I would listen to rain pour on the tin roof of my home, as I silently counted how many drops of water would fall from the leaking roof into several pans in my living room. It wasn't a game that entertained other kids my age. In fact, it wasn't a game at all. It was God's way of reminding me that a better life would come after suffering for so long. I sometimes would count up to two hundred drops of water that had fallen before my mother would quickly try to keep the pans from overflowing....

I use to imagine the pans overflowing with Skittles or M&M's to ease my aching stomach while I was starving. I mastered to what seems like an art of (keeping my thoughts to myself at a young age.) The only time during the months that flew by I was happy was whenever the social security checks came through and food stamps. It was like all the frustration and the urge to eat disappeared when money came around on the 3rd of the month. It was sad to be so happy and to have an aunt who called you ungrateful when she clearly knows and experienced first hand you I came from nothing! 

My mama was barely surviving and even providing for me and my two siblings. Since, my mother couldn't read or write she worked in the sugarcane fields during the scorching summer months. I was ashamed to tell anyone what my mother did to help her kids get school supplies before August of every school year. I would smile through the shame of seeing the efforts of her hard work before us. I remember being home and watching my siblings, and seeing her come inside our home with sun burned skin and mud covering her ankles and shoes. 

She would take off her sun hat and take a well needed seat before speaking to us. My eyes would fill with tears. I never wanted to experience seeing her struggle to put food on our table. All me and my siblings had to eat was lunch meat and white bread, which I am scorned from eating. 

You see, I grew up with a single mother. By the age of eight I was a certified babysitter and helping my mother pay the bills, and with helping my little sister and brother read and write. I never had a birthday cake, a birthday party, or birthday gifts. To my mother my birthday was just another God given day to be thankful for. I could go on and on about how poor I really was, but I just can not find the strength to type it out. I'm fighting back the tears that I can hold back, but my face is drenched. The rivers I cried when I was younger didn't help wash away my pain. Neither, did the rivers that I cried helped me sail a boat without being casted into a storm. 

Growing up poor was something that I couldn't fake. Going to school was a battleground for my peers to tease me about my home and clothing. I hated life being poor. I hated my damn self. Life back then wasn't worth living (so, there was many times that I thought.) I never wanted for people to feel sorry for me or my family. I was sick and tired of being a charity case. My family never had Thanksgiving meals, because we never had food to cook. Hand-me-downs came from all over and I was thankful for a pair of clothes that was new to me. 

I use to be a full-time dreamer. Now I am a full time dream achiever. My patience dives my presitence and I understand the value of grinding and getting it out the mud. In order for me to become famous, I truly don't care how long it takes. I don't care how difficult the road may be to the level of success that I am going to be to take. I truly believe that I am worth my dreams. I never understood the concept of  "it cannot be done." For all the millions and probably countless challenges that will try to get in my way they will be remove. Growing up poor made me resilient, independent, and a true risk taker. 

I don't want the fancy watches, cars, and luxury bags becuase it doesn't impress me. What impresses me is hard work and the fruits of labor. I deserve for my voice to be heard. I'm grinding very hard in my 20's so in my 30's I can live, inspire, and motivate. Growing up poor doesn't take away from your value as a woman or a man. Don't allow your humble beginnings to crumble your dreams. For this is only the beginning of a struggle that will be transformed into something beautiful. 

Keep God first in your life and everything that you do.

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