© 2023 by Georgia Arts, Neo Soul Poetry Awards

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Things I learned While Packing: 21 Life Lesson to Move you into your purposes

About This Book

 

It is my earnest desire that “Things I Learned While Packing”' will help you navigate through your everyday experiences with a new perspective and insight into how life is just one moving journey. The paradigm is not in getting to the destination, but more about how we navigate the roads that lead us there.

 

True alignment comes from who you are – not where you might find yourself. ​ 

I grew up in an area of Long Beach, California where wearing the wrong color could cost you your life. I moved to Georgia with my 8-year-old son to get away from gang-filled streets.

The last place I lived in California before moving to the “Black mecca of the South”, Atlanta, Georgia, was a spacious 3-bedroom, 2-bath townhouse in a reversed gentrified neighborhood, bordering a lily-white suburb. The once highly- sought after townhomes had now sadly become a haven for Section 8 tenants. Multiple families living in one unit, third generation gang bangers, and drug houses. I recall the leasing agent literally telling me that they were “Moving the bad element out, and they needed people like me to help rehabilitate the block.”

I used to work at the City Attorney’s Office and one of the things I learned is you can run a report to show all the activity based on the street address and surrounding area. My street was on that report. More than once, my kids and I had to hit the floor because of all the nearby gunfire. There were times I would literally find bullet shell casings on my doorsteps

One day, I was driving home from work, and as I attempted to turn onto my block, there was a barrage of police cars and TV news trucks everywhere. Even the news station, Telemundo, was broadcasting live in Spanish. Because my street was blocked off, a police officer instructed me to park across the street. And if I wanted to get home, I’d have to walk.

At the very end of the block was a yellow tarp draped over what looked to be the outline of a body protruding from a parked SUV. Not the kind of thing you want to come home to. Ever.

Later, I would hear that the tarp had covered the bloodied body of a young, Black male. He had died instantly after being shot in the head at point blank range.

I was told this was part of a double murder that took place in broad daylight, just as school kids were getting off the bus. The gunman had first shot the victim in the alley. Then, when his homeboys tried to take him to the hospital in the SUV, the shooters pulled up, parked, and proceeded to shoot and kill the driver.

This all happened right outside my breezeway. No more! I would not raise my son in Southern California.

The irony of it all is that, with everything I went through in Long Beach, I had never before heard the words, “Freeze. Put your hands up!” Nor had I ever had guns pointed at me by the police. Until now.

I cannot share the details of the “what and why.” This wasn’t even my house. These weren’t my circumstances. It really didn’t matter. I was moving, moving, and moving. Again. I’m sure there is a lesson in this.

Book Available at  https://www.amazon.com/dp/1691079871