Monday, April 10, 2006

Being Grown

I love being in my 30's. Other than some stamina and 75 less pounds, I don't miss being a teenager or my early 20's at all. My generation doesn't seem to be embracing this grown folk thing too well. We are holding on to our youthful ways for dear life. Holding on to your youthful mind state means holding on to your youthful expectations. I hate to be the bearer of bad news but once you turn 30 you have to be realistic about certain aspects of your plans. I'm not saying you can't do them. You just have to map out a different path. I was on 3 different paths in 2005 alone. Lately when I have conversations with all my 30-35 year old friends, we seem to talk allot about how old we are and how things have not worked out in our lives the way we want. What is our problem? How many of you have actually sat down for a few minutes and honestly thought about all the obstacles we have made it through just to get to our 30's? First of all, we are the first generation of black people that grew up in this country free of any type of legal segregation. The bar for our achievement was set so high that most of us were never going to be able to keep up with all that. We might not have had separate schools and water fountains, but the economic disparity was still there the whole time and no one did anything to deal with that before we came of age. Secondly, around the time I was 9 or 10 years old, crack took hold and held our community hostage. Lots of the things we are dealing with today are the effects of that dark time. This might be a New Orleans thing but I don't know anyone in my age range that doesn't know at least three people that are no longer here because of that drug. The bottom line is that our generation has had to survive allot of shit to get to this point. It's time we embrace our age and respect our experience. I am glad to be in my 30's. I feel like a wise man already and I can't wait until I am 50. Hell, I have already survived the crack wars, record murder rates, heroin addicts, the Galvez bus ride home in 87(you downtown people know what happened on Galvez and St. Bernard), having a girlfriend in the Calliope and the Florida projects, crack babies that are way worse than we are, excessive drinking, high blood pressure and Hurricane Katrina. It can't get much harder than it already has been.

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