As I reflect on my journey till now, I can’t help but acknowledge the stark contrast between my childhood and the upbringing of the other kids. While many of them grew up with both parents who were wealthy and provided them with every opportunity imaginable, I didn’t have the same luxury and had just one parent who had to work hard to make ends meet. I vividly remember the days when I had to fend for myself, navigating life’s challenges and stumbling upon obstacles that seemed insurmountable at times. But I also remember the moments when I pushed through, the moments when I refused to give up because I hated the life I was living and wanted more from it despite the odds being stacked against me.

It’s often said that having both parents is crucial to a child’s upbringing, and I wholeheartedly believe that. A child needs the love, support, and guidance of both parents to thrive and grow into a confident and capable adult. While I didn’t have the privilege of growing up with two supportive parents, I was fortunate to have a mother who did everything she could to provide for me and instill in me the values that have helped shape who I am today.

Despite my challenges growing up, I never lost sight of my passions and goals. I knew early on that I wasn’t the smartest kid in the classroom, but I also knew that I had a deep sense of curiosity and a drive to learn and grow. I somehow managed to avoid the pitfalls that often trap many kids, and worked hard to supercharge my passions into work I love. Today, I’m proud to say that I never have to work a single day in my life and get paid decently for it.

While it’s a common belief that being a man is a privilege, I hold a different perspective on the matter. In my eyes, only a man with money and power truly experiences privilege, whereas the rest are often viewed as inferior. It’s disheartening to see how men face their own set of struggles, which are often downplayed or used as a means to discredit women’s issues. I strongly believe we should work together to support one another, rather than perpetuate a culture of competition and division.

One of the things that deeply troubles me is how men are portrayed in the media. From toxic masculinity to unrealistic beauty standards, these messages can lead to self-loathing and self-harm among men. It’s important that we start having more honest conversations about what it means to be a man in today’s society, and create a space where men can feel safe to express their emotions and vulnerabilities. Only then can we truly work towards a more equitable and just world for all genders?

As I look back on my journey, I realize it’s not just about the challenges I faced or the opportunities I was given. It’s about the resilience, determination, and grit that I developed along the way. It’s about the belief that I had in myself, even when others doubted me. It’s about my choices, the sacrifices I had to endure, and the risks I had to take to get to where I am today. And most importantly, it’s about the realization that no matter where we come from or what challenges we face, we all have the power to shape our own destinies.