15 October 2013
The Augusta American I grew up downtown with a twin brother and a single mom. Like others that grew up in cities, money was hard to come by. My mother was in between jobs most of the time, and by the time I became fifteen I was already required to enter the workforce. This was my “American Dream”. Where I’m from there are no such things as dads. I live in the heart of the city where nobody has a job, and nights are filled with violence, getting high and binge drinking. This is my America. I live in the type of America that many people don’t see, but many people live in. I am the American that rarely gets noticed.
I hated working as a kid. I could not really enjoy being a teenager because I was always flipping burgers, or frying chicken. I wasn’t one of those kids who grew up in nearby counties where life seemed to be a little bit richer. I had to work for everything I wanted and needed, and when it came down to counting on my mom for support, it was rarely there. She had an addiction to the street life and couldn’t let it go. Between school and work I had no life whatsoever, but it was necessary so my brother and I could thrive. I grew up knowing that I lived in the number one country in the world, but it was hard for me to imagine anyone else living harder the we had to. There are no golden roads to my projects, my America is made out of bricks and stones, and paved with cracked asphalts.
The recession seemed to make life a bit harder, but the monthly food stamps kept us content. My family knew that with food stamps, food was going to be accessible for at least a short while, until the next allocation. I’m proud to be American because in America they make sure everyone eats. My American experiences are roller coasters, and I hate that about them. Everything goes from better to worse quickly, and it happens so frequently almost as if this is the way it’s supposed to be. I often think is there is another America, and how do I get there? I know the grass is greener and the streets are paved smoother in a place where hunger is not scheduled between checks. Anticipation and yearning to leave for this place filled my thoughts and dreams, it’s like I could smell it; it’s almost like a warm, misty breeze coming from the ocean wafting my face as I drove down the beach bathing in the nostalgic sun. Trying to live better and advance is a struggle only Americans like me know about. I always felt like I had to work harder and longer than the stereotypical Americans that I seen on television. This other side of America which seems harder to get to, and I realized education was the key to get