Not Just Another Teen(:

Jonathan - Tunjunga, California
Entered on April 21, 2009
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: family
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Not Just Another Teen

I come from a city where vicious crime, dirty drug dealing, and brutal murders are as predictable as the seven o’clock news. The streets are alive with the drug dealing gangsters, overdosing crack heads, and super cool skater dudes. All these worlds combine and form this world, my world, the ghetto.

Walking down the street, everyone glaring at me, I feel the weight of people’s pitiful looks. I notice that I am looked at as very unusual. People look at me and make awful faces. They make these faces because I am not like my surroundings. The usual attire is a baggy, creased-up, kaki pair of shorts, and an oversized white tee shirt, all toped off with a mean attitude and serious swag. What I choose to wear causes many people to stop and stare. Just as my lovely girlfriend wears her clothes, I like to wear tight pants and tight shirts, I rock those awesome skating shoes, and I smell like a crisp, clean, and relaxing shower. I wear these things because they make me happy and that is all I care about. What life is about, to me, is doing as much as you can to bring as much joy in your life as possible.

I believe that everybody unintentionally makes judgments. I believe this for many reasons. I am always thinking about this old saying, “Never judge a book by its cover.” This means a lot to me because it is true and I try and live my life with this statement in mind.

For example, one day I was walking home from school. It was a beautiful day and the smell of burning wood and the aroma of freshly baked pizza gently floated through the air. I was passing the McDonalds when five young men came walking from the ally behind it. They walked towards me and started calling me mean and loud names. I tried not to pay attention because I knew that they had been drinking and smoking in they ally. It reeked from their breaths. Before I knew it they had thrown their empty forties to the floor and started to rush my way. There really wasn’t anything I could do because I was highly out numbered and out muscled. They had jumped me. My dad had known the guys who did it and he was planning to do something about it. I was very relieved when my dad came in and said, “Son, there is nobody who will harm you any more.”

I believe that the guys who jumped me had judged me. They had believed that I was somebody who was all on his own. I realized that they thought that I was some weak kid that didn’t have any help, but they were wrong. I had more help then they thought. I don’t hold any hate towards them for what they did. I know it was simply because they didn’t know what they were getting in to. We all should just watch out when we judge people because you can’t judge a book by its cover.