Thursday, August 5, 2010

Learning The Lesson...Do You Remember?

I was listening to the radio one morning as they awarded a single mother with a gift certificate to do some back to school shopping for her son. Her finances were tight and her son got into a fight at school when someone recognized his shirt from the second hand store. The radio personalities tried to make light of the situation but it struck a nerve with me because it made me remember.

I remember growing up in a large metro area after my mother moved me from a small city where I attended a private Christian school with a strict dress code. I remember moving into the 'hood and thinking how much I just wanted to go 'back home' with my family and friends. I remember being made fun of because school started 3 weeks prior to my arrival and the 'cliques' and 'friend circles' had already been established. Today it is considered 'bullying.'

I remember going into Junior High and being bused across town to help with the racial disparities and my shock when my friends spoke of back to school shopping. I was lucky to get a new backpack, and went without one for a few years. I remember my wardrobe and the few items it consisted of and my cousins who had recently moved into the area cleaning out their closets and giving me clothing.

I remember the feeling of my first job and the freedom of a paycheck. I remember getting a car at a buy here, pay here lot and paying my car payment, insurance and a few bills around the house. I remember working full time my junior and senior year of high school and getting a second 'part-time job' during the summer to save up for school. All of this before the age of 17.

I remembered all of this as I contemplate the little I have against what I perceive others to have. I remember thinking how I catapulted into the so-called middle class when my mother's generation was working class poor with little education.

I need to remember my upper middle-class and lower upper-class associates come from college educated parents and grandparents while my family grew up poor with holes in the ceiling, the roof and one kerosene heater to heat the house. I need to remember that my mother owned her first home in her 40s while I purchased mine in my 30s. I need to remember that this piece of paper hanging on my wall in a fabulous frame with four signatures and a seal means so much more than I think it does, even if I will pay on student loans until I'm 50.

Although many times I forget, and it takes my cousins to help me remember, I do remember. The humble beginnings and hopefully the fruitful endings.

I you remember?

Throwing in the video for an encore presentation as I continue to tackle my trees. Remember not to become so involved in running your race that you forget the purpose, what you have already accomplished and how far you have traveled. Today, I remember.

I still LOVE this video. It will never get old to me.

Until Next Time,
Peace & Blessings...


  1. I have a tattoo on my lower back of a sankofa to remind me of how far I've come. From living in a two bedroom trailer park with my parents when they first got married to living in my first home with my own son that I bought before 30. Am I proud? Beyond belief but I have so much further to go. I appreciate the journey as much as I do the destination.

  2. I too remember....very well...We went school shopping at the thrift store and my were all hand-me-downs...Never had anything new...We were lucky to eat much less worry about clothes...I remember crying because I couldnt get these 12 dollar shoes from walmart...I got made fun of...but I took those thirft store and hand-me-down clothes and hooked them up with a Madonna type look and got away with it most times...My shoes were the butt of most jokes...

    But I am grateful for those experiences...When you dont have...You appreciate when you do get...

  3. I think that most people forget how far they've come on their individual journey because we get stuck in "how much further". Thank you for sharing your experiences and acknowledging how far you've come. I hope that your family is proud of you!

  4. yes, we all have a journey in this life. and most of us have come quite far. but....

    we get caught up focusing where it is we're trying to get to, and how much further it is, that we forget to celebrate just how far we've actually come, and where we are, right here in the now!

    thank you KC.

  5. we often take for granted how far we come... and we tend to not remember. when i first read this, i couldn't relate... for some reason my mind was clouded... until i remembered moving back in my with mama with just a black plastic bag and the coat on my back. i remember being unemployed, living off of credit cards with no unemployment check. i remember losing my front tooth and vowing to never let another man put his hands on me.

    i thank you for this post because i've reflected and it's humbling.