COLUMN: Difficult times may inspire

Jeremy Porter

Growing up in Cincinnati was hard, as I’ve had many painful and stressful times there. I’ve seen things that would shock most of you, but I’ll keep those stories to myself. By surviving all the trials and tribulations I’ve overcome, I feel I am a stronger person.

I moved to Kent to become more independent instead of fighting for survival in Cincinnati. In Kent, I find myself doing what I love to do, and that’s writing. My mind is where I have free reign, and I write these thoughts on paper for you to see. I feel free in Kent, but also desensitized from all the pain I went through in Cincinnati.

Through all the violence I’ve been through, it makes me feel like I have too much strength in my mind and body. Like the Marines say, “Pain is weakness leaving the body,” and that is true on my part. I tell my friends back home whatever they went through in life, they need to learn from it and gain strength from it to survive. It’s been hectic down there; there have been robberies, rapes and murders all over the city.

I met a woman in Cincinnati this summer whose friend was murdered by a truck driver. She was the strongest woman I’ve ever met; she was able to contain herself, not shedding any tears, though inside she felt like causing harm to herself or others.

She was 39, but she looked 25 with a nice body, young face and elegant skin.

She is a warrior who has survived being raped twice, protecting herself from gunfire and raising two children. This woman inspired me through all the stories she has told me for hours on end. She’s been through all that negativity, but still manages to get her life straight. Now she is going to law school and trying to become a lawyer.

I’ve also been strengthened and inspired by God. He’s the only one I fear, but I know he cares about me and everyone. I asked him for protection a few years ago, and that’s exactly what I got. Ever since then, I’ve survived dozens of encounters with death and losing my freedom. My criminal record is completely clean, yet I’ve been targeted by police through most of my adolescent years.

What I have learned from almost being arrested is to stay calm, to not fear the police and to tell the truth. If you did something completely stupid or wrong, then I guess you’re screwed. But I’ve always kept myself from doing that.

Maybe it’s because I am too calm, or maybe it’s because I feel more in control when I’m defending myself.

Those that overcome their problems in life will be the calmest in most situations. I know I have a lot of pressure writing for this newspaper, but I don’t feel it. That’s from all the preparation in life that has caused me to be at ease and strive, regardless of whatever stands in my way.

I hope I have inspired you to build strength in yourself whether you have dealt with pain long ago or recently. If not, I hope there is someone else in your life that can inspire you.

Jeremy Porter is a junior communications major and a columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact him at [email protected].