6 June 2019

People think when you get older, you mature. I learned that you mature from experience, not by age. I’m not trying to gain any ones sympathy but everything I been through so far, created my outlook how to take on the world, how to take on life.
Growing up in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn was an obstacle that I’m proud I experienced and overcame. Mornings were rowdy at times; I didn’t even need to set an alarm for school because a different car alarm was going off. Waking up 5:30 every morning, taking the 44 bus to the A train and then the A train to the F, going as far as 6 or 7 neighborhoods just to get to school and back home was my daily routine. On my way home it was always dark out, so around this time the streets and subways are full with knavish individuals. Well when isn’t it? I was just more alert as I walked down the sidewalks, with voices following me. You could only look straight ahead most of the time because once you eye someone; you just became a threat to them. I always stayed to myself and once I got home safe and sound, I always said a prayer or two.
Back then I always wished I could be like the kids on the commercial and just go outside as pleased and play with the same group of friends, problem free. But here, in ‘’Bed-Stuy do or die’’, you had to swivel your head every 3 seconds. I was playing hoops in the public park behind my apartment, by myself but there was a group of gangbangers sitting at a park bench next to me. They were playing with guns like it was a toy! Bagging up drugs and everything else under the tree. It didn’t surprise nor frighten me because I became so accustomed of seeing it go on all the time. Nevertheless an undercover cop came sprinting from the opposite way with his weapon tucked in his blazer.
Everyone in the vicinity scattered like little kids when something breaks in the house. Some went left, others went right, and I ran straight to the front of my building. My heart was beating faster than a Ferrari F430 going top speed. The time it took me to get to my apartment building felt like waiting in a DMV office but it was only a 15 second time span. As I rang my bell so my mom could buzz me in, the baffled cop came swinging around the corner reaching for his gun. He pulled it out, with me lined up with it two yards away from him. I froze, but he wasn’t aiming for me. His target just happened to be running behind me. A bystander said ‘’Shorty, watch out son’’ but even that was a blur to me. My mom buzzed me in and I pushed open the door and ran inside not even thinking once about it. When I told my mom what happened to me, tears came crawling down her cheeks. She knew keeping me out there was just risking my life.
This experience alone is the reason why I’m against gangs, why I don’t drink nor do any drugs, and why I’m committed to my future. As a child I always feared the unknown, but living through my experiences in Brooklyn, I grew to learn that I can do anything I set my mind to. Now I’m asking you to take a chance on me.

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