Hey there! So last year on this exact day, my 29th birthday, I was preparing for my book launch of Fatherless Daughter: A Different Perspective which took place at Pages Bookshop back home in Detroit. The day of, I was literally scrambling around, driving from Nordstrom to Nordstrom to find the perfect dress for that very special day. I have to say that November 20, 2016 was one of the best days of my life, because for the first time, I was removing my fear of success from my psyche and doing something I always wanted to do which is self publish my book. Many family and friends came out to support, even friends from out of town! November 20, 2016 is a day that I will always remember and cherish,
Now, who would have thought that just a short year later that I would have quit my pretty good job, sold or gave away all of my furniture, and packed my car with as much as I could fit in it, and drove to Georgia?! I can tell you that this was not in the plan as of November 2016. I was progressing in Detroit! I was a member of a few organizations, I knew some pretty big fish in Detroit, I have some pretty amazing friends and contacts, I was doing well with my job, and I became a published Author. Things were pretty good! It was once I started a fellowship program in January of 2017 when my heart and mind changed. I was blessed to be surrounded by some pretty amazing individuals, and while I was referred to as "Real Detroit" (because of my experiences in Detroit) and I was thought of as amazing as well, I felt like the people who I was around really LIVED LIFE. By that, I am mean that every single person in my class had lived outside of Detroit or traveled extensively, something that I had been longing to do for over 10 years, but was always too afraid or too comfortable to go through with it. I was accepted into Clark Atlanta University and Spelman College on partial scholarship after high school, and even offered a job in Dallas, TX after college, but stayed home. I felt like they had done things in their life and had experiences that I could only dream of. I wanted to LIVE LIFE. Being around these individuals gave me the courage to put a plan into motion and really start thinking about moving out of state because it was time that I experience something other than Detroit. There was literally a point after being accepted into the fellowship program where I could not talk about this overwhelming feeling of just wanting to get up and go without crying. I specifically remember being in the car with my girl Kam and breaking out into tears talking about this. It was weighing on me so much, and while some people thought that this was not the best decision to make at the time, this was something I needed to do for me.
Bye Bye Detroit!
In February, I began to formulate a plan. I knew I wanted to move, but I didn't know where. It was up in the air between Florida and Georgia. Florida because it is beautiful and my bestie was there, and Georgia because my job at the time was headquartered there. At the end of my lease, I moved out of my apartment in Downtown Detroit (in which I loved by the way), and got rid of all of my furniture so that when I decided to move, it would be easy and I would have no obligations. I made the decision in late March that I was going to move to Atlanta because I was going to transfer with my job, and it made more sense to do so. Who would have thought at that time that I would have been quitting my job and going to Georgia COMPLETELY free and in the clear?! I gave myself 6 months from the time I moved out of my apartment to finalize my decision and bust a move, which would have been September. I relocated to Atlanta in August of 2017.
In the end, we only regret the chances we didn't take. ~Lewis Carroll
Atlanta! Here I come!
So, its August 10th, 3am, a few hours after I left the Shalamar concert at Chene Park in Detroit, I packed my car, said goodbye to my mom and sister, and got on the road. 45 minutes into the drive, I was pulling over to take a nap, so needless to say, what would typically take the average individual about 10 hours took me about 15...lol... Word of advice: Never leave to drive a 10 hour drive after exerting so much energy into a concert the previous night, with only about 3 hours of sleep. Bad idea! Anyway, I get to Atlanta, with no job, and I am initially just in love with the fact that I am in a new state, with a new address. So much so, that when I first got here, I shopped and ate out almost every day...lol...Let me clarify some things, I did not come out here broke with no job. I saved money because while I didn't have a job, I still had bills... car note, insurance, rent, etc., and my thoughts were, "it shouldn't take me no more than 90 days to find employment. I have a couple degrees... I am kinda smart...someone will hire me and it will be great!" At this point, I am just living the Atlanta Dream!
9 Days later!
My roommate Keisha and I got up this Saturday morning, full of life, and ready to dangle..lol... We did a little shopping and we knew that we would be having dinner later at Antico Pizza at The Battery Atlanta, which is literally less than 5 minutes away from where we live. When we arrived, there was about 1000 people at The Battery due to it being an Atlanta Braves game, and the line to Antico was just ridiculous, so we decided to go to the another Antico across town on the west side of Atlanta. We get there, and there is no room for us to dine in, so at this point, we decided to go to Yard House (one of our favorite spots) at Atlantic Station. I am driving my car through midtown Atlanta, and BAM! I get into accident #2 (which was considered my fault this time) in my brand new car that I was just blessed with in July of 2017.
Back story, I was in a not-at-fault accident within 3 weeks of me having my car for those who didn't know.
I was so distraught and immediately considered going back home to Detroit. I don't know why at the time I thought that this was a solve, but this is where my mind went. I was just so over Atlanta (in only 9 days)! Who would have thought I would be in Atlanta for a couple weeks, having to come out of a $500 deductible with no job, or even real prospects at the time?! Not I! This accident caused instant depression. I wanted to go home so bad! I missed family and friends... I went through a period of regret of quitting my job... At the time, there was someone special in my life, and I missed him... But at the same time, I was trying to put on this strong face that I was OK. My roommate didn't know and is actually finding out now reading this, that I cried almost everyday for a week straight because I allowed so many negative thoughts to seep into my psyche. I started to think about where I was last year at that time and where I was then, and I harped on that. I harped on the fact that I was able to go to the mall when I wanted and not have a second thought, and now I felt like I was going to get to a place of discomfort.
Faking it Until I Made it!
So after the accident and repairs were over, and month 1 of being in Atlanta is approaching, I've been shopping, eating good, traveling, and just living life with no job, and I start to feel a little pressure. I am thee ultimate thinker so I think from so many perspectives, and an issue I began to have is most of my thoughts were, "who would have thought that at the age of almost 30, I would..." This was such a negative way to think and I got so lost in that. This thought pattern had me in a place where to be honest, it was difficult to humble myself. I just thought that at my age, and with my degrees, I should be doing so much better. While I was thinking these things on the inside, I was faking it on the outside. My faking wasn't always the best because that internal negativity and depression would come out, but to those it would affect, they had no idea of what was going on inside of my head. To those from the outside looking in, I was living. I was working out everyday, getting in tune with nature, eating good, exploring Atlanta, and enjoying life....while secretly, I was suppressing the fact that my bank account balance was getting decreasing, I wanted to go back home, and I started to feel like a failure.
Things Started to look up...
Towards mid September, I was interviewing for jobs and towards the end, I interviewed for a financial institution in which I had been wanting to get my foot into the door. I knew that going into this, I would essentially be starting from the bottom and having to work my way up because that is how the organization operates. I didn't know at the time what that may look like for me. After about a week after interviewing for the position, I had been offered the position. I also learned that the starting pay was substantially lower than what I was making at my previous employer. I accepted the offer being that I know based on my performance, I will excel, and immediately, humility began to take over. I was in a place where I began to feel that discomfort I spoke of previously. I didn't want to go out and network and meet people because I was not comfortable with where I was at that point in my life. I had to get out of the mindset of where I was back home in Detroit, and face the reality of where I was in Atlanta. I was spending a lot of money and none was coming in, and while I was offered the position in September, the position did not start until November. I already had trips planned to Florida and Detroit in October, so I knew I had to do something as far as bringing some money in and do it quickly. That is when I started to Uber. When I first started doing it, I would often think to myself, "who would have thought that at the age of 29, I would be ubering because I kinda have to, not because I wanted to just add a few extra dollars in my pocket. Let me just say, that I did not see anything wrong with people ubering at all...it just wasn't something I saw myself doing. One of the reasons that I was over my job is because I was over driving around, so ubering was never a consideration, even when I had previously considered part-time jobs. At first, I was kinda embarrassed, but it was only because I was doing well in Detroit and I made the decision to move to Atlanta not considering the possibilities of things not going as planned. I also often wondered what people would think if they knew, so I decided not to tell anyone. When I think about it now, I wish I'd started ubering when I first got to Atlanta, because I would have saved more while I was spending. Also, ubering has made me a lot more comfortable driving in Atlanta and has familiarized me with a city I had only visited once prior to moving. Needless to say that I learned to enjoy it, and I still do.
I am NOT My Hair!
So, I am in Atlanta, still living like I have a job, which means I was getting my hair done every other week, mani and pedi every other week, you know...the essentials. One day I just decided that getting braids was the best option for me because I wouldn't have to worry about my hair for some time, so I decided to get them and LOVED THEM.
It was time to take them out and get them redone, so I solicited Keisha to assist in the removal process. It was a Saturday night and I had an appointment to get them redone on Monday. Keisha and I took my braids out and I was so excited because I saw some growth. Now keep in mind that this was the first time in my adult life that I had any type of extensions or braids in my hair for as long as a month. When I took my braids out, I could run my fingers through my hair, so I thought that there was no need to actually comb my hair out...silly me... When I washed my hair, I could feel it kinda knot up, but I did not think it was knotted to the point of no return. After 7 hours of Keisha trying to detangle my hair, me being tender-headed and in pain, and me breaking into crocodile tears after Keisha trying to add water and conditioner to my hair to loosen the knots, I finally said EFF it and cut the knots out of my hair which left my hair about an inch long. Now, some people may not have seen this as an issue because my hair has been short for the past 9 years, but I was in the process of growing my hair out. Not only that, but I had not been getting relaxers, so my hair was natural, and because I cut it, I not being a stylist, it was looking all kind of terrible. I felt so un-pretty, so unfeminine, but then at the very same time I felt so empowered, and so like, "there is some shit I need to just let go of." One of the main things I needed to let go of was my negativity. I spent so much time in 2016 building myself up and in 2017, it was almost the opposite. I was comparing myself and situations to others so much internally, that I failed to realize that God has never left me. NEVER! There has literally been times in life where money and resources came out of no where. There were also some relationships that I needed to reevaluate and reconsider. Things just became clear, but at the same time was still a little fuzzy. I knew what I needed to do even if there were things that my heart didn't want to allow me to do. I had to let go. I would have to say that of all that I have experienced in Georgia, this is what propelled me to start thinking differently.
Where am I Today?!
It's my BIRTHDAY! I am 30 years old! I have to say that there were some times in my younger years when I did not think I would make it to this point. I was a little thug at some point...lol...but GOD! He kept me! As of today, I am a little sad that I am unable to be home with family and friends because that was the plan after I realized Africa was out (yea, originally, I was planning to go to visit my best friend and her family in Africa for my birthday, but um...with no job...NO). I miss home, and I miss everyone so much, but due to me starting a new job and unable to get time off, I am unable to make it home. I also considered going home for Thanksgiving weekend, but the cost of flights are insane, and I will never make that drive again (whenever I move from here, my vehicle will be shipped!!!)! I also think that me not being able to go home has its benefits, because leaving Detroit after visiting is always so sad for me. I've been home twice since I've been here and it has only been a little over three months, so I will survive. Being in Atlanta has taught me a few things. One of the main lessons was it is so easy to get caught up in negative thinking, and comparing yourself not only to others, but to who you use to be. I had to learn that growth is always good and growth comes differently. Growth doesn't always equate to more money, but greater mental stability. Me being here, and being a little uncomfortable has changed the way that I think. Now I am not saying that there won't be more days of stress, but when they come, I will be stronger and more equip moving forward.
Pressure makes diamonds. ~ George S. Patton Jr.
There are some very special people I would like to thank for supporting me and spewing words of encouragement, even when you didn't realize you were doing so. Of course, my Father, God! He held me down! My mother...She is my bestest friend and prayer warrior. My roommate and friend, Keisha! She has been unbelievably supportive and on the days she actually saw me cry or I opened up, she always reminded me of who I was and Whose I was. My bestfraaannnnd, Tiffany! I often tried not to give off too much negative energy with her because she in Africa just living HER BEST LIFE, but she always came through with the words that I needed to hear and receive. Also, we had the greatest time when she came to Detroit before I left and came to Atlanta since I've been here AND when I surprised her in Florida for her 30th birthday. We are friends FOEVA! Lemmy! I appreciate you! No matter what, we will always be in each others lives. You definitely have held me down, and I love ya big head! My second mother, Portia. I promise to do better at communicating. I appreciate your prayers. My Elite Women family holding it down in Detroit, and keeping EW moving and growing! My home girl Kamilia, I love you. My girly Tianna...I love your realness. It is always in your tone..lol.. My distant home girls Tesia and Misha! You two definitely motivated me with your bold moves! My blood sisters, Bria, Darneisha, and Dominique... especially you Dominique...Some of the conversations we had got me through. And then my other sisters, Cece...I love you! Kristen, you too are my little sister who has always reminded me that I am old...I love you..lol... Tiarra! Your words of encouragement have gone a long way! Cousin James, I appreciate your bluntness! We all need that in our lives! Some of our more recent conversations, I can still hear you! Cousin Linda, I appreciate your kind words of encouragement. And Tenisha! Thank you for reminding me that I hadn't given Atlanta a chance before I ruled it out. To everyone else who has checked on me, I appreciate you all!
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