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  • Writer's pictureEarlSun

What is your success?

My success cannot be measured solely in terms of material wealth; it is defined by the challenges I have faced throughout my life. From an early age, I was initiated into a harsh reality, a gang of sorts, which I simply call "life." This existence constantly presented me with seemingly insurmountable obstacles on both sides, as if daring me to navigate my way through them. The promise was clear: if I could find my way to the other side of this treacherous path, I would forever be a member, having endured the initiation.

My journey into this life began at a mere five years old when I experienced my first devastating blow – finding myself in the back of my father's car while he committed a robbery at a liquor store in our neighborhood. As I took each subsequent step, life struck me again and again. I bore witness to my mother enduring scalding hot water from someone while holding my sister and being pregnant with my brother. Doubts began to creep in, but my determination to make it to the end remained unwavering.

As I continued through this path of life i found myself in a bedroom hearing the sound of a gunshot. I proceed to the living room to find my father had been shot in the head by the landlord of our apartment complex. unwavered why father walked to the phone and called for medical attention. The father walked away with no lasting effect of his encounter but my mental fortitude was tested once again.

The next step hit me even harder, dropping me to my knees. By the age of nine, my siblings and I were forcibly removed from our home and placed in foster care, where I endured beatings for simply waking up too early. I spent approximately two years in foster care before my Paternal grandmother gained custody of me.

The last step before reaching the other side was perhaps the most devastating of all. It was a blow that knocked me down and nearly kept me there. My father's frequent imprisonments and limited contact with my mother during and after my time in foster care were painful realities. Then, at the age of 17, I received the heart-wrenching news of my mother's untimely passing. With my siblings out of my life and my father incarcerated, this was yet another heavy blow to bear.

From his prison cell, my father made the decision for me to live with his mother instead of my mother's mother, against my wishes. This meant I had less time with my mother before her untimely death. In the months following that devastating loss, I began to spiral, but I eventually found the inner strength to stand up again. I made a solemn promise to myself that I would shine in a way that my mother could witness, even from her place in heaven.

I emerged on the other side battered, bruised, and broken, but here I stand. My success is not measured by material wealth but by my ability to endure and withstand everything that life has thrown at me, emerging from each trial stronger than before.


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