Saturday, February 22, 2014
I am a little envious of the young woman who bought the house next door. She appears roughly the same age I was when I bought my home in 2007. The major difference is the heavy presence of peer support in her life, versus the absence of peer support in mine. I didn't have a whole lot of people on board when I decided to sell my duplex in Los Angeles and buy a single family home in Alameda, nearly four hundred miles away. The concept seemed outrageous, in fact! Single minority women just didn't do that. It only got worse when I settled in here. I live on the "poor" side of the island. Many blacks on this side just get by on government assistance. Many blacks I met here assumed I served as a domestic to a family living in this house. Other minorities assumed I was either a boarder renting a room or a resident living in a program. When I told the truth, it was always assumed I had done some dishonest deed to get here. Discouraged, I eventually lost my confidence and my faith. Someone suggested I lie and tell people I am just a renter, which is not me honoring the life I am creating for myself here. Thankfully, I am no longer meeting many of the people who challenged my position now that I have a family. I lost valuable time associating with the wrong peer group. I wonder what hidden things were happening in the lives of those people who didn't like or trust me enough to let me know I didn't belong here too.