Yesterday, somebody smashed into my parked car in the parking lot of my building and drove away. It feels like another slap in the face, but fortunately, a person can only get slapped so many times before their face stops stinging and just grows numb.
Since I bought the building that I’m trying to renovate into a restaurant/venue in my hometown of Rockford, people have pissed on my front door and left their excrement on my doorstep (more than once, I might add). They’ve thrown fast food and candy wrappers through the cracks in my windows. They’ve smashed empty bottles of booze all over the sidewalk. I’ve been called everything from a ‘whore’ to a ‘nigger-lover.’
To this last statement, I will say this: they are right…I love blacks.
And I also love whites, asians, eskimos, jews, queers, straights, atheists, muslims, drunks, junkies, hipsters, yuppies, squares, freakshows, dogs, cats, frogs, and cockroaches. And everything else too.
Why? After years of hating, I’m learning it doesn’t work. Dumping on people who dump on you doesn’t work. Panicking doesn’t work. Complaining doesn’t work. Being a victim doesn’t work.
I'm not totally sure. I guess for me, it’s slowly picking up the litter. It’s keeping my chin up when I’m under attack. It’s not running away. It’s renovating this area on the west side into something beautiful.
Don't get me wrong; I’m not a pushover. I’ll fight to keep making this place better. But in the meantime, I’m trying my best to stay resolute and hopeful in the face of these blows. If there comes a time that I’ve grown solidly bitter, I may as well give up. And I’m not there yet.
Nor am I alone. I know we’ve all felt under attack. Reader, let’s keep on keeping our head downs and weathering these storms. The harder the times, the harder we need to push back against the hate. I’m off to paint my walls. Let’s have a beautiful week. -Em