Knowing what to do with it, to me, has sometimes felt like the hardest thing.
When I initially arrived in the city, a job and shelter were my two priorities. I stayed in a hostile on the lower east side for two weeks and focussed.
Focus is an intense power, learning to control thought and limit distraction. Acute empathy is one our greatest strengths and most dangerous weaknesses. There are shielding mechanisms to protect us from our own sensitivities, but they never appealed to me. I feel alienated enough, disconnecting from emotion removes the one way I manage to relate to other people.
I knew the only way I was going to settle into a new life quickly was to manifest what was immediately required. I spent three hours a day meditating. I burnt sage and sandalwood. Every morning I stated out loud what was required and vowed the day would bring me closer to getting it.
New York City sidewalks are like no other place in the world. I spent afternoons perched on high rise stoops watching crowds of strangers rush by with a majority of individuals turning to return my smile.
There is nothing in my power that I wouldn’t do to help someone. People can tell that about me. And like Connie said, they usually recognize me.
But I was looking for you.
Six days after arriving I gained a job as a dishwasher in a lower east side Cuban restaurant where I stayed for nearly ten years. My Spanish was not any better than my coworkers’ English. We communicated in smiles and nods. They paid me in cash and never asked my age or where I lived.
Over the years I resided in a few different places. Immediately following my time at the hostile, I moved in with a German man named Sam who lived in China Town.