Champaign, Urbana: the place that I call home. Every time I visit, the place opens with warm hugs. Farms and land are what bring me joy. I love being able to run across a field like I’m the wind blowing softly. They say we’re country, but I take pride in that.

I grew up in Chicago for a while, and I guess it became my new home. This is where you hear the noisy streets honk and yell, and you view downtown as the pretty light appears. I can definitely say Urbana is my tranquil place, but Chicago is my voice. It is where my shouts are heard every day.

My life is like a rocky road where confidence and insecurity fall into place. Being from a generation that does not really care about each other is hard. For me, it’s hard to be a young black girl. I don’t feel safe around people that make fun of my skin color and don’t know who I truly am. Nowadays, I want to relive my younger days when I didn’t have to worry as much. I was free to love everything. Getting older, I notice everything. I feel more responsible and alone.

I was young when my parents divorced. Not being able to have the chance to live with both of my parents really affected the person I am. I didn’t get the chance to be like the other kids: “happy.” I had lots of friends. Some have become disconnected, not on purpose, but for a change.

I feel empty, like I’m in standing in a middle of a room while everything is frozen but I’m still going. I am confused about who I am and how life is, and I wonder what the future holds. Will it be great or bad? IDK?! I’m just going to leave the past in the past and open fresh for a new future that I want to have.

Moving forward – don’t forget that life’s not perfect.

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