The Hood Isn't For Everybody
"You think you are all that!", "You think you are better than people!", "You use to...", "You act like you forgot when...", "You have changed!" These are just some of the snide remarks I get from people I knew when I was younger whenever I go back to my home town. For some strange reason they want me to disregard the $80,000 worth of debt I have accumulated to get an education and talk like I don't know 'finna', 'kinda' and 'conversate' are not words. For some strange reason they want me to pretend that going to a party in the hood is safe even though a town of slightly more than 11,000 people seems to have a murder every month. For some strange reason they want me to pretend that I have nothing when God has blessed me with just a little something, something.
In my perception, I never felt that where I was where I was going to be. When you are a child, where you are is totally based on where your parents feel is their station in life. My father was a steel worker, so we lived in a town that was built around the steel plant. We lived in a community of hard working people, but many of them were uneducated. From a very early age, I saw that if I wanted a career that required an education, my hometown would not be able to support me. Though I existed in the environment, it was challenging being a young girl who liked to write poetry, who soaked up grammar, who watched The Today Show each morning before going to school and who rushed home to watch Oprah each evening. Maintaining friendships was difficult because people saw what I did to try to fit into my environment and did not understand that many of those things were not me. So for them, it appears that I have changed when in actuality I am just being me.
But what about those people who tell me now that didn't know me then that I think I am all that? They are right! I wake up each day and thank God for this heavenly creation- me. I thank Him for the way that He has blessed my family. But more than anything, I thank Him for blessing me with the heart and mind to understand that my blessings are not my own. You see, if it weren't for my ego, arrogance, confidence, I wouldn't work so hard. I wouldn't have a wife who works so hard. And if we didn't work so hard, we wouldn't be able to bless those friends and family and even strangers in their times of need.
The next time someone suggest that there has been a change in you, if what they see as change is personal growth own it, you've earned it!
(Scroll to the bottom to add comments.)