Who do I want to be? Who do I need to be?

I walked outside this morning to leave for work and stood on the crack where our carport meets the driveway.

It felt a little like Doc Graham in Field of Dreams crossing from field to gravel, young to old, carefree baseball to life and death.

Who do I want to be today? I asked myself silently as I stood there.

Who do I need to be today? Not for myself, but for others?

Last Saturday we went to Home Depot to get some spare keys made. In the car on the way home, Sean spoke. "Did you notice that the guy talked to us the whole time, but didn't say anything to the black guy before us?"

Yes. I did notice. It takes a few minutes to get keys made. The older white man was silent as he took the keys from the older black man, the only sound the crunching of metal in the machine.

"Hot out there, isn't it?" the white man said as soon as we approached, the black man on his way. "I need to take my walks early these days..."

We would have thought nothing of it except for what had transpired moments before.

Silence. Crunching metal.

Who do I want to be? Who do I need to be?

I am a white woman and I know it. I'm trying to actively work with that, piece by piece, layer by layer, day by day. A blog post won't change much of anything, I know. Especially a short one that I still took two hours to write.

But maybe the questions that I asked myself this morning, at the edge of my carport, on the edge of a new day that two black men and five law enforcement officers couldn't wake up to see--maybe those are good questions to ask every morning.

Who do I want to be? Who do I need to be?

Not for myself, but for others?

I write a lot of words, but more and more, I feel like speaking them face to face is even better. Even if I stutter or stammer or mess up. And so I hugged my black friends and coworkers today. I told them I was with them. I heard some of their stories. We'll share more in the days to come.

And in these moments, when I worked for who I wanted and needed to be for others, I found that I also became who I wanted and needed to be for myself. 

"On days like this, it feels like our compassion is the only thing we can control." -- Clint Smith