Existing, It's how I feel right now. I'm 19 years old "living" at home with my parents. I go to the Kingdom Hall every Sunday Morning as well as Wednesday night. I work multiple low paying jobs with little to no worry because I know I can rely on my parents to cover my hide.

I'm safe. I am safe and I absolutely hate it. I hate the fact that my life doesn't even feel like my own life most of the time. I constantly live through decisions other people have made and I'm supposed to live my life accordingly. Living your life in autopilot, dependent on others to me... This is not living.

Living is how I feel when I finally hit the 'Screw it' point. Doing something I probably would have never felt comfortable doing before out of fear. Living is how I feel when the night is young and my friends and I are in the car blasting our favorite songs singing in our worst voices but we don't care because we're having the time of our lives not caring if whoever we pass hates us.

Living is how I feel when I break the norm of this high position, high morale kid everyone expects me to be, and I finally just chase what I want and be myself even if it isn't the honorable and popular lifestyle. When I had control of what I actually wanted to do for once in my life. I exist every day, but living feels rare. Living is how I feel when I finally grasp control of my destiny, that I move out of the plan someone else set.

At the same time though, living is also other things to me. Rudy Francisco, my favorite poet, said he gets an adrenaline rush every single time he sees a cop car speed past him, not because he has anything to worry about, but because as a black man. Why do I have to live my life so scared of the people sworn to protect me?

I should be able to live fearlessly. I shouldn't have to exist filled with worry. I should be able to live my life confidently, not wondering if I am going to be treated differently because of the color of my skin. People already decide whether or not they want to know you from your personality. I shouldn't have to feel like the "Are you sure?" screen after you click confirm. Just as a reminder, this guy is black.

Living to me? It's being who I want to be. It's writing my own story with the same opportunities as everyone else. I realize you are gonna have people who try to stop you from finishing your story, and that sometimes the pen you have to write will run out of ink. But how will I keep going despite that? I can never allow myself to give up because if I do it will all have been for nothing. Nothing is something I never intend to be.