I didn’t always love you.
There, I’ve said it. I know it’s not the nicest thing to say, but it’s totally honest. I’ve been living here for 13 years now and I can hardly believe it’s been so long.
Over the years, though, I warmed up to you. I dare say you warmed up to me too. I started a family. I made friends. I got to know the city and the people and it turns out, we have much more in common than I thought.
For example, you have heart, Philly. And I’d like to think I do to. What I can’t do with skill alone, I do with heart. We both find a way to keep going and the heart of the city are the people in it. People like me who work hard, have fun and enjoy being alive.
You also have grit – that new, somewhat indescribable word, that people point to as a quality necessary for success. You’re not afraid to work hard and there’s a toughness in you and I – sometimes subtle and sometimes in your face. Ultimately, come what may, we endure.
And you have things I want – knowledge, interactions, opportunities.
And I have things you want – passion, energy, enthusiasm.
So I say with true conviction that I was wrong about you, Philadelphia. I judged you prematurely and now, 13 years later as I walk your streets, no, as I RUN your streets, I feel connected.
I feel alive.
I feel like I belong.