It comes in little waves, every now and then. The small moments in between just living your life, the ones you almost overlook.
I catch myself turning phrases into the songs they remind me of.
“Makin’ my bed downtown, walking fast, faces pass, and I’m home bound.”
“Work” by Rihanna becomes “Stir,” if I’m making pasta.
If someone at the office mentions that they just ordered lunch and it’s on it’s way, I might quietly sing to myself “In The Air (Tonight)” by one Phil Collins.
I CAN FEEL IT. COMIN’ IN THE AIR TONIGHT. OH LORD.
I also catch myself looking up more often, seeing the beauty in things I haven’t noticed even though I’ve lived in New York for almost three years. Statues in Union Square whose history I never took the time to read about. Architecture that takes surprising twists high above, mixing the modern with the ways of the past.
It’s in the moments I go out of my way to make people happy. This isn’t me bragging about how nice I am; instead, it’s a realization of how often others aren’t even a little bit considerate. Maybe I’ll bring in a baked good for the office, maybe I’ll take a minute to hype up a friend on Twitter for something amazing they’re about to do, maybe I’ll let someone get on the train in front of me because they seem to be in a bigger rush than I am and I don’t feel like being packed like a sardine right now, thanks.
Just small things. Just tiny reminders. Just ways I’ve grown to be a bit like my mother.
Growing up, the house was always filled with songs, both real or made-up on the spot. That talent definitely stuck with me. It was also filled with lessons to simply be nice to others. This was learned simply by observation; there was never a day where I was sat down and taught how to take care of people. That’s what my mother did, so I did that as well. How else could I have had the nickname “Mama Sami” for basically a decade?
And the moments where I look around my city or my neighborhood, those are when I remember when she visited up here for the first time, flying from our home in Florida to see the mean streets of Brooklyn and New York, to see how I live now that I’ve left what’s familiar. Her trip reminded me that there’s always more to see and to learn, to take a look with fresh eyes who haven’t lived through a few hot garbage summers followed by human popsicle winters. The landmarks throughout the city that we visited remind me that there’s more to know, that there’s newness and joy in things you wouldn’t consider at first.
These reminders serve as a comfort when things get a little too gray or hard or I feel like I’ve been stomping instead of skipping, something that easily happens in a city like this. She’s with me, she’s a part of me, and thank goodness for that.
Basically, if you have a problem with 80% of my personality, blame her. I do.