Growing up making less then economic standards with tough on everyone involved. You're never alone.

The definition of "poor" is different to a lot of people, we weren't begging for change on the streets to feed our family, but we were struggling and I think it means the same.

But sadly, it was the way I felt for most of my life. When I moved to Ohio, we bought a house in a rough neighborhood. We were in walking distance to my elementary school, we could walk to just about anywhere, but there was also a lot of violence and drugs in my neighborhood that I was blinded by until I hit a certain age. We had a great neighbor support, we would be able to walk into our neighbors house and stay the night with them, so I guess they sheltered us from the true evils that lurked in our streets.

When we all lived as a family; my parents had decent jobs, we had friends, we went to the nicer schools of the public system, so it was okay. But we also struggled financially, we shopped in thrift stores for clothes until I was about thirteen, we had food in our house but I remember days where we had to ration what we had, we never got school pictures or yearbooks because it was too much money, I got my sisters handed down clothes, but we were a presentable family.

By all economic standards we were lower-middle class, we weren't bothered by it. But now, I blame my upbringing to be the reason why my four siblings and I are so materialistic. We always have to have better, at least that's how I am. I have two closets full of clothes and I am still ordering more, I have over twenty six pairs of shoes and I don't wear half of them, I have a car but I wanted a better one. I am thankful for what I have but I feel like it's never enough. It's like a feeling of "I couldn't have this as a kid, so I'm buying all of it now" type of feeling.

When people walk into my room, they see a big desk with a laptop and a T.V. mounted on the wall, they see a overstuffed bookshelf of lotions and sprays, they see a big bed and two overflowing closets but a full hamper of dirty clothes and I still have three months worth of clean outfits. They see what I worked for, but they assume I'm spoiled and greedy and I'm just materialist. I do have a shopping problem, I have over $2,500 worth of ink on my body, I get my nails done, I have so much stuff and I guess that does make me conceited in a way.

But I am always humble, I understand struggles and what makes me tick as a person. I give to charity, I donate old clothes, I let my friends borrow whatever they want (sometimes I won't see it back but...), so growing up with less money then the average household changed me, but I will always be humble about where I started. I will always know someone is going through what I went through, and it's okay. If you are struggling, when you get money, treat yo self.