There was this iconic moment when I when I was 25. I had my rent money stolen, my airbed mattress was popped, and my job was barely helping me scrape by. I hit my low. I sat on the curb downtown on 4th St and wailed to God. To my bestie. I had just got my first payday loan and I was single. Why Lord hath thou forsaken me!? This is part of what happened when the effects of poverty hit me. HARD.
So I Got a Payday Loan
It's like the minorities white savior conveniently located on each block to save you from whatever financial hole you have found yourself in. There will always be a high interest rate and in reality this loan cost more than it's worth. Thank God for my auntie not auntie who helped me out of this one. Cause there was no way I would've paid it off. I was instructed to NEVER do that again. Dutifully noted.
Mail is Important
I've talked about my experience of ignoring bills and letting them turn pretty colors. I know it's silly now, but back then I hoped to open mail and the bill magically disappeared or was somehow paid off. Knowing what you owe is liberating. Especially when deciding if you need that new shirt or if you can put it aside. (Note: I always go for the new shirt. God is working on me.
Evicted by Matthew Desmond
This book right here spoke to most of my life. It was actually uncomfortable to read because I felt they had written my life on the pages. There was a whole part on how most people who live check to check typically spend all of their check on random items like steak, new shoes, or something just to help them feel not poor. I highly recommend this book.
Credit Cards Are Good
When used wisely. Instead of buying a round trip ticket out of country and back. (Mostly because I couldn't my credit limit was super restricted and I had to pay initially) My credit score was so low... Seriously. I had to secure walk my way to better credit. Credit cards can be your friend. I usually just pay it and then use the money for bills that I would've spent the money on anyway. It's a nice cycle. And it helps that I don't let my money just sit in the account. My credit score has gone up a whole 200 almost 300 points.
Overall, I've had to crawl my way from that low moment where I felt the weight of my poverty. Where the kindness of others is the only way I survived. There have been a great many that aren't even related to me by blood that have extended a hand, given encouraging words, or were just there to check in on me. The stability I feel today is because those people have been in my life. Thank you. I am a stronger woman because of it.
Today I got a raise/ and a 10 day eviction notice in the same day/ I pull the cry out from my throat/ hold this pulsing thing/ Know that prison can look like rented rooms/ And sentences are denied apartment applications/ That records are credit scores that never report the facts/ Degrees rags that don’t soak up your moms incarceration/ Or times ya’ll spent in the projects/ Or the one room ya’ll lived in eating pork n beans/ Me being the first one to graduate from high school and college/ Don’t mean nothing to the nice rental office cause your past is numbers/ That don’t add up/ My mother’s sacrifices can’t only be worth denials/ There are times when the hood and educated revolt in my blood/ Are two forces that don't like to exist in the same body/ Discord that chokes/ Reminds me that I know what being locked in feels like/ How the doors clang shut on your hopes/ Success feels like forgetting where you come from/ Like burying my mother instead of honoring her memory/ But when the time comes and the hood is just a part of town you pass through cause it cost more to stay than leave/ It stays in the vessel of you/ Will be found in the lessons you teach your future children/ In the way you run your household/ In the stories you pass to strangers that become family/ God will use the educated hood of you to light the world/ Raising you to new heights/ Evicting you from that old way of life/ Accepting all the parts of your being/ From sacrifice to freedom/ Causing hands to raise/ And voice to praise/ Ain't it glorious to not be prisoner to money
Tomorrow will finally be the book release for my book, "My Last Words... Not really"!! I'm beyond excited. I started making the book in 2015 while homeless and then finished the book February 2016 (I checked my archives here, score 1 blog) and now I am having the release almost two years later. (These things take time)
Hopefully see you tomorrow, if not you can order the book at the link below and have it delivered right to you, just click.
Goodbye 26… My birthday isn't until tomorrow, buuut I promised to post every Thursday so here is my birthday reflection.
26 has by far been the least dramatic year of my life. It wasn’t even glamorous, but it was peaceful. I’m used to the onslaught of events to pile themselves on me with no breathing room. This past year though has been pleasantly uneventful. Short recap. I had a kicking birthday, an awesome apartment, a reciprocal relationship that ended as quickly as it started, went to WOWPS (Woman of the World Poetry Slam), placed 19th out of 96 women, got to work on my communication, went on a team slam tour, and have been working an awesome job at the Fabulous Fox Theatre. My version of a humdrum life.
For 27 I’m walking in with a new job, new apt, and new attitude. I have my very first full-time job at the St. Louis Public Library. Yea I work for the gov-ment basically, well the city at least. The days of me working 4-5 jobs are over. What about my art you ask? Well that's my other full-time job. Now is the time for me to spread my wings and work hard at becoming financially stable instead of just making it check to check. I want to thrive. PLUS I get paid vacation days so I’m planning on taking a few trips this year. I'm really excited to have this chance to have a flexible schedule and income. It's hard being an artist without expendable income that goes toward your artistic goals.
You can manifest whatever you desire and when it's in your purpose it just seems to amplify. A few months ago I thought I had to live my life a certain way. I was compromising for lifestyles I didn't want to live. Now, I'm doing things my way. This isn't about just doing what you want, but creating the life you want. I love my careers, I love writing, I love painting, and I love traveling. I'm working towards doing all of these in a inclusive way while having a home base. This doesn't work for everyone. Some people WANT to live out of a suitcase, but that is not my passion. Eventually my art will be sustainable enough where I won't feel the need to have another stream of income, but right now *sings* I'm making money moves.
Seven things I've learned in my 20's as Titles
20. How to live after a parent dies
21. Seeing places you've only dreamed of is living a dream #Faith
22. Seasons are hard to end, there are no guidelines on what to do with your life
23. Follow your urges: A story of first
24. Do NOT follow your urges: A story of consequences
25. Hold on life is going to be a bumpy ride, wait... I don't care what people think
26. Breathe. Sit still with yourself. Figure out what you want and do that.
I always consider my birthday the new year. So for this new year I have written out a vision of what I want out of 2018 and what I envision for 2023 (5 years from now). The theme for my birthday this year was classy, sexy, and saved.
I'm excited to see what 27 brings to the table. Check back every other Thursday for more of this SOLS life. Laters!
I get this question A LOT and truth is up next for me is working with what I have for a bit. Doing a book signing, doing the slam team tour, completing my one woman show tour, making my CD available. That's what's next for me. I do have visions for the future. I will be in the community more, but that work isn't for pictures or fans that's for people.
I've been homeless since June 2015 and now I'm joining this amazing COOP with some movers in the St. Louis community. Eventually I'll be co-owner if all goes well. For now, I'm learning stability. And yes, I've started many of the above things homeless or continued them while homeless. I've been in borrowed rooms, shelters, the street, and on couches. I'm excited to begin this new journey and really do work in the community.
My hope is to live in these moments, relish in what I have, and make it all great.
One thing people don't see is the woman behind the art when I'm at my worst or just regular. The days where I'm Sahara. Where I'm relying on faith in something bigger than me, but working hard still to meet that faith.
My Last Words... Not Really is a collection of plays & poetry created when I was thinking this is it, all I have left to say. My mother was also a big inspiration for this book because we made sure to make our last words count with each other to save us from any regret. Imagine your last words being, "I hate you!" We've all been there, we've all had those moments of wanting a redo for our final words. But sometimes you just get what you give. You just never know when you'll see that person you truly care for again.
The plays well... they are just the start, Next will be full length plays. I hope that people use them in auditions or classrooms. Maybe even in theaters.
At least I said I love
If we had nothing else we had love
Knew that a lasting impression is made with kindness
Not with malice
At least I said I love you
Rather than filling that space with mucky misunderstandings
That glue us to regret
It's almost like the window opened
We aired out our goodbyes
See you later
I love you
At least I said I love you
This book does contain my popular works, but also included is poetry hidden away and not frequently shared. my uplifting, shorter works, and a few of my "love" poems. There is also a faith play with a strong male lead and my ever growing one woman show. Head to my store and buy the book. Share it with those you love and those that need it. Use the monologues for auditions. Most importantly enjoy.
Jump Rope Sis
Fitness. Life. Art. Travel.