FUCK THE STRUGGLE.
I come from a household that only has a mother and four kids. My mother has always been one to find a way to keep a roof over our heads, the bills paid, food on the table and clothes on our backs, even if they were handed down or fresh from the store. We grew up in the hood so I have not seen much of the “American Dream” that this country has to offer. My sperm donor was MIA for all of my life and still has yet to appear, so growing up, fatherly advice came from my older brother who is only 3 years older than me, so it wasn’t much he could actually do, although what he did do was great.
Watching my mother work her ass off to provide food and pay rent always lit a fire under me to say, "nah, fuck that"; I knew I had to get out the hood by any means, so that my future kids would not be forced to see the same struggle that I did.
Sports, school, and side hustles were the things that kept my head on tight and out of the streets (for the most part). I played football all my life, dabbled in baseball in high school, performed landscaping duties for people around the city. Yeah, I definitely used to do hood-rat shit with my friends, but seeing my first murder is was the wake up call I needed to distance myself completely from that destructive lifestyle. I knew I needed to buckle down in high-school, so I could make it to college.
Once I started college, I began to meet new people who have helped me in so many ways. I enjoy every minute of having friends that motivate, challenge, and push me to be the best me as possible.
Everyday I am motivated by my upbringing, to not allow where I am from determine my trajectory. Fuck where you come from, make the most of your situation and do what you can to make it out. Be the positive example from your hood and show the youth your version of the “American Dream”.