There were experiences in my life that changed me. When I was a child, my mother and I lived here in Washington, while my father was away at school. The city was an exciting place to live. After my father completed his studies, we moved to South Carolina. It was more rural and quiet than D.C. I played with my sister and watched TV, as well as attended school and made friends.
TV became important during that period of my life. My ideas and dreams became strongly influenced by that medium. Later, as I got older, I had to realize that much of what I had seen was wrong, and the value I should have espoused had been damaged by that make-believe world. I really should have become more familiar with the real world and how people were solving real problems and adjusting to actual situations.
Later, being one of the first to go to an integrated high school in the North, I think I became further removed from many situations that Black people often have to confront. There is not a lot of time to set priorities in life and looking back is not always helpful. I made the decision to live my life the best way I knew how. I may have done some things differently, but I would have made worse mistakes too.
We can look at the illusions and think we’re going to meet the perfect man, live in a beautiful home, with all the money we’ll ever need and children will be marvelous and jobs will be enjoyable.
Of course, real life is not like these perceptions. I should have understood that my perceptions of what life was really like would have been more like the life I was living.