This week has been sort of rocky, yet I cant’ deny how much I am growing and changing. St.Anthony’s has been great, but I guess this week sitting down and talking to our guess at St.Anthony’s, I have heard some saddening stories. I met an older guy named CJ at St. Anthony’s. I shared to him how I am attending Saint Mary’s College of California. He shares to me that he wishes he had the opportunity to go to college too. He spoke to me about being raised with 4 other siblings and his mother never having the money to send him to college. What stuck out to me is that CJ did not have the ability or potential to go to college. It was financial complications that kept him back from such a wonderful experience. It only reminded me that even though I come from a single mother household, I made it to college, and I am grateful for that alone. Being a first-generation college student, I hope I set a distinct difference within my own family and future generations to go to college. So there can be fewer cases like CJ, and more cases about how college has helped so many people become successful. Anyways, CJ told me he was sick. By sick I mean that he was terminally ill with AIDS. When he told me this my heart dropped. It took a lot for my eyes not to water up. Words could not come out my mouth. I almost felt like I had trouble talking or even putting words together. So the next words that came out my mouth was: “Do you feel satisfied with your life”? His response was: “I don’t know. I felt like I have tried my best”. And I responded: “And you should be proud of yourself for that. I am glad you did not give up, and you tried to make the best of your life. That is all you can ask for”. After that we sort of left toff silence, and he reminded before he got up from the table to stay in school. And I said: “It’s people like you, that keep me driven to stay in school. I appreciate talking to you”. I feel that conversation has been in my mind since it started. I guess there is no way to grasp how empowering or put to words what CJ has inspired me to do already.
In other news, this weekend sounds like it may be exciting. Me and the girls have a few possible things on the list. I hope to see more of Oakland. I also have been trying to make it a habit to exercise and challenge myself a lot more. So I been running/walking around Lake Merritt. Lake Merritt is beautiful!! More importantly, it is great to be feeling healthier. Oakland continues to surprise me, yet continues to keep this passion fired in me that I will make a change. There is nowhere else I rather be spending my Summer right now. What is a better opportunity then changing who you are, before you seek to change others? I just hope people can see the world more like how the people have provided here for us in Oakland. I mus say its been a gift in itself. Goodbye for now.
P.S CJ this for you!