“Are they towing your car?” My dad asked me as he peeked out the kitchen window with dishes in his hands.
“Oh no.” I said as I ran outside to talk to the tow man. I had been waiting for this. It was only a matter of time before they were going to take the car I worked so hard for, the one that stood for a much more glorious time in my life.
I bought a luxury car as a present to myself after I fought through 10 years of schooling to finish my undergraduate degree. College was tough for me. I battled confidence issues and switched majors several times while worrying about how I could put food on the table and keep a roof over my head. In my last year of college, my mom had suddenly and tragically passed away and I almost gave up on my education altogether. By the time I was done, I thought that buying the fancy car I’ve always wanted would be a good way to reward myself for pushing through my hardships. And, it went hand-in-hand with my new professional career where I had to look like I knew I was doing.
I was ready to make a big financial purchase and I had learned how to manage my finances. I learned the hard way. I had bad credit by the time I was 20 and I quickly learned that I didn’t like the taste of being in financial turmoil. So I got a stable job and paid off all my debt, learned how to save money, and even invested in my retirement. Eight years after I got my first serious job, I invested everything I had into a business.
For the last two years, I’ve been hustling. There were days that I’d work 3 days straight only taking 1-2 hour power naps in the parking lot while I worked on production. I would get up in the middle of the night and work 20 hour days. I would be cranking out products while everyone else was deep asleep.
A lot of people don’t know what it’s like to start a business. Let me tell you. Sometimes, starting a business is hard, hard work. It’s a lot of sacrifice. It’s emotional. It’s isolating. It’s tolling. But, when you’re successful, it’s worth every minute of your blood, sweat, and tears.
Having a business is like having a baby. It can take all your time and energy if you let it and it needs your attention to grow. For the last two years I wasn’t working in sex work, I was putting every last ounce of energy I had into building up a business from the ground up. And, I was fairly successful in launching it.
I didn’t see however, how close I was getting to the edge while I took care of my baby. And, I didn’t realize I had fallen and was barely hanging on to the ledge. Working hard doesn’t mean getting paid out. And, profit can take years to see. I have a lot of work to do in getting revenue up to where it needs to be if I actually want to live off my business.
I saw just where I was yesterday when my car was repossessed. My heart sank when it happened. My chest was tight like I had been crying hysterically even though I didn’t even shed a single tear. I was lucky though. The man taking my car let me get all of my things out of the car before he left. He even gave me his contact info so I could get a hold of him if I needed anything. He was very nice and he let me walk away with my dignity.
I just so happened to purchase another vehicle for my business a couple months ago and I could argue it’s serendipitous that I have another mode of transportation while I work at getting caught up. It’s not like I didn’t see this coming. As I’ve been letting my arrangements fall through, I haven’t been keeping up with my bills. It really wasn’t a surprise but, more like acceptance that the game of cat-and-mouse was over (even though I wasn’t really trying to play!). I was even applying for corporate jobs again last week and already had two interviews this week. I was just a little late in seeing how bad things were. And now, I have 21 days to get my car back or it’s going to be auctioned off and I’ll still owe the balance left over from the sale.
You could say I’m going through a rough patch in life right now. I’m in the dark part of the woods where you can see all the red eyes watching you from afar. But, I’m a survivor, I’m a fighter, and I don’t take **** from anyone or anything, let alone life.
I called my lender after my car was taken away and I was kind of disappointed to hear what the phone rep had to say. I didn’t call a company to be told that I should not have started a business, that I made the wrong decisions, that I lost sight of what was important and just wanted to do what I wanted to do. I called my lender to fix a problem and to find out what I had to do to get my car back. I need to come up with the money to bring my payment current and I can get the car back. That’s when I lost control of my thoughts.
Do I pimp myself out some more? How am I going to land another corporate job after going rogue? Do I use my brains to land some other quick payout projects? There are so many questions racing through my mind. And, whenever my life and mind goes out of control, I go to the same place every time: the ocean.
So you know what I’m going to do? I’m going to catch some waves. And I’m going to get some surf in because no one wants to be around or hire someone who’s giving off the vibe that they’re just down in life. Surfing is free, it keeps me focused, and the ocean always has a new lesson for me.
The ocean cannot be controlled. You can fight as hard as you want, but it’s far more powerful than you. And when it is angry, you have to let go and trust that it will take you back up to breathe when it’s done. You never turn your back on the ocean, you have to look deep into its eyes. And when you ask at the right time, it will dance with you, carry you on its crest and lift you up to shore. But, you have to work for it. You have to paddle as hard as you can and hold on to that wave or it’s just going to pass you by.
The ocean’s a lot like life. And when I’m down, I go there so I remember that like a wave, life can and will pass me by if I let it. I get back up, and I fight, and when I catch my bearings, the surf takes me back to land where I am safe.
I don’t know what your ocean is but I can tell you that if you don’t have one, find it. Because sometimes, when you’re down, it’s just what you need to inspire you to get back up.
Chime in. Tell me:
What’s your ocean?