400 words on contrast

I like to walk through the city on my lunch. Yeah I’m sort of a loner sometimes.

It’s only lonely if I consider what other people think of my lonely self. But usually I enjoy the silence and let my thoughts take off to interesting places.

I was thinking today about the diversity in my city. Not just racially, but the sheer contrast of different types of people.  My inner cinematographer wanted to capture it on film and play it to some hip hop music with a person rapping about the differences in humanity.

Oh, if I’d only studied film.

In art school they teach you that one of the key elements of design is contrast. If art is beautiful, and design produces art, then contrast is beautiful . . .  even in humanity. Design is a combination of lines, shapes, colors, textures, repetition, and . . . yes, contrast.

Contrast is my favorite element of design, because it appears in variations.

Today I saw the concept of contrast from a sociological aspect. Humans contrasted with humans. This indeed is diversity. And this is good.

So, I sometimes struggle with understanding why diversity is good. More ingredients make the soup taste better right? But sometimes those ingredients just don’t go together.

I would say the root of a lot of societal issues comes from diverse people groups cohabiting. There’s a reason Toads and Tortoises swim in different seas. Of course there’s the truth that all people are inherently bad, and from a Christian perspective, need saving. But how do you explain the comfort that comes from like-mindedness?

I use to write about diversifying friend groups. I pushed for more variety, saying people should mix with other ethnicities, in other words stop hanging out with people who resemble you. Then I began to see how hard this really is. I realized that I myself didn’t feel comfortable around certain people. I started to wonder if people of the same ethnicity, background, and language, should just stay together.

Different is never comfortable.

But wherein lies the beauty of contrast when all the same birds flock together?

I think it helps me, as an artist (who feels emotions to the tenth degree and struggles to maintain even the simplest feelings) to see diversity as human contrast. There is a beauty in this, especially when no one is domineering the other, when both are valued and equal.

Enough said.

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Unexpected Kindness

What is it about life that when someone show’s you a bit of unexpected kindness, everything seems brighter?

It’s almost as if because we know how wretched we are that we expect to receive the same kind of self-centered spirit from people around us. Then someone goes and does something nice and suddenly we realize that goodness is not just about abiding by the law but it is somehow connected with an emotional response that the receiver experiences. Allow me to explain.

I was sitting in the garden’s behind the Simon building in downtown Indianapolis. With a half hour ’till the end of my lunch break I shut the pages of my book and headed toward Georgia street for a midday cold brew.

I entered the confines of what should be called the world’s smallest coffee shop, and asked the barista for a drink. With an apologetic smile he explained they had just run out of cold brew.

“Iced coffee?” he suggested. I agreed.

“Do you want any sweetener in there?” he asked, reaching for a cup. I told him a splash of coconut milk would suffice and he asked if I worked around the area.

“I work for the state, so just a few blocks down,” I said, peering out the window through the words Georgia Street Grind plastered on the glass.

He placed the black iced coffee on the counter and poured the coconut milk, blending the colors to make a creamy brown beverage. When I tried to pay with m credit card he merely smiled a wide grin.

“On the house,”

“Wow, really?”

“Next time you’ll have to get our cold brew.” He stood there with his broad shoulders measuring twice the length of mine, his hair combed a good two inches in the air, and watched me leave on cloud nine. How often does a good looking barista hand you your $4 coffee ON THE HOUSE?

On the house. It’s something you hear in movies, not on a Wednesday afternoon in the heat of August.

It was one of those experiences that makes me think about how life use to be before I existed, before the hotels and office buildings went up in this city. Before the convention center attracted those oddly dressed Gen Con characters. When Georgia street was just storefront brick buildings and churches. A time when hot climate culture was the norm. When life was more relational, and you couldn’t simply block out the world with two ear buds and a Spotify playlist. I wish we could go back to those days.

 

 

 

 

How to survive an anxiety attack

I’m sipping a coke through a red straw in the outside corridor of my office building. It’s quiet out here. I listen to the roar of cars on West Street and the bubbling fountain down by the canal. I remember three things I’ve done today: Meeting with IT, emailing our Marketing Vendor, finding a coke in the break room.  I count the bushes in front of me: One . . Two . . Three . . Four . . Five. I smell the corn chips from my lunch box and the cigarette smoke from somewhere else.

Inhale.

Exhale.

It’s a new technique my aunt showed me to get through an anxiety attack. Count something you can see. Count something you can smell. Remember something that has happened today.

Anxiety is exhausting. At first it’s scary. But days of feeling this fight or flight sensation simply drain me. Trying to focus my eyes and keep fear from blurring my vision. Trying to calm my heightened senses that distract me. Trying to steady my breath when my heart begins to race.

Eventually I just want to shut down. My eyes droop, my mind goes blank, and I feel nothing.

Scripture is what really works against anxiety. Truth conquers fear. The other night I slept at my parents home, beneath the covers of my old bed. My sister slept in her bed across from me and the box fan on the floor was blowing loudly. I felt the release of a panicking chemical in my brain making me feel like I should run out of the room and find safety.

It’s the feeling you get when you’ve woken from a nightmare and cannot go back to sleep. Even though I wanted to run and find safety, in reality I was in the safest place I could be. So I told myself this and then I started rehearsing truth through scripture.

“Nothing can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8

“‘For I know the plans  I have for you,’ declares the Lord.” Jeremiah 29

“Don’t worry about anything, instead, pray about everything.”  Philippians 4:6

I suddenly remembered something my friend Esther told me to do when I feel afraid. She said to speak these words out loud: “Jesus Christ is Lord of my life.” I rehearsed this truth three times and as the words slipped from my lips I suddenly smiled. This was real, my fears were just imagination. Fear had no power over me.

As I thought about all of my fears from experiencing death to facing life I considered the sovereignty of God and how Jesus Christ is really Lord of all these things. I’m facing a lot right now, starting graduate school, moving to a new place. Realizing that God is in control allowed me to feel more than the nothing that usually hits me after a panic attack. I felt peace in the midst of my circumstances.

Peace is not the absence of fear but the presence of faith.

 

A Phone Call to Taipei

pexels-photo-488464I step outside my office and inhale the damp air. It’s Friday morning in Indianapolis and the sleepy citizens of this city are starting their day. I’ve already started mine, downed a cup of coffee, checked my email, and even bought a bag of chips for today’s office barbecue.

Now it’s time to make a phone call across the world.

My sister lives in Taiwan and it’s never been easy to keep up with her. When she moved to Taipei to teach English I was of course very excited but I never realized how hard it would be to keep in touch. How do you convey your life to someone who is thousands of miles away? Better yet, how do you follow their’s?

“Hello?” I breath into my cell phone when someone answers. Her voice is faint and sounds as far away as she is. I sigh and pull the phone from my face. A single bar of wifi smiles up at me. “Shoot!” I step inside to regain connection. The halls of my building are crowded with people heading to their offices. Some are stopping at the concession room to buy coffee and snacks for the day.

The faint voice of my sister dies as the call abruptly ends. Ugh. I call back several times before we stabilize a connection. Despite the awkwardness of trying to hear each other, I feel a sudden calmness at the sound of her familiar voice. My sister. My big sister. She asks all the right questions and I don’t even have to tell I’m still battling depression and anxiety. What’s important to her is how I’m doing now.

Siblings are the best.

We talk about travel, of course, and language. Her Chinese is getting better, so she says. And 7,602 miles doesn’t seem so far when I realize she’s the same Kate who I use to share a bed with when I was three. Who taught me not to be afraid of taking showers instead of baths, who told me curly hair was socially acceptable as long as you used conditioner.

It’s time to hang up and as I say goodbye I look out the office window as the sun peeks through the stormy clouds on the East horizon. It’s weird to think this same sun is setting in Taiwan behind the muggy mountains of Taipei.

Life is strange.

The world is enormous.

People are lovely.

Another Sleepless Night

It’s almost 2 am and I turn over my tear-soaked pillow to find a more comfortable position.

It’s been a long time since I cried myself to sleep. Well, only if a long time means a few months.

I just can’t believe I still struggle with chronic pain.

I’ve suffered from joint inflammation since the winter of 2013 when a technical injury cost me my musical career. The pain has never subsided and sometimes when I haven’t diligently taken care of my body, the pain progresses.

Yeah, it sucks.

So last night as the clock neared the wee hours of the night, I was lying in a mess of tangled blankets wondering if I should get surgery.  I spoke to a surgeon at one point who discouraged me from doing it.

“Once you cut, there’s no going back,” he said. And I don’t know if it was the wrinkles on his face or the fear of cutting opened my swollen wrists, but I decided not to get surgery.

My bed is cool. I begin wondering if insomnia is triggered by hyperactive nerves. No, I don’t have a sleeping disorder. I just allow anxiety, stress, and the results of a prolonged injury, to withhold my precious hours of sleep.

There came a point when I accepted this outcome of my life and I was okay with the circumstances. It just meant occasionally icing my aching joints, taking some pain relief when it was bad, and not doing anything that was too strenuous.

But sometimes I don’t have the strength to keep telling myself “I’ll be okay.” I try to say it  in different languages as if somehow using someone else’s native tongue will ease the horrifying thought that I will live with chronic pain for the rest of my life.

Tu vas bien

Estas bien

괜찮아 Gwaenchanh-a

And this is when the tears come.

I cry to feel something other than my aching joints. The tears spill down my face unlocking the chains that bind my mind with fear.

Stress relief comes from a good long cry. A cry that says, I can’t do this anymore.My lungs expand and I try once again, after a dozen times, to draw myself into sleep.But sleep has abandoned me.

“I hate you. . .” I say it to no one in particular.

And suddenly I regret this subtle remark I’ve directed toward my body. I try to make up for it with something that is true. “I love you. . .”  I say in defense to my body. But do I really?

I suppose in reality I do love my body yet as soon as it becomes uncomfortable to live in, I don’t. My body is the one that carries me everywhere I need to go. My hands are the ones that type these very words. My arms lift, and drive, and hold, and comfort. My neck holds the eight pound head that sits above it.

I turn over my pillow again and shove my head into the moist, cotton fabric. The clock reads ten ’till two. Will I sleep or will this be another sleepless night?

What does one do when one painful night turns into dozens?

One cries.

One sighs.

One waits.

“Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him.” Psalm 37:7

I hate waiting.  Someone shared in church on Sunday about waiting. He said that sometimes in life, waiting is God’s greatest gift to us. Without waiting we would have everything we needed all at once and would never learn to trust in God or rely on his providence. Isn’t it through the waiting that we develop character and grow spiritually?

Hours later I wake to another day of sunshine and I hit the snooze button a few times before I rise. “Thank you father, for another day of life.” I say the words with sincerity because although my joints ache and I feel incredibly tired, God has a purpose for my pain and a reason for my existence.

 

 

Singleness: Thursday Thoughts

Okay, put down your Grande, no-foam, coconut milk Cappuccino and listen to me for a minute. Yes I’m talking to you, millennials and recent college grads who feel you’ve missed the marriage boat and are now spending your Thursdays scrolling through social media.

Let me tell you about my morning commute.

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I spend every morning driving to work, balancing a mug of coffee on my knee, and listening to podcasts. I recently heard a powerful podcast on being single as a Christian.

One morning as the first rays of summer sun were blinding me on the way to work, I thought that maybe I should share what I’m learning.

Singleness seems like a time of waiting. Waiting to move out. Waiting to buy furniture. Waiting to meet the right person. Let me guess, you’re probably hoping that maybe this summer you’ll meet that person you’ve been waiting for. Here’s my response.

Stop waiting.

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If there’s one thing I’ve learned about being single in the last few months it’s this:

The season of singleness is intended for undivided devotion to God. 

As I pressed a steaming cup of coffee to my lips and listened to this recorded talk, I began to see that my desire to be married could hinder my ability to live life. Furthermore, I saw that waiting for life to begin could prevent me from fully devoting my life to God.

What? I thought waiting was playing it safe. You know, so I don’t make any wrong decisions before meeting the right guy.

Let me be honest, going to all those post-college weddings makes me want to be married too. But I need to stop putting the status of marriage on a pedestal, and realize marriage too is sometimes a barrier to living a life devoted to God.

Singleness is a time for single-minded devotion to God. Whereas in marriage, a wife or husband has to devote their attention to their spouse, their kids and their growing household, the single person has more time than he/she knows what to do with.

So, single post-college Millennials, where are you spending your free time?

This is a difficult question even for me. I, who have abundance of free time usually spend it watching TV and Netflix? I am vicariously living someone else’s life when my own is waiting to begin. It’s not that entertainment is a waste of time. In fact we all know it’s nice to watch a few episodes of Parks and Rec and just wind down.

But I’ve been recently convicted about the way I spend the free time I’ve been granted. I often feel like my friends and I, in high school and college, would zone out through TV and video games. For some reason, watching the conflict and resolution of someone else’s life was easier than dealing with my own.

I use to consider singleness as a plague that I didn’t want to catch. What kind of gift prohibits you from community?

But getting involved with my church, I saw that being single really is a gift. It doesn’t mean I spend life alone, rather I spend it in community with other believers and we are able to identify issues and talk about solutions.

When it comes to the four stages of romantic relationships (Singleness, dating, engaged, married), singleness is the first. So if you’re single, don’t constantly worry about who you will marry.

Being single for you could be a season of life. How will you answer the questions of what you did with your single years? Did you zone out and watch Netflix, or did you engage with the world because you had the time and ability to?

I’m challenging you and myself to not be afraid of having a single status. Understand that singleness is a gift, and learn to unpack that gift with gratitude. Use your time for undivided devotion to God, and encourage others to do the same.

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Revive the art of conversation

conversation

 

In school I studied a vital key to communication: Writing. But as adulthood has forced me out of my shell of adolescence and I’m no longer able to hide the fact that I’m actually a really shy person, the oral elements of communication have become more important. By oral elements I mean conversation.

Conversation: Oral exchange of sentiments, observations, opinions, or ideas. 

With the use of texting, messaging, snapping, and social media comments, conversation has evolved radically since the days before the age of technology.

I’ve noticed that people are more likely to text or message me than to strike up a conversation in person. Quite honestly, I hate having conversations through instant messages, because there is such a loss of clarity in the mix. No facial expressions. No body language. No personality traits. And let’s face the truth, emojis hardly do the job.

I recently had a very good conversation with someone and it caused me to wonder how I learned to get over the fear of talking to new people. When did I begin using my words instead of my keyboard? I once was shy and quiet, but somewhere between high school and now, I learned the great joy and satisfaction that comes with in-person conversation.

So I want to encourage my reader to consider this post as a challenge for you to be more intentional with your communication and to seek those in-person conversations, where both individuals are entirely present.

Observe the following seven steps to good conversation.

 

***

 

  1. Begin by asking questions. I recently met a guy at a laser tag outing among friends. Although we had not previously been introduced, we shared a similar social circle. I asked him how to read the score  after the game and he explained that if you are at the bottom of the screen, which I was, you probably came in last, which I did.
  2. Introduce yourself. After a few moments I introduced myself saying, “I don’t know you. What’s your name?” Yeah, I’m pretty forward with introductions, but not everyone has to be. Right away I learned his name and he learned mine which unfolded a conversation of why we hadn’t met before. I explained I was in Korea the week before when our friends met up. He explained he was out of town the week before that.
  3. Ask general questions that pertain to what you know about the person. His name was Joel and after another few moments he asked what I was doing in Korea. Keeping it simple, because most people don’t want to hear about your fantastic trip in South East Asia, I said I was visiting friends. Apparently Joel had been to China  and we made light conversation about the 13 hour flight  across the world.
  4. Try to find common ground. Joel asked what I did that allowed me a vacation to Korea, and I told him. In exchange, I asked what he did. When he said he was an ESL teacher, my mind immediately thought of my brother and sister who are both international ESL teachers. This note of information spurred him to tell me about his upcoming venture to Brazil, where he’d signed a two-year contract to teach English.
  5. Discover what they are passionate about.  I began to ask Joel what drew him to Brazil. In college his roommate was Brazilian, or from Brazil, sometimes details get lost in the art of conversation because you are trying to connect the dots and keep momentum going. I gathered that Joel was interested in teaching overseas, curious about Brazil, and really liked soccer.  I pocketed this information because I also liked soccer, but it didn’t seem like the right time to say it.
  6. Allow time for thought. In conversation the person you’re talking to is going to know if you are really interested or if you are just being polite. By now our chat had turned into an extended talk, as Joel expounded on the process of raising money for his trip to Brazil. His travel dates were unsure because his support had only covered 90% of the costs. So I decided to indulge my curiosity and ask Joel what he’d been doing up ’till now.
  7. Don’t change the subject too often. This was a natural turn in the conversation where we left the thought of Brazil and the money to be raised, and focused on the now. Joel had just finished teaching at an ESL school in Indianapolis. I was familiar with the school because my parents are International Home Stay hosts, and they hosted a student from his school. We talked about the Japanese student who lived with my family for the passed eight months. The commonalities we shared seemed to be more than we could count but the richness of our simple conversation diverged from the fact that we were both entirely present.

So what did I learn from talking with Joel?

Approach every conversation expecting to learn something new. Be curious because you may never know when your path will cross with this person again. You also don’t know what this person is going through. Maybe shifting the focus from you to them will open opportunities you never imagined. Conversation is a lost art. Let’s learn to revive it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Anxiety at 23

Today is my birthday and the clouds have decided to weep. Don’t worry, it happens every year.

I woke to the crash of thunder, and thought ‘of course it’s raining on my birthday again.’   My wipers cleaned the windshield on my morning commute, and I splashed through the flooded roads, thinking about the outcome of my life.

In the last year, I lived as the average 22-year-old girl: Graduated college, worked at a coffee shop, finally landed a salary job, bought a car, and moved out of my parents house. Shortly after, the anxiety set in.

***

Angst. Panic. Fear. Depression. Unease. Distrust. Doubt. Worry.

This is not a post on how I overcame anxiety, but what I’ve learned through the process. I write this because I know there are many in this similar situation.

I’ve never had an issue with anxiety before. Rather, it was depression that played the antagonist in college. Anxiety is a new character in my life, an unkind friend who enters unannounced. I don’t know what triggers it, but unfortunately it visits weekly.

When I started thinking about my upcoming birthday I realized how quickly this year is slipping by.  I wondered if this will be a year I recall as full of anxiety.

I hope not.

My anxiety is showing me that this life is not perfect. The idea became a reality when I studied the book of John this year. In chapter 16, Jesus says,  “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

I didn’t realize that a lot of people, people my age especially, suffer from anxiety, until I told people I was experiencing it.  I began searching the scriptures for solutions to these unpredictable panic attacks.

Then I came across the passage about Jesus’ resurrection. “Peace be with you,” he said to his friends after his resurrection. When I read this, I wondered why his peace was not with me.

A friend explained that anxiety is a physiological experience. Chemicals surge through your brain causing panic to rise in your body. Perhaps the peace he gives is a spiritual peace. A peace so subtle it takes a step of faith to see.

Even though I’m turning 23 and entering a new stage of life–that may involve daily anxiety attacks and lonely, depressing nights–I won’t let it overcome me. Resting in the knowledge that in this world there will be trouble, there is no need to freak out so much when things go wrong.

Things will go wrong.

So how do we face tomorrow?

Perhaps by resting in the comfort that he has overcome the world. He knows our greatest needs and how to fulfill them.

***

It always rains on my birthday. The clouds weep and I’m reminded of a letter Paul wrote to the church in Rome. “For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved.

Hope is looking toward the future with a smile on your face. Today I’m 23 and I have anxiety. But peace and hope are stimulated by a fire that comes from above, and not even the torrential rains can put it out.

I’m Done Exploring My Racial Identity

I began writing this blog last summer, with intentions to explore my racial identity. But recently I’ve put my ethnic background on hold and shied away from narrating my black hi(story).

The post that brought this blog to a halt was one I wrote about the dilemma of being too white and not enough black. But I couldn’t post it, because my experience seemed to be stretching the truth, and it attacked both sides of my race in a counterproductive way.

I considered writing about the difficulties of dating as a biracial woman. But my experience was limited. How could I give insight on interracial romance, when I’m not married and only had a serious boyfriend for a few months?

Some days I sat down to write, and was frustrated by the black community in America. I was discouraged that our percentages are so low in the means of success, but so high in the way of failure. I wanted to write about abstinence, which seems non-existent even among black Christians. But the feedback I received on an article I published a year ago proved the topic of sex to be a much more difficult issue to tackle.

So, I’ve published nothing in the last few months, simply because I didn’t know what to write.

Have I stopped writing about race because I’m ashamed of my racial background? Would it be easier if I was one race or the other?

Not ashamed, just misunderstood.

Not discontent, just disgruntled.

Maybe this is why I welcome the fact that people mistake me for another race. Maybe I enjoy being taken for a Mexican or an Indian. Maybe it’s easier not to inherit the assumptions that come with being mixed race.

***

A year ago I graduated college and finished a class called Conversations On Race. I left the class feeling more of a need to embrace my biracial identity than before. It sparked my efforts to write about race in America from day to day. But somewhere between then and now, I’ve begun to realize that I don’t know what I want to accomplish by writing about race.

So where is this blog going? Have I given up on exploring my racial identity?

I think I’ve decided to concern myself with other things.

I’m a career women now, driven to attend grad school in the fall. I’m writing a novel, which actually depicts the life of a biracial, female journalist. Perhaps this is where all my energy to write has gone.

I may start posting excerpt from my novel to get some general feedback. It’s a new and exciting project, but oh so difficult. Writing a 600 word blog post is fun. Writing a 60,000 word story with conflict, resolution, and fictional dialogue is much harder. But, nonetheless, I think it’s time to take a new direction.

My West Side Story

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On East Washington street in Indianapolis, among the homeless shelters, drug stores, and sagging rooftops, there sits a little cafe. It’s not what you would expect to find in this neighborhood and that’s what drew my interest to work there for four months as a barista.

My experience was a mixture of dull hours accented by heart-pumping moments.

There were long afternoons where the only people who came in merely asked for a glass of water or the bathroom. Then there were times like the day a fight broke out right outside, and my manager ran to lock our doors before the fight was brought into the cafe. Police appeared, traffic swerved as the fight between two teen-age girls fell right into the busy street.

Heart-pumping; heart-breaking.

My heart broke when a little old man come in to buy a cup of coffee with nine dirty quarters. He wore a leather police jacket and never smiled. With his grey mustache pressed against the rim of his cup, he quietly drank his coffee in the back corner of our shop and stared blankly out the window. I saw him every day, and though I never learned his name did learn how he liked his coffee: a little cream and a lot of sugar.

My heart broke to see a shirtless man, in the heat of summer, walk in looking for something to drink. A baby clothed in just a diaper was pressed to his chest, maybe a month old. The child’s tiny arms ended in tightened fists, his legs far too skinny, his stomach flat and malnourished.

After a while I grew accustomed to this life. Driving through sad-looking streets, passing people I once thought were so scary, but now realized were just lost, confused, or seeking something to satisfy their addictions.

Though I worked on the East side, I had the luxury these people did not: to drive home at day’s end, to a safer, cleaner and more developed area of town.

But eventually I began to see pockets of light in this poverty stricken neighborhood. The church behind my cafe met regularly for bible study at our tables. Wheeler Mission’s staff often came in and shared about the work they were doing, while I fixed their coffee.

Day after day I mopped the floors of my cafe and prayed for the people who passed by the windows.

Morning after morning I clocked in and pulled shots of espresso for our regulars. I began to wonder if this was my calling, to be a barista in a poor area of my city and serve people one by one.

Then one day I was offered a job with the state government. Two weeks later I was clocking out for the last time and moving my career down to West Washington Street on the other side of town.

My new job was a completely different world. I was meeting with state Representatives, Senators, lobbyists, and journalists. I was sitting in a cubicle designing newsletters and writing press releases, responding to media requests, and surfing news outlets hunting for information.

 And I was ordering coffee,

standing on the other side of the counter,

knowing how early these baristas woke,

how they brewed the coffee,

and prepped the night before.

I was pulling a few extra dollars out of my wallet for the tip jar, because I too was once the barista counting up tips at the end of the day.

Life on the West side is so different than on the East and they are mere minutes from each other.

How is it so easy to forget the ghetto parts of a city simply because you never see them?

I’ve grown accustomed to this high society part of Indy, in the middle of towering hotels surrounded by expensive restaurants. I fear I’ve become puffed up and have forgotten the little old man with the mustache or the malnourished baby.

But maybe being a part of state government will allow me to make a bigger difference now that I’ve heard peoples’ stories while making them coffee.  Maybe since I began at the personal level, it will in turn help me at the thirty thousand foot level concerning government communications and legislative affairs, to help underdeveloped areas like the East side of Indy…

Maybe.