I was born in Brooklyn and lived there every day until I was around 19 then I left for some adventures and never went back to live. This means I’ve lived outside of Brooklyn much longer than I lived there. Until my mother passed away I always had a connection to Brooklyn and went back often. I haven’t been back since we cleared out my mother’s apartment; almost 3 years ago.
I still know people from there and I am in a social media group that celebrates life in Brooklyn but, honestly, i no longer feel connected to it. I can’t glorify the gritty streets we grew up on not to mention the poverty of most and the affluence of a few. I knew some great people and I knew some people that were not so great. I can only hope I fall somewhere in the middle for the few that remember me. Honestly, I cringe at the way I acted and I wish I had been a better person.
None of that has anything to do with Brooklyn though. Who I am today was shaped by the people and relationships and experiences that I encountered over my 56 years. I’m still changing. Still trying to do better. Still trying to do the right thing instead of what’s “easiest and then repenting”.
So, I smile when I read my fellow Brooklynites crowing about coming from the best place on Earth and being better than anyone. Inside though we all have the same demons we’re trying to justify and live with no matter where our abode is located.