I still can vividly recall the day when the landlord to my husband and I very first apartment placed the keys in the palm of my hand. I felt empowered. I felt overjoyed. It was a feeling of victory. Seeing my name on the lease and turning the knob to a place that I could call home felt great.

I was 20 years old when I realized that I could not go back home. There was no more home for me. I left my family and small town with the hopes of experiencing life for myself. I was no longer sharing a room with my mama and younger sister.

I was an engaged black woman with work to do. I learned to budget, save, and go without while holding down a retail job. My fiancé, now husband was doing the same. We did not have much, however, we did have love and a deep understanding of hustling. Neither of us wanted to go back to living under the roof and rules of our people.

I remember power walking to work on the rainiest of days. I can still taste the gritty and filthiness of muddy water splashing me in the face and clothes by cars. I can recall the panic I felt in my chest whenever I would feel rain pouring down on me and I had left my umbrella at home. The weather forecasts are not always right.

You always learn to be prepared. My purse packed with every essential possible from headache medication, wipes, socks, pads, and snacks. I did not mind power walking almost three miles to work on most days and even catching the bus halfway. I just knew that people noticed my effort to make it to work. My co-workers and mangers even asked me about how I made it to work every day without a car.

I would smile and said, "I trucked here." Referring to my toe feet Meme and Fee fee.

 I clocked on faithfully for $9.50 to have a paycheck close to $300 every two weeks.

It was never much I made, but I was blessed to be able to make it. I did not want to go back to sleeping in motels around the west bank of New Orleans. I did not want to go back to sleeping in my fiancĂ©’s two-door car in department store parking lots. I can recall taking bird baths in random gas station bathrooms just to freshen myself up. Those deep stares that I gave myself in those gas station bathrooms still reflect my hunger today.

If you have seen the things that I have seen, you would know why my desire to grind keeps me going. God knew what he was doing when he blessed me with this passion that burns deep within me. A passion that is deeper than just hair care on YouTube. I’m willing to do what it takes to live a life that will glorify God. I am willing to do what it takes to never go back to my past lifestyle.

I do not want my current life as a stay at home mother to define me. I want my own money. I want for my son and future children to know that mommy did not settle. I want my children to know that their mama made things happen.

I am a happy stay at home mom. I just crave to continue to have my own identity outside of my marriage and motherhood. I want to be taken serious in all my life endeavors and missions. For me to keep being able to have my own I must keep going. There’s nothing like having your own. Whenever you get a taste of it to be sure to savor it.

Time to now reflect.

What is driving you to keep going? How strong is your faith in God when things get tough in your life?

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