As this year rolls to a close, a friend posts a message on FaceBook about a recent event that took place in my old neighborhood in San Diego. This got me thinking about all of the places I have lived in my life, and how I came to be where I am now.
My husband and I are living in our third home. Overall, we have lived at eight different addresses. Prior to marrying, I lived in eight different places, six of which were with my parents and siblings. The final place my family and I lived in before I married is the same community in San Diego where the above mentioned incident took place. I lived there the longest, actually, having grown up and gone to school (elementary, Jr. High and High School) there. After marrying, my husband and I lived in several places, but our first home was in the same community that I grew up in.
That community is no longer the peaceful, middle-class neighborhood I grew up in. There’s an element of homeless people that’s grown, along with more lower-income/disadvantaged people.
Someone remarked to me the other day that being poor didn’t make you a criminal. It isn’t a crime to be poor. That’s very true. Before my family moved to California, we were dirt poor. We lived in a house owned by my paternal grandmother, grew our own vegetables, and raised and slaughtered rabbits to supplement my father’s paycheck. Oftentimes, the only food we had to eat was what we grew and what my grandmother would provide for us. None of us turned to crime as a way of living or escaping poverty. It just wasn’t part of who we were.
I wonder at today’s level of poverty in our nation and know there is something wrong to have this many people living at or below the poverty level. Sadly, I can’t offer any answers.
Be safe, be well, and please be happy. Life is full of choices. Make sure your choices reflect who you are and who you want to be in this life.