Something happened in my hometown of Annapolis, Maryland, and I have deep and serious feelings about it. I feel this a great outlet to share this.
I was driving to work in Baltimore City, listening to music, and road raging hard because traffic was horrendous. I see my phone blowing up because of a group chat I'm in. One friend repeatedly asked if all of us were okay and safe; I was confused. Then my friend, Beka, sent me a text asking if I was okay and safe. I started to panic; I had no idea what was going on. When I finally parked, I decided to go on Facebook to see what was going on. What I saw caused my stomach to turn into a tight knot.
A man went into the Capital Gazette newspaper building with a gun, shot and killed 5 people.
I texted and called family and friends to see if they were okay, and I was glad to know they were all safe and sound. Trying to work that night was difficult because I could not but help think about what happened. My grandfather, aunt, uncle, and cousins live right down the street of the Gazette. My dad and I used to live right down the street from that building. I used to work at the mall that is across the street from the Gazette. Beka and I got coffee together that is right next to the building.
That shift got worse when I learned that Wendi Winters, a sweet woman who had interviewed me a couple times for the paper, was one of the people who was killed.
I felt helpless, angry, and sad. Annapolis is my hometown. It is where I grew up, all my friends and family are there, and the only place I know so far that feels like home. I even have that town tattooed on my arm.
The next day was a prime example of why I love Annapolis. There was a candle lighting in downtown, which I couldn't attend but there was a live Facebook feed of it. I saw the streets that I know so well filled with people with everyone with a candle in their hand. It just shows my city is incredibly strong and we can get through any kind of tragedy.
I couldn't be more proud to be an Annapolitan. That city is tattooed on my arm and my heart.