Growing Up in Compton

Let me start off by saying that living in Compton is not as bad as it sounds. I’m sure many people hear all these stories of how ghetto it is, dangerous or what not but the way I see it, any place you go to has that possibility of it being unsafe. I remember growing up, whenever my sister and I wanted to hang out in the front yard with my cousins, my dad would always want us to come into the house early of course being young and all, we didn’t listen most of the time. I think because we were already getting older, to us it just didn’t seem that much of a big deal, maybe we were so used to our surroundings or we just figured we’re not going to let that stop us from going out. I’m not going to lie sometimes it can get bad but when doesn’t it, some where in the world there’s always something going down. When you’re younger you don’t really know what to expect so of course I was scared back in the 90’s. When New Years would come around we would always be ready to hit the ground since our neighbors down the street would always shoot sometimes even on Christmas we had to be careful. It felt like we couldn’t even enjoy the holidays at times because of it but that was years ago, thankfully that’s over with. The one thing that I remember as well was me, my sister, brother and cousins going to the store with my dad and uncle. We had a blue van so we were all just in the back sitting on the floor, some where near by I guess there was a shooting and I take it the person or people were driving a van similar to ours, we were already getting home pulling up into the driveway when all of a sudden there’s cops behind us yelling at my dad and uncle, searching them and asking questions. We were in the backseat wondering what did they do wrong, so then they open the doors to the back and see us all sitting there, of course they didn’t find anything they just simply made a mistake and that was it, the cops left. Many years before all of this though, I was still a baby but my family remembers clearly, I’ve just heard stories. We were living in a different house, not the one we are living in now but apparently a friend of the family was on the run I don’t know for what but they were. Somewhere down the line I take it they put our address in somewhere or maybe they just knew that he would always be there but one night we were all sound asleep when we get hit by a police raid. There they are knocking doors down, guns and all for no reason practically. It’s not like they knew that he wouldn’t be there, they were just doing their job I guess. I wonder how my parents felt, I can’t even begin to imagine the stress of all that happening and us just being kids I wonder what my reaction was, probably just crying all over the place, I don’t even know. Eventually they sold the house and thankfully my parents found a beautiful home not so far from where we first lived. To be honest though when we first moved in here, the house needed a lot of work. My parents took care of things around here little by little and as we got older they had us do our fair share of the work around here as well. I remember we used to literally cut the grass as a family, my brother and dad would do their part on that and us girls would sweep up, I never thought I would say I miss doing that. On summer days my cousins would come over and we would play football with the neighbors on the street until it was time to go inside, it’s crazy though because with the neighbors now all we do is say hi and bye. Their grandparents were really close to my parents, they were the first ones to welcome us into the neighborhood. When my sister met her husband, boyfriend at the time he got along well with them so I’m sure my sister was and still is happy about that, this of course was years after those summer days/nights being kids. Now a days things are calm compared to then, the last thing to happen around here was a drive by while some guy was sitting in his car a couple of houses down, unfortunately he lost his life. I can never understand how someone can even take another person’s life, doesn’t matter what differences they have it should never come down to that. Once in a while now, when we’re sleeping or maybe just starting to fall asleep we hear shots, cars burning rubber soon after which I hate hearing, it gets more frustrating then anything because all you can think about is how they can have no care for any innocent people that may be around. That is why I say any where you go can be dangerous because I’m sure my neighborhood isn’t the only place to be like this and there is no doubt that in some places it is much worse. My only hope is that it’ll change, me personally I don’t have fear of walking around here or anything, if I do it’s because I’m afraid of any dogs that might be on the loose wanting to chase me. Mainly though it’s my family that I have on my mind constantly especially my parents. My dad rejoined his car club again like two years ago or so, Viejitos Car Club from back in the days and sometimes they have parties weekend after weekend. Of course my dad takes off in his classic car and one of their friends almost had their car stolen so out of the blue these thoughts creep up and I start calling them to make sure they’re okay and sometimes my sister and I can’t sleep well until we know they are home safe. Funny how the tables turn, when we would go out they used to stay up worried, waiting for us to get home so they can yell at us and now they’re out enjoying their lives, doing what they couldn’t do years ago and now we’re at home worried waiting for them to get back. As much as we have our arguments and everything, I’m thankful to God he chose us to be family, we’ve been through tough times, we struggle from time to time but we are still here. Living in Compton has been what I like to say, crazy beautiful. I love it here but I’m all for traveling as well for a new atmosphere. ❤


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