i arrived in philadelphia this afternoon with no real objectives other than to get outta dodge and attend the philadelphia roundup this weekend. additionally i am touching base with a dear friend who relocated here in october, it is remarkable to witness the resilience in someone who continues to pursue something he loves with someone he loves. it definitely gives me hope.
one thing of which i am acutely aware is the fear i have of people and new situations. i don't remember being like this before, but i probably self-medicated through it and paid little mind. (double entendre :). i have developed fear and avoidance when faced with strangers. it makes some sense, as i work as a counselor and have that platform to meet clients with. i am confident and sure-footed most of the time. i also work with personal chefs at small dinner parties at private homes and have the run of the kitchens and dining rooms when i am there.
but here, in philadelphia, without a "job", i find myself flailing and sputtering. it is awkward, clumsy, and uncomfortable. and i need to lean into the awkwardness somehow.
this city holds history and it is a wonder to walk about. its majesty and grandeur are visible and present in a way that is also understated. there are old buildings that have been refurbed everywhere, and there are restoration projects all over the downtown area. there are plenty of buildings in decay as well. as i was shooting the above photograph yesterday, some woman came up to me and asked "are you going to fix it"? i laughed.
no- i had no intention of fixing this building.
but it also reminded me that not too long ago, i was very much like this abandoned decaying structure. i was just there and not even remotely aware that i was in disrepair and needed fixing. but that has changed.
philadelphia won't fix me. but it is presenting me with a new perspective on where i am and where i am going. the concept of roundups is, i believe, to support lgbt persons in recovery to normalize their experiences and feelings. the very concept intimates that our culture has specific needs and commonalities. as i move forward in my program, i understand that i continue to have work to do.
thank you universe for reminding me that even though i have some time, i am not finished.