It was a dream unlike I ever seen
But I walked in the doors and it was as realistic as it could ever be.
Contemplating on this world and the individual that I choose to be.
Contemplating on my individuality and wondering will it make a sufficient enough difference in these eyes that look back at me.
Dwelling on these ideas, caught up in these thoughts, seeking inspiration, trying to find ways to solve…
Or at least manifest this world into something of greater applause.
Oakland is where it dawned, I became fond of the culture, feeling like I belonged.
Found out more about myself than the past 18 years of my life.
Almost too good to be true, easy to fall into the stigmas that these common minds produce.
Feeling oh too grateful for such a gift.
I learn to shut my damn mouth and LISTEN to the issues that need addressing.
I walked on sidewalks with no side and sides with no walks.
Reflection of the lack of time and effort but an effort to give time behind bars.
And the tears wept because of the inability to provide for his family.
And the tears became sweat as he sells drugs for his family.
And it all became a trap because he has no way to provide for his family.
But statistics would instill in these minds
“What’s wrong with humanity”
And the books will write
“Turn to page 52, look how many people of color are incarcerated because the lack of education”
And then you turn on the news
Feeding into the minds these diabolical stories of minorities putting the world at stake.
But with your next breath intake
Understand that certain people are left to be framed.
Understand that they expect you to be just as close-minded as you are and point the fingers at certain people for the blame.
And you’ll go on and on teaching generations of generations the same.
But it takes someone real to see more than just the cracks in the pave…ment
And I meant what I vent.
I feel sent to represent.
A message that just won’t transmit.
So again I say I meant what I vent.
I feel sent to represent.
A message that I hope will transcend…
Oakland into more than a cliché thought that people tend to exemplify
If anything we should be petrified at this system we tend to identify…with
If only we can just see the beauty that exists
And relinquish the lies and twists that we have so heavily wrapped our mind in.
If only…I decided to start solely with myself.
I realized that HELP starred me back in the mirror.
This is the last time I’ll be writing but it won’t be the last time I hope to keep making changes in this world. The entries stop here but my mind will keep advancing and approaching better solutions to issues. I am not the same person I was when I walked through these doors. I really found myself again here and I am glad I did. A place called Oakland that has so much negative vibes with it, has brought me back to peace with myself. How is that possible? It’s mind-blowing that this has happened. Words could not express the experience or thoughts that have transpired over these 8 weeks. But I know how to express and the mindset I must keep while I continue this journey. I feel as though this journey has just begun. This 8 weeks was just a taste of reality. And I know I am going to be hit with many more difficulties, but with many more joys of prosperity. I am excited for what is in store. I am going to miss everyone dearly. St. Anthony’s I have loved you dearly and appreciated every day spent with you. Reshmi, thanks for being an amazing boss! Maggie, Amelia, and Gabi I would not have asked to do this internship with anyone else. Through our ups and downs, happy times and difficulties you all have taught me a lot and open my mind to new ways of thinking about things. To all the CILSA staff, thank you for the wonderful dinners and the heartwarming advice. Ryan, I cannot thank you enough for the opportunity to do this program. I never thought this will change my life, but it has in many ways. If I had the chance, I would do this program over and over AGAIN. And to everyone else, THANK YOUUUUUUUU!!! I promise this won’t be the last time you hear of me.
Peace, Love, and OAKLAND!!!