Making Trust a Dirty Word, Day 93
Who decided to make trust a dirty word?
I grew up in a village, literally, outside of Columbus, Ohio. I spent my childhood in the Midwest believing that one could find more trusting, open, and honest people there. I moved to New Jersey at eight, crying and bemoaning the loss of the friendly and accepting environment from which I came for years, even into adulthood, in all honesty. Then again, many have also told me of the rudeness of French people or the stingy abruptness of Israelis. In my thankfully less limited experience traveling among those cultures, I have known quite the opposite.
Several people lately, surprisingly, have mentioned the dangers of living in New York City. “I hear there are gangs everywhere.” “This old lady told me she used to live in New York and that I should be really careful if I ever visit.” Obviously, I inform them about Rudy Giuliani, the reforms of the nineties, how Bloomberg has done an incredible job of keeping the streets clean, and that the neighborhoods have mostly diversified and gentrified. With commercial real estate especially still booming, New York happens to have withstood more of the perils of the recent economic downturn than other cities, although of course one can never tell the future.
This week, I flew to Ohio, one of my dearest states in the country, to have photographs taken by a wonderful friend and gifted photographer. I need new headshots, and he needs varied photos to complete a new portfolio, so it obviously seemed a perfect trade. Despite his generosity and talent and the likely success of several photo sessions during my three-day visit, I have had far less than satisfactory an experience with the locals – these strangers and acquaintances I once thought would treat me more like family than most back East.
In all fairness, I have felt amazing kindness from my friends and friendliness from strangers here in Cincinnati. The acquaintances in between, however, have treated me with more distrust as a somewhat attractive woman from “the big city” than I could ever feel, yes back home, in New York City. Whoever decided to make trust a dirty word lives here, not just in Paris, Tel Aviv, New York, or in any other big city in the world. Yes, here. In the Midwest. Two nights in a row now I have felt severe distrust to the point of canceled plans by women who know me peripherally but have not yet taken the time to talk to me or understand me as a person. Perhaps I err on the side of naïveté in my life, but nothing disrupts my comfort zone more than this.
Although I understand the importance of caution when first getting to know another human being, I firmly believe in assuming the best when at all possible. Although I will not in good conscious write in further detail, I will say thank you to my big and beautiful small town-like home in New York. New fellow Lost-loving friends I have just met, Obliterati and other social media and tech folk, singers, scientists, and strangers who have asked for or given me directions, thank you. Thank you for giving me the benefit of doubt and for treating me like one of your own. For at the end of the day, I know we only have each other and I, fully and completely for the first time in my thirty-one years, could not be happier to call the Northeast my home.