It wasn’t that I wanted to be a workaholic. Its just that I felt like an imposter on my fathers couch waiting for the small talk to end and the two bills to be handed to my mother for the gym shoes I asked for.

My cousins all wore Jays. They wanted to make sure I had the option to get the same.

I hated how it felt. Only visiting my grandparents and my father when I needed something made me feel like I was waiting for a handout. So I worked.

I wanted to be in charge of my money.

I started young and it never stopped. I was often working two jobs while going to school.

The only child of a single mother I had to learn how to be independent early. After my pops died, there was really no option but to.

The workaholic in me was strong. I had a mindset for not stopping and getting all life had for me. I worked hard. I partied hard. Everything I did I did it hard. Maybe that’s why my heart was the same way.

It was the summer my mother passed away. I was already going to school full time when I was offered a full time overnight job mid semester. Yes. I need it. Not paying heed to the fact my mother was sick. I truly believed she was going to make it through.

Especially when she sat in a room at the UIC forum, that now holds children on Sundays learning about God in a real way, watching me with pride present research she basically did for me.

I was already getting my stipend as a McNair scholar and the extras from my grants, why did I need a job?

I could never have enough money. I would dance to Jeezy’s Go getter with such fervor one would think I actually was a hustler.

I was though. I made money any legit way I could and didn’t constitute me to be a prostitute, in Lupe’s descriptions.

So. That wasn’t enough. A job fair at UIC gave me the opportunity to get the last slot as a manager in training for Jewel/Osco. When all the rest of my fellow interns were human resources, business, and marketing majors I still don’t understand how I got through the door with my African American studies major as my background.

Oh yeah. I am reminded. It was favor.

So now I have two full time jobs. I have no transportation so leaving my night job on wells downtown to get to Pulaski and Foster meant I had to run to the blue line after leaving work early and drink many five hour energies just to get by.

I’m a hustler imma imma hustler. Had to get that dough. I, loved the dough, more than you. Gotta let it show I love the dough eh eh eh.

Yes.

So when my mother called near tears for the money she had to ask me about continuously because her taking the alternative medicine route was expensive I would get irritated because I was SO SO tired.

She told me with a tremor in her voice that I would be sorry.

I finally sent it. Unwillingness in my spirit. I never knew, but I was too selfish working towards my own goals and pursuits to notice. I was losing my mother.

When I finally pressed pause to go see about her she had three weeks. Lord am I thankful for those three weeks. It was in that time I realized what was important in life.

All the money in the world is not going to buy those precious memories with the ones you love.

So yes. These days I have been quite selective about the time I spend away from my daughter. If that means we lack on areas that is fine. I am the queen of bargain hunting. Because these precious years I can never get back. Its so easy to find free things to do in the city. So we do. We have fun. We meet new people. We live laugh and love.

Then when I need time for me I take it without feeling guilty because I have done my part in providing more than just physically for my daughter I provide emotionally and mentally, now I just have to get stronger on providing for her spiritually.

I am still learning.

All I know is that pretenses fall away. Facetious interactions yield no fruit, so I don’t pretend to be something I’m not just to fit in with someone.

I mean my perfect creator created me to stand out and apart. Why would I think I could do better by breaking his mold?

So. As I enjoy life I know its almost time for me to start dating. I’ve been cuffed too much to ever just enjoy dating. It is nearly August and I have yet to go on a date this whole year. A new standard for a new life. Its got to be a man of God. In our maturity we have to understand dating leads to marriage so that has to be the mindset and aim, but only God knows what plans He has. I just know I need someone who is willing to listen to God because what I’m birthing like Mary had Joseph I need someone willing to protect my promise.

Enjoying the small seemingly insignificant things add so much value to ones life. Its the experiences we go through that allow us to grow.

Its only in growth that we get closer to greater.

So no more workaholic in me. I’m learning balance. There is a time for everything.

Finally I am ready. It is definitely my time!

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