Thursday, August 7, 2014

Mini Post: Living downtown is awesome

I haven't been able to sit down and blog for so long! I have a bunch of ideas for posts all piled up on my phone's "To Do" list, but so little time to sit and execute them. I'm on a subspecialty away right now and (aside from the fact that I missed an emergency surgery last night), I'm doing what I need to do with pretty liberal free time.

Therefore, we will now have a moment to spit out all the blog post ideas in miniature.

I've moved several times since I started med school. Suburb 1 (my first location) was very quiet. The only remarkable thing I ever experienced among my neighbors or in my apartment complex was the messy morning relationship fight I accidentally witnessed across the street while on my balcony one morning for breakfast. (It was a lot like the movies: the guy slams out the door with a suitcase, the girl comes out after him very distressed, pleading loudly....) Suburb 2 was even quieter. Now I live downtown in one of the country's largest cities. And I'm living with a different population, since I'm living in a lower socioeconomic area. I see homeless people daily, I see broke people daily, I see mentally ill people frequently, I see people with much narrower prospects than mine all around me.

But I love it. I feel like I'm appropriately living the way an alter ecclesia should live: poor and with the poor.

And sometimes it's pretty funny. While biking home one day, I stopped at a light and smiled at the man sitting at the nearby bus stop. "Wher' yo' husband at?" he asked, without any other greeting.

"I'm married to Jesus," I answered.

"Oh," he replied, not knowing what else to say. "That's coo'."

"I thought so," I answered. The light turned green and I moved on. That was already the second time someone had asked me where my husband was.

Another time, I was finishing a conversation with a homeless man after Mass at the cathedral. I introduced myself and he said, "All ri', mmatins, my holla' sista."

I love to be with the people in my neighborhood. Just being in the same place, shopping at the same stores, using the same laundry machines, putting up with the same pigeons, and walking the same streets is teaching me about how hard these people work and how much love we all need. It's humbling and exciting. (That may or may not be where I'm living; I didn't even check before I used the picture; thanks to Kim Briggs)

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