australia

# 41 I Found My Humanity In The City

This was our accommodation in Guildford, a low socio-economic suburb in Sydney. It wasn't the prettiest, but the beds were comfortable and was never broken into during our stay. I look at this trip in gratitude that I see my blessings, not for what I have over someone else, but I am now able to move on with my life with an open heart.

This was our accommodation in Guildford, a low socio-economic suburb in Sydney. It wasn't the prettiest, but the beds were comfortable and was never broken into during our stay. I look at this trip in gratitude that I see my blessings, not for what I have over someone else, but I am now able to move on with my life with an open heart.

As I write this from my seat on the plane, I realise two things: The first is that I have become a hoarder of sorts. I hoarded people in my life, and some of those people are nothing short of being energy vampires. Secondly, I found my humanity in the city. I don't believe it was ever broken or lost, but I feel a renewed sense of gratitude that I couldn't have learned back home.

Before I left for Sydney, I resented the way my life has panned out and even though I felt happy enough, the resentment remained. Packing up the house became a painful reminder of what I felt I deserved, when it should been the greatest motivation to start over. Did I truly believe that I deserved to be in an unhappy marriage, no, neither of us did. Yet each time I walked through that front door, I focused on my have-nots.

So what changed me? The city. I could never live in a city for long, but I always meet people who challenge my perspective and change me for the better. The Universe always sends me to the city when I need to reset my priorities. My life has felt like a spaghetti junction of frustration and sub-conscious resentment, I have tried patiently to make sense of it so it can be untangled, but this trip made me realise I just needed to rip it all out.

This trip has consumed me for the last two months, trying to please opinions and being the voice of reason. I see now that I should have stood up for myself a long time ago, because no one else did, and I guess part of me blindly believed in the good in people As they say, opinions of you are like assh$@*s, everyone has one. Doesn't mean it defines who you are, it's just an opinion.

There was one night we couldn’t afford to stay anywhere, so we slept in the park...(sic) We are selling t-shirts so that our crew can eat today.
— Member of FMD Extreme Dance Crew

I was at a dance competition this week, and I sat on that floor, sleep deprived, I began listening to one of the dance crews talk about the struggle of competing overseas. This Filipino crew, like many others at this competition, faced the reality of eating very little that day, and even slept in a park one night because they couldn't afford a place to stay. You could hear a pin drop as we listened to the testimony of the strength of the human spirit. This crew would have slept five to a bed if it meant a roof over their head, instead of waking up to wet grass in the morning. Life isn't fair, but we also don't have to be blind to the realities of poverty.

FMD Extreme dance crew were selling t-shirts to help feed their crew that day. I felt guilty, as here I was, resentful that I had to pack up my things in a house that has been vacant for months.

I found my humanity in the city, in those piles of printed t-shirts, in the eyes of people living the grind of doing what they love. I ask myself
what fuels my passion, and I got my answer that night. Change. My superpower is that I have that ability to recognise and empower people to affect positive changes in mine and theirs. I know there are like-minded people who want to create stepping stones for positive change in my town. We will be connecting when I get home.

Recognising and walking away from toxic people is incredibly empowering and the best part is that it creates space for better ones to come along. And we can choose not to fill that void, instead, choosing to value and invest more in who are already there. Make peace with the reality that not everyone will love you, but those who do, keep them close and love them just as much, even more.

I leave you with the wise words of Sam Cook… a change is gonna come.

I could never unlearn what I heard that day. That my life wasn’t about what I could pack into a day, it was appreciating the blessings I already had, unconditionally.
— fivefootronna