Personal Narrative: My Life In East Oakland

545 Words3 Pages
I have lived in East Oakland my whole life. To the majority of people, the mention of East Oakland evokes thoughts of violence, shootings, and gangs. I was one of the people who believed in these stereotypes, and for a particularly long time. I was one of the people who saw Oakland as a wasteland, a place with nothing to offer me, and a place I had nothing to offer to.
Ever since I was little, I have been hyper aware of my surroundings and analyzed everything in my life from what my parents told me to what I saw on the news, but eventually I came to the realization that I wasn't as aware as I assumed. Some of the vividest memories that I have from my childhood are my parents telling me that if I heard gunshots, I needed to run to the bathroom.
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I would say it began approximately two years ago. It started gradually, when I realized I wasn't paying as much attention to my surroundings as I assumed I was initially. When I actually paid close attention, I realized Oakland is so much more than what people make it out to be, and I had fallen victim to believing negative stereotypes. Now I see Oakland as a beautiful place full of diversity and people with hopes, dreams, and passions. Once I started loving the city I lived in, I felt better about myself and had more aspirations too. The way I felt about my city and my surroundings had a strong correlation with the way I felt about myself. Prior to this realization, my dreams and aspirations for the future were minimal. I performed well throughout elementary school, and I was moved up a grade because my reading and math skills were advanced. However, when I began attending middle school, the new atmosphere combined with all of the new awareness I gained as I started transitioning from a child to an adolescent ended up in me lowering the expectations I had for myself. Once I regained my optimism and saw that Oakland is not what people say it is, I began seeing life in an optimistic way as
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