Between Birdy Books, an independent publishing company based in Baltimore Maryland, Black Bird Designs, a freelance marketing and design company, and Café Birdy, a blog the “Bird Nerd” created solely as a photography and creative outlet, I suppose it make sense to wonder: what’s with all the birds? Frankly, I have no idea where they came from—probably an open window, or the fact that I tend to fixate on one single ideas until it consumes me.

I never had a pet bird, nor did I ever wanted one; I am actually slightly scared of them with their buggy black eyes and unassuming wingspans, but I assume I can say we must have something in common. A couple weeks ago while driving my tiny red Kia Soul, which I once crudely called “The Cherry Popper” much to the dismay of my fiancée, we came across a flock of small brown birds that simultaneously lifted from a field to my left. The flock determined it ideal to soar above and in front of my tiny square car that was cruising around fifty-five miles per hour. Once they spread out their surprisingly wide wings, I was thinking “and this is the moment I will break my windshield.” Luckily I was wrong; however, one bird did in fact crash into the glass before my face and rolled up and over my car. Normally, this would be the moment I’d crumble into a pile of useless gook because I just committed a hit and run on a defenseless bird, but ironically, I blackly vocalized “same” and continued driving. My fiancée, Kelly, was sitting in the passenger seat holding her chest, as any animal lover would, while catching her breath after she definitely skipped a couple. I looked over at her confused as if this was an everyday event, which it was not. She glanced back at me with a similar expression, though hers was directed at me and my comparative response to the dead, broken-winged bird.

All the bird-motifs I created before this event suddenly came into perspective; I couldn’t help but consider the obvious sign of my sick sense of humor, but also that these symbols I created must embody me in some way. Even in drawings or school projects, I can find a vast amount of birds ever since I moved to Baltimore city at the start of my third year of undergrad. I left a stereotypically comfortable town with bike trails, endless wildflowers, and neighbors that wave to you as you pull out of your driveway to embark on a new journey. I was excited to leave the town that made me feel like a fraud and to enter an entirely different world full of buildings, concrete, and so many small birds scouring the streets for anything that looked edible. They weaved between fast-paced, city-walker feet, unsure of what was good for them or what could kill them, but nevertheless they moved forward. Were they scared? Were they aware that any wrong step could lead them under the hot treads of a car? Did they even care?

Change was good for me, and it helped me realize that there was more to me than just blending in to get by. Sometimes I could be the in-your-face, creative loudmouth that secretly loved attention, and many times I could be clumsy, but I learned there is nothing wrong with sometimes perching on a power line and watching as everyone else stumbles by.

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