Text by Milan Burnett, Copyright 2021
When people hear that you’re from New York, the first thing that comes to their mind are the five boroughs – Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, The Bronx, or Staten Island. Drive about 30 minutes North of the city, and you’ll find White Plains, where I was born. Usually regarded as an affluent part of Westchester County, I can’t say that my family was able to relate to that particular notion.
I always grew up living with my mother in New Jersey, but often stayed with my father and his side of the family in New York in my adolescence. I went to great schools in Bergen County New Jersey a majority of my life, and always considered both places my home. However, regardless of the environment of where I spent most of my childhood, I am certainly no stranger to hard times. Once I entered the eighth grade, things began to dim, as my mother consistently struggled to keep a roof over our heads. We were forced to relocate. In that year alone, I attended three different junior high schools between New Jersey, Tennessee, and North Carolina. You’d think I was an army brat, huh? I was always the friendly, easy to get along with type, so it was never difficult for me to adapt and make friends in any school I went to. I’ve always been a talker. I loved the idea of meeting new people and interacting with different attitudes. In fact, I thrived off of it.
As I got older, I realized how much of a blessing in disguise all the hardship my mother and I experienced was. Being exposed to so many different subcultures and ways of life at such an early age struck a chord in me, igniting my humanitarian nature and passion for the psychology of others. The “why” behind peoples certain behaviors and attitudes. Some may call it a gift, but put me in a room with any group of people, and I’ll find a way to understand or relate to each person individually. If there is anything I’ve grown to love about my personality, it’s the ability to relate. The ability to assess situations and understand the emotions of others around me, whilst always being objective. I guess you can call me a true Aquarian – leading not with emotion, but with objective logic.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR : Milan is currently an administrative healthcare professional, originally from New York, now residing in Philadelphia. Aspiring model and real estate broker. Free thinker. Humanitarian by nature. Spiritual revolutionary in the making. This is Milan’s first contribution to Tony Ward Studio.