Humans of NY http://wordpress.org/?v=4.1.1 http://humansofnewyork.tumblr.com/ “We’ve been together five years.  I wanted a marriage, a...

“We’ve been together five years.  I wanted a marriage, a family, the whole thing.  But he wasn’t ready for a child.  So I think he was hoping I’d end the pregnancy.  He claims I took control of his life by keeping the baby.  He’s not the type of person to abandon his child, so he thinks I forced his hand.  At first it seemed like he was going to make the most of it.  He told all his friends about the pregnancy.  He took me out to eat.  We had a little vacation.  But that changed quickly.  There was no stomach rubbing.  No asking how I felt.  He started going out a lot, and stopped kissing me goodbye.  Our son is seventeen months now.  We still live under the same roof, but that’s about it.  There’s no physical intimacy.  Very little communication.  He’s always great with our son.  They play together and have a great time.  But there’s no ‘three of us.’  We never go anywhere together.  Or if we do, the conversation is awkward and surface level.  I try talking to him.  I tell him: ‘If you hate me or resent me, just let me know.’  But he says: ‘Quit forcing things.  Let it become what it’s going to be.’  But it’s been eighteen months and it hasn’t become anything.  He never wants to talk about our relationship.  I know that I should leave him, but I just don’t have the courage.  I keep hoping something will change.  Because I always wanted the experience of raising a child together.”

http://www.humansofnewyork.com/post/180114296691

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Wed, 14 Nov 2018 20:37:15 +0000 http://www.humansofnewyork.com/post/180114296691 http://www.humansofnewyork.com/post/180114296691
“He was the RA in my freshman dorm.  His nickname was ‘Rock.’...

“He was the RA in my freshman dorm.  His nickname was ‘Rock.’  He was blonde and skinny and made legendary mix tapes for the dance parties.  We never talked much in college, but we became good friends when we reconnected at a reunion.  The event was eighties themed.  There were a lot of Talking Heads cover songs, and we danced all night.  After that we started talking every day.  Even though we live on different coasts, we’d find different ways to connect.  He’d create scavenger hunts for me.  He’d send me on missions to find obscure books and records.  And we began making mix tapes together.  Both of us come from research backgrounds, so we take our mix tapes very seriously.  MMTR is our acronym for the meaning of music: ‘Magic, Meditation, Therapy, Reunion.’  So there’s a lot of MMTR mix tapes: ‘MMTR I,’ ‘MMTR II,’ ‘MMTR III,’ ‘MMTR 80’s,’ ‘MMTR 90’s.’  Then there’s ‘Clan McJangle,’ which is nothing but Scottish Pop.  Then we’ve got another called ‘Buzz Gems,’ which is nothing but guitar songs under three minutes that alternate decades as you go down the playlist.  Our mix tapes hold us together.  Lately we’ve been working on a business together.  And if we ever get too frustrated, we just put on our headphones, choose a mix tape, and hit play at the exact same time.”


http://www.humansofnewyork.com/post/180075000916

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Tue, 13 Nov 2018 17:29:51 +0000 http://www.humansofnewyork.com/post/180075000916 http://www.humansofnewyork.com/post/180075000916
“I sold phone covers back in Ghana, but it wasn’t going...

“I sold phone covers back in Ghana, but it wasn’t going anywhere.  So I came to South Africa to see if I could change my life.  I tried to switch over to the clothing business.  I knew how to sew, so I decided to give it a shot.  But things are even worse than before.  I can stand here all day and not get a single customer.  I’ve been at it for three years, and I don’t even know why I’m still making an effort.  I should have a wife by now.  And a house.  And kids.  But I have nothing.  How can I meet someone when I can’t even provide for myself?  Recently I fell in love with a woman.  She sells food around here.  We used to talk every day and night.  We bathed together, and slept together, and prayed together.  She’d give me smiles and kisses.  I didn’t have much, but I gave her what little I had.  For once I was finally happy.  Then she came over to my house one evening, and saw that I didn’t have anything.  No radio.  No television.  Nothing.  And she pretended like everything was OK.  She acted like it didn’t bother her.  But two weeks later she broke off contact.  She never said it was because I don’t have money.  But it’s because I don’t have money.  Sometimes I think I should just kill myself.”  
(Johannesburg, South Africa)

http://www.humansofnewyork.com/post/180048003116

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Mon, 12 Nov 2018 22:33:27 +0000 http://www.humansofnewyork.com/post/180048003116 http://www.humansofnewyork.com/post/180048003116
“I used to work as a producer at a media company.  It was one...

“I used to work as a producer at a media company.  It was one of those cultures where you worked until you had nothing left to give.  My boss’s voice would be the first thing I heard every morning.  He’d phone me at 5 AM, asking ‘Have you done this?  Have you followed up with that?’  He’d put me down.  He’d shout at me during meetings.  I can tell you the exact type of tile in the office because I spent so much time looking down.  And I wasn’t allowed to grow.  I wasn’t allowed to do anything on the creative side.  I could only handle the budgets.   Once I asked him if I could leave early one day to take a course in art direction, and he said: ‘What makes you think you could succeed at something like that?’  That’s when I finally quit.  I freelanced for a while.  And the more distance I got from the job, the more I realized that I’d allowed myself to be pigeonholed.  I wanted to do something creative.  I started trying to save money to attend the New York Film Academy, but it was so expensive that I decided to put all that money into gear instead.  And for the past couple months, I’ve been making short documentaries about people.  I’ve made about twenty of them so far.  I let the person use the video however they’d like.  I’m not sure what will come of it, and I’ve only got a couple months of savings left, but for the first time in my life I feel like I’m using all of my talents.  And I’ve never had this much fun.”
(Johannesburg, South Africa)

http://www.humansofnewyork.com/post/180011198716

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Sun, 11 Nov 2018 22:18:57 +0000 http://www.humansofnewyork.com/post/180011198716 http://www.humansofnewyork.com/post/180011198716
“My first job in film was as a trainee on a feature.  I think...

“My first job in film was as a trainee on a feature.  I think it was called ‘Gums and Noses.’  I cleaned the toilet, swept, made tea— things like that.  All I ever got was money for transportation, which was fine for me.  I just wanted to be on a film set.  But with two weeks left of filming, there was a bit of a disaster in the camera department.  A trainee blew up an HD monitor by plugging it into the wrong hole.  Which was a shame, but it was great for me because I always wanted to be a cinematographer.  When I heard them say they needed a replacement, I raised my hand and said: ‘Me, me, me!’  So that’s how it started.  And it never stopped.  The camera department can be a weird place.  It’s all white and male.  And it’s a bit like boot camp.  A lot of the guys are mean.  They don’t like being approached by subordinates.  And if you make a mistake, they’ll scream at you.  A lot of the guys act like they’re curing cancer instead of making beautiful pictures.  But I had thick skin.  So I moved up quickly.  Recently I DP’ed one of the most popular shows in South Africa.  And I run my department a little differently.  It’s much more chill.  I think we should all share our knowledge.  Nobody should be afraid to make mistakes or feel embarrassed to ask questions.  And one trainee should always be a girl.  It doesn’t matter if she’s studied or not, as long as she’s keen.”
(Johannesburg, South Africa)

http://www.humansofnewyork.com/post/179936897166

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Fri, 09 Nov 2018 20:03:53 +0000 http://www.humansofnewyork.com/post/179936897166 http://www.humansofnewyork.com/post/179936897166
“I grew up thinking that it was a good thing to rob the white...

“I grew up thinking that it was a good thing to rob the white man.  Everyone fought injustice in their own way.  But in my neighborhood, we opposed the government by breaking into houses and robbing people.  But in 1994 we were told: ‘Democracy is coming.  Apartheid is ending.  It’s time to learn a trade.’  So I listened.  I did everything I was supposed to do.  I’ve worked in construction for the past twenty-five years.  I started my own company.  I followed all the procedures.  But nothing has come of it.  The government always talks about empowerment.  They make a big show of letting small businesses compete for contracts.  But the jobs always get awarded to the same few people.  If the government gave me work, it would empower me.  Then I could empower other people.  I could hire employees and teach them plumbing, and carpentry, and cabinets.  I could purchase a brick making machine, and hire women to mix cement.  But right now I can’t even afford a printer for my office.  Everything is hand to mouth.  I had high hopes when apartheid ended.  But I’ve been building houses for twenty-five years, and I’m still living in a shack.”
(Johannesburg, South Africa)

http://www.humansofnewyork.com/post/179903641391

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Thu, 08 Nov 2018 20:31:09 +0000 http://www.humansofnewyork.com/post/179903641391 http://www.humansofnewyork.com/post/179903641391