I have so many pictures from my trip to Philly, I’m still trying to figure out how to sort them all into posts. I had such an amazing time. More than I thought I would. You see, up until this trip, I had a very complicated relationship with Philly. My ex (and son’s father) is from the outskirts … So I only knew what was introduced to me at that time. I knew the more suburban, conservative, Protestant side, which was a completely different world than my upbringing in the Bronx. I’m not saying there was anything wrong with it (in fact, I gained a great deal from that experience) but at that time I was a feisty 20-something year old with a lot of sociopolitical, art and cultural interests that did not fit in very well. I was basically Angela from My So Called Life in a Rockwellian world. It really didn’t need to be so complicated, but it was.

Eventually we made a move there for a bit and I got a job at the Philadelphia Art Museum, which was a pretty cool accomplishment to add to my resume. However, things in the marriage were not going well and I got my heart terribly broken. I had nothing but painful memories from my time there. As far as I was concerned, based on my experiences, Philly lacked diversity and it was filled with upsetting circumstances. So when I was recently asked to go there for three days of fun and adventure, I was a bit hesitant at first. After a nudge from my boss, I said yes. After all, the best way to take power away from difficult memories is by replacing them with amazing ones.

And that’s exactly what happened.

From the moment I landed and met Charles Barkley at the airport (yes, that happened!) to running up the Museum steps like Rocky, the negative association I once attached to the city was completely gone. It was a trip that needed to be made, and I’m so glad I didn’t listen to my first instinct. Philly has a lot to offer, and has changed/evolved in ways that made me proud to say that I once lived and worked there. I was also proud to say that, OK, I had some tough times there but without them I wouldn’t be who and where I am today. I needed to go through that back then, and I needed to revisit as the woman I am today. As they say, everything happens for a reason.

Related: Philly nights

I will be sharing more over the next few weeks. Stay tuned.

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