In high school, I wasn't that popular, a girl. I was shy, to the extreme and incredibly awkward. I had a pimple riddled face and braces on my teeth. Jesus, what a mess I was. I was born and raised in Compton, California, and I love my old neighborhood, and now that I live in Georgia, I miss my hometown and the people that I grew up with. I don't, however, miss the craziness that living in the 'hood offers.
As a distraction to all of the social strife and messiness of living in Compton, my mother made sure that I was involved with after school programs, as a way of keeping me out of the streets, and from becoming pregnant or affiliated with a gang. Being a gang girl was not my destiny, a fact that my mother drove home on a daily. Sadly though, I have quite a few friends who became teen mothers, whose lives now, are on the flip side of where I am, and I am very thankful to my mom for working hard to keep me focused.
One after school program that I loved, was an art co-op, that was conducted by a few actors, writers and entertainers. Their involvement with us, was their way of giving back, and we loved it. I met some great people during my time with the co-op. There, I fell in love with writing, particularly poetry, and I have been a poetry girl ever since. This love of writing is what drove me to choose to study Journalism in college. Studying Journalism grew within me a spirit of excellence regarding wanting to see the written word expressed perfectly and that's how I became an Editor. Attending an east coast university, with ties to every major communication organization in New York was a blessing. The exposure was dreamy, and it made for an interesting set of experiences and lessons.
After graduation, I moved to the good old south and quickly became involved with the literary scene there. One of my loves, is to go and watch poets doing their thing, and I have witnessed some wonderful artists. Atlanta is filled with poets, gifted poets who have the courage to stand in front of an audience and microphone and expose everything that they are. The scene in Atlanta is rough, sort of like being a participant at the Apollo Theater. If a poet isn't on top of their game, then they may as well join me in the audience as a spectator. I guess that's what keeps me being a poetry girl, me enjoying the view from the audience. Being able to feel the vibe that flows forth from my brethren of spectators, secretly longing to stand in their place as I share the work from my own poetry journal. Maybe one day I'll venture up to the mic, and open myself up to the world....maybe.