I stand. I stand and my shoulders are squared.
I'm facing what some call the unknow.
But I know the truth. My eyes are open
Because in reality, it's Opportunity.
And it's calling my name.
I stand. I stand though they have tried to tear
me apart, tried to shatter me like glass.
But their endevors deteriorate.
Because insignificant isn't me.
And I know my own name.
I stand. I stand as they try to shape me
like clay. But I refuse to be moulded to
their idea of who I should become.
I refuse to follow their lead, I refuse to follow a pattern
in my life,
because this is my life.
I am through being characterized
and catagorized, of being stereotyped
and judged based on
the pigment of my face
or the family that I come from.
I refuse to be nobody,
I refuse to hold my tongue.
It is time that I spoke my mind.
The world thinks that they understand my life
my past, they think they have seen it all before.
They call it a slum,
They call him a father who was never around
They call it domestic violence and
they call it a tragedy.
A tragedy that addiction can bring on a family
that once had something called potential.
They look at me, the product
of passion rather than love
they see ripped clothes and bruises
and they think that the "something called potential"
must have been beaten out of me years ago.
But I say that I am greatful for this
tragedy that has been my life
Because I call it strength training,
I call it motivation to become more than
even I thought possible.
This tragedy that has been my life
has made me strong
I stand alone and I will not be moved
because this life of mine is mine to live.
That is why I studied hard, that is why
as my friends overdosed and drank,
trying to escape the tragedies they called their lives,
I studied and planned
and hoped for the day when adulthood
would arrive at my feet.
I saw the truth.
So here I stand facing what I call Opportunity.
I stand on the threshhold of my future.
And the decision is mine,
do I stay here and take my place as the
next object in this sick cycle of addiction and abuse,
of unwed motherhood and loneliness,
of poverty and gunshots?
Or do I turn my back and
break loose of the chains that have held me?
This is me speaking my mind,
This is me taking the first and hardest step.
This is me saying that I am not defined by circumstance.
I'll admit I am afraid,
Afraid of leaving everything I have ever known.
But I am more afraid of staying,
continuing in the only kind of life I have ever known.
So I think I will go to college.
And I think that one day
I will build a new life upon a foundation
of will and persistance.
And I think that one day
I might have a daughter of my own
and I will bring her into a home
A real home
of love and encouragement
and maybe she might want to play the piano,
and I, because of my hard work, because I
chose to shape my own destiny,
will be able to provide her with that.
And one day as I sit at her first recital
I will look back on these days of
torment and I will know
that I made the right decision
the day I stepped through the
threshold of Opportunity.