I moved to Baltimore four years ago. I moved for a job with a video firm. I knew nothing about the city. I had to ask my future coworker on suggestions where to live. But I figured, "Why not give it a try?" That's how I made most of my decisions. It was the same when I moved to New York. All I had then was an internship at an off-Broadway theater and a few hundred bucks in my bank account. But that's life. You roll the dice and you see what hits.
Baltimore was a curious place at first. I didn't know what to make of it. Seemed like a lot of people had lived there their whole lives. They knew each other and I feared it was going to be hard to break into this city. Maybe it would always be this small city with a barrier around it. In NYC, everyone is from somewhere else. It's a city of visitors. And you flock to each other by this common bond. Everyone is a traveler there. All headed there for some reason, and you're linked by that same desire. But here, it was different. Here in this city of neighborhoods. What was right for me? Where did I want to be?
I spent the first few months just focused on work. Reached out to a few people, began hanging out with a few friends. No one teaches you how to make new friends when you're in your late 20s. But they opened up to me, and I opened up to them. And soon, a family was starting to be made. That job that brought me down to Baltimore soon ended. Then, I spent the summer looking for something new. Thankfully, there were people around who were ready to welcome me with open arms.
That's the thing about Baltimore. It seems like a city that's closed-off, but in fact, it's the opposite. The people are good and kind. They look out for each other. They love life and they love their city. They know it has its bumps and bruises. They know it's not as perfect as it could be. And they certainly know that the injustices of the city need to be improved greatly. But they fight for their city. They work hard for their city.
Because a city, be it Baltimore, NYC, Chicago, or wherever, is more than just buildings and new souls moving in and out of it everyday. A city is made up of passions, experiences. Life happens in the city. A new restaurant popping up out of nowhere, a coffee talk through the park, a car stuck at a red light, a lousy day turns into the greatest night of your life. It's all these people, crazy and confused, trying to make the most of their time on this planet. Cities are built by those who never give up.
I didn't know what to expect from Baltimore. And yeah, there were moments where I wondered how much long I had here. i still wonder that sometimes. Just because you never know where life takes you. But if tomorrow was my last day in Baltimore, I would smile. I would know that I got the most out of it. I made friends, made family, and tried things I never thought I could do. And I had a tribe that believed in me, that gave me a chance to shine.
Glitter Corps - who knows what it will turn into. But this company was built in Baltimore. And it will forever be known for that. I had the space to think and plan, and I had the love and support of friends, to help me start this venture. For a company like this, where it calls home doesn't really matter. But the roots of this company, the foundations, will forever be tied into this great city of Baltimore. It was here I met people who lifted me up. it was here that I had the time to really think what I wanted out of a business. And it was here that I pressed the start button on my life. That's what cities do. And that's what Baltimore did for me. New York laid the groundwork, but it was Baltimore that set off the rocket.
Recent events like the senseless Freddie Gray death placed a harsh spotlight on Baltimore. But the tragedy brought up questions about the city that needed to be answered. It's true, the city has had its share of issues. It's true that the city needs to be better in making sure all communities are cared for. There is no reason kids should be walking to school in fear of what might happen to them. But this setback will only make Baltimore stronger. If the city is anything, it's resilient. We will work harder. We will speak louder. And we will try to fix the wrongs that have been plaguing us for decades. That's the hope. And this city must have hope. Baltimore is not perfect. But I have faith that it's ready to do the grunt work needed to be better.