For those who don’t know me, my name is Cristian Morales. I am a Puerto Rican, 19-year-old single father. My mother brought me here from Puerto Rico 12 years ago to live the “American Dream”. Although many people said my dream was over at the age of 16 (when I became a dad), I am proving all the stereotyping is wrong. I will break down my story, tell people who I am, and explain why I’m here advocating for all young parents.
See, many of the wealthy adults living the life we would want to live one day can be much more ignorant than the adults who are trying to help us move forward through struggles. They judge teen parents by saying “It’s over” or “Your life is dead” because you have to live for your child now. Well, they are completely wrong. They think there is a 360 degree change, when having a child, and that all of the change is towards negativity, especially if you are not already wealthy or successful. I am here to say YOU ARE WRONG.
I was a young boy raised on the streets of Lynn, a city known for its street gangs. I grew up in gangs and on the streets because I had no father figure. My mother and I seemed to always bump heads (which we still currently do until this day). So I figured finding a family in the streets would help. What I did not know is the gang life would bring more trouble and it was all just a temporary good feeling through living dangerously. I lived my life like that and did it all when I was representing my “street family”. But what happened when my daughter was born? I was left ALONE.
My child made me realize that I lost my life. I lost my gang life. I gained a new positive life that I have been wanting for years from what God and my inner self was telling me. So my child is NOT the reason why my life was over, my child is the reason why my life started and I have finally learned to LIVE. So to all the young parents being judged and believing that it’s “over”, remember to count your blessings as much as you talk about your struggles. In the end, I’m sure those struggles will pay off if you’re raising them and showing them they are the reason you live and move forward with life. This is only my introduction and there’s much more to come from me… a young single father’s journey.