Move’n On Up….to Suburban “Gangster” Life

Move’n On Up….to Suburban “Gangster” Life

There are very distinct memories that I have from growing up in Decatur. I can distinctly remember things like leaving my apartment, which my mother kept up very well, to go next door to get an extra team member for football. Also, I remember the door opening to a living room with nothing but a mattress and scattered mess everywhere. On occasion you would see the mattress being put to use by crack pipe sporting junkies. We used to all try to figure out ways to make extra money at a very young age. We would take peoples trash out, gamble, and eventually the next level all before the age of 15. I can distinctly remember having conversations of how we wish we did NOT have to do this or live in this environment. Lucky for me and my family we finally “Moved Up”. I can still feel the excitement of moving to a four bedroom house that felt like a mansion. My attitude towards life changed completely. I would still go to Decatur everyday that I could but there was nothing like coming home to a castle in a land where people live differently from where I come from. All at first glance this was true until my major discovery. There were very fortunate young men whose parents lived in even larger houses and drove more expensive cars, living and perpetuating a life I had recently left. To me this was not authentic in the least. I thought “who the hell would wanna do that sh*t out here”. Come to find out there were gangs every where. I can close my eyes and see the day that I was pulled into this life, and contrary to most, it was not voluntary. It was what people in situations that they cannot control do: DEAL WITH IT. But these young men weren’t dealing with anything. They were even creating their own versions of what they thought to be gangster life. Now how would ole George Jefferson feel about that? Moving up to a more fortunate part of town only to revisit the less fortunate behavior. I know countless of young men who threw their life away to be seen in an image all too often displayed by people who don’t make it to old age. I thought that the purpose of doing better in life is to keep moving forward. Its ok if you are not a gangster, and its even better if you are yourself. Hey I wish I didn’t learn some of the skills I learned for survival, but I’m glad I have them. I wish I didn’t have to grow up with out certain things but I would not trade my life for the world. The newly reformed gangster, only ready to “bang” on the obstacles in my life…

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