If you live in Baltimore, you have to be street smart (or any other urban city for that matter). People are constantly testing you, so you have to watch yourself. And in my opinion, I think you have to apply this type good judgement to your life anywhere you live. It’s a form of social protection.
A lot of people ask, “Well, what is street smart? Well, according to the webster’s dictionary, Streetsmart simply means, having the shrewd awareness, experience, and resourcefulness needed for survival in a difficult, often dangerous urban environment. You can learn how to be book smart, but being street smart is a different kind of intelligence. No one learns how to be street smart in the classroom. You won’t become street savvy while sitting at your computer and reading this article. Going through certain situations, and being confronted by different kinds of people, all make you street smart.
“Living in the city requires just as much survivals skills (if not more) as living in the jungle.”
A few years ago, I came across Constance Arnold blog talk radio show discussing manifestation, the law of attraction, and vision boards. One of the male guests on the show said, “I created a vision board, and my main goal was to buy a home. Twelve months later, I was able to buy that home!” I busted out laughing like, “Yea right! if it were that easy, everyone would make a vision board and have everything they desire!” The show went on, profiling other people and their success stories from creating vision boards. The host of the show said, “Whatever you put on your vision board, it will manifest and become a reality!” I’m like, “Is this a joke or something?” I believe in the law of attraction to a certain extent, but most of that stuff is heightened to make it sound like some magical powers or something. I actually called myself reading the “Worldwide Bestseller Book,” The Secret, and I couldn’t even get through the first chapter. It was just too superficial to me.
One day, I was over a friend’s house, and she had her vision board posted on the wall. I said, “I don’t fully understand these vision boards. Most people are just waiting for this miracle to happen, which may never happen.” She looked at me like, “How dare you question the law of attraction?” (LOL) “Your way of thinking can directly affect what the universe gives you. If you put positive mental energy into the universe, you’ll be the recipient of positive outcomes.” I simply replied, “Oh ….Ok…….right.”
Later at home, I decided to give this vision board thing a try, so I went to Michael’s and brought some craft paper, glue, stickers, and ribbons. I decided to create a vision book.
Growing up in Baltimore, I was a witness to poverty and hopelessness, which gave me the drive to succeed and be above the norm. I never understood poverty. It literally scared the shit out of me as a child. Even at five years old, I knew it wasn’t normal. I would ask myself “People actually like to live like this? Living in a neighborhood full of abandoned homes, trash, roaches, and rats?” I grew up in the city, but we lived in a fairly decent neighborhood. Other areas of Baltimore was the true definition of Hell On Earth. I always thought I would be shot.
You should’ve seen my poor little face whenever we went to visit family members in the projects. I was always terrified. We would get on that pissy elevator to the 15th floor. It shook the entire time, and the lights would blink on and off; Kind of like a haunted building. On the weekends, my mother would say, “Ok we’re going downtown to Lexington Market!” If you lived in Baltimore in the 90’s, then you knew Lexington Market was junkie central. I used to beg my mother to NOT take me with her, but she insisted anyway. I wouldn’t get off the bus. She had to literally pull me off the bus! And I cried my little heart out the entire time we were down there. I was scared every time we walked past a junkie. It was like The Walking Dead, and they were the real life zombies. It was dirty, and the smell was horrific. (more…)