This quarter has brought with it two new experiences into my life... ones that I could've done without, but that have changed me and opened my eyes all the same. Earlier this quarter, someone broke into my house in Clifton. This past weekend, I got mugged at gunpoint.
The bad news is that the people who did these things made off with some personal items, and damaged our house. The good news is that physical objects can and are being replaced. It's a hassle, but it has renewed my sense of awe and gratitude for the things I can't replace - namely, being alive and well.
I am the type of person who looks first for the good in people, and I can't help but do that even in situations like these. The incidents have made me more aware of my surroundings (and have me investing in pepper spray) but I absolutely refuse to let these things stop me from embracing Cincinnati's center city.
I will NOT allow a spirit of intimidation or fear dictate where I go or what I do. For too many years there has been a wall of bogeymen - be they real or fake, racially or class status divided - built up around the Cincinnati metro. Every negative news story, stereotype and police report help to reinforce the wall. On the flip side, every person who chooses to inhabit spaces, innovate, preserve, and renew the people, buildings and business in Cincinnati tears down the wall, one ghostly brick at a time.
What happened to me sucked, but the real tragedy would be allowing my past to dictate what I do in the future. Keep your eyes open, but also take care not to close up your mind and heart.