Where I come from the opportunities to see the world never arrive on your doorstep. Let alone have the imagination to believe there is a far bigger world out there. Bunch of stoop kids. Kids like me sit on the porch and watch the world pass us, with fear in our hearts never having the courage to get up and go past the porch. Especially when you come from a broken home. Especially when you don’t have a male role model to guide you through the cruel cold world. What hope could we ever have? But I’ll be the first to tell you there is hope, even for kids who come from the same places that I come from. It’s unbelievable what it is out there, you just have to step off the porch and recognize the world is in arms reach. Just grab it.
It took me 23 years before I was finally capable of finding my own identity. When you come from a broken home you never really learn to think for yourself, you rely on others to guide you down the right path and you always worry about other people’s opinions. It consumes you. And if you never leave the porch you never get to experience the true beauty of the world. I’ve seen people with my own eyes become consumed by the hardship realities that many kids go through because they never had the proper support that allowed them to explore deeper within themselves. And most of those people never make it back out. I’ve watched many drown and I look at my own life and try to make sense of what kept me from drowning? Was it the beatings I took as a kid that knocked some sense into me? Or was it the hatred I had for my father that led me to believe that I had to be better than he ever was in order to erase him from my life? Whatever it was, it worked. I remember sitting on the porch of those apartments I lived in for ten years and I never imagined I’d be doing what I love. I always thought I had to follow the same line as everyone around me. I really thought my future was already predicted.
Now I’m living in Montreal for a couple of months exploring the culture to tell their story. Nothing to what was set for me. You have to think about the mental instability that children have when either of their parents isn’t around. Then when you add poverty into the mix, there’s really no telling where those kids will end up or if they’ll follow the same cycle that the people in their environment follow. Some kids get lucky, but most don’t. As the person I am today, it’s my mission to show those kids with similar backgrounds of what we can all accomplish. I know they might not have any hope, but neither did I. But once I escaped the environment that was trying to consume me, the world became much clearer and my path began to re-align itself.
Life isn’t something to take lightly, especially if you’re born with a shitty set of cards. You have to work twice as hard and somehow always have faith that things will work out. People will doubt you. People will talk shit, but regardless of what life throws at you, you have to move forward. Out of the 7 billion human beings on this planet you have to understand that your life is just as unique and beautiful. No one on earth will live the same path you have faced, so you have to make the most out of everything you do. And whatever your mission is in life and the difficulties you face, always keep in mind that it could be worse.
Although I was born into a life filled with destruction, I made the most with what I had. I avoided the same cycle everyone where I come from faces. I don’t know how I did it, but one thing is for certain, I always questioned what else was out there. I was always curious to know what lied beyond my own porch. I think the most important aspect of human existence is to be curious about everything and question those things you don’t understand, because that same curiosity will guide you down a path of awareness. And in today’s world, awareness is everything.