Every so often, I come across pieces that say something more eloquently than I can and I share them. Atieno challenged many of my thoughts and reminded me of some important principles that I could apply in life, so I will share her story here
The Dream Is Free – The Hustle Is Sold Separately!
By Atieno Ayegba
Today this road got me reflecting on when I first came to Atl and also when I landed in the USA in Miami. Well…I am back to my stomping ground …but 1st let me take you back before we come to this here.
New in the USA, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed ready to take on the world (ok…well the USA…that part of the world). Much as I was excited about this beautiful country the reality of the expenses and how to survive was really real. Ex-Hubby and I started off at a Motel, which got costly, so we later moved into an efficiency, that was a lot cheaper, thank God. We could afford it. Was so cheap that as you paid weekly rent, you also got a mousetrap. 🙂
It was one bedroom which meant the bathroom sink was also the kitchen sink. No cooker, so trust I can make several delicious meals in a microwave.
Sometimes the mice used to try and munch on our cereal as we slept. Interesting times those were. I remember loving to walk to the library to use the computer to email and pick out books to read. At some point finally, we were able to save up and buy a car but unfortunately, my dad died, so with the savings, Ex-Hubby bought my ticket to go back home and bury my dad. He bought a bicycle for his means of transport to work as he had gotten a job where he needed to be at work by 3.30am-4.00am and no busses ran then, so bicycle to work it was.
We decided to move to Atlanta but in parts. He stayed in MIA to keep the income flowing and I came to Atlanta to try my luck and if all worked out he would join me. A wonderful friend Jacky Kio had sung ATL praises and I was like… Why not try it?
I was lucky to get a job at a hotel at the end of this road as a front desk agent and soon after a Mortgage company also got me on as a receptionist. I later moved into the closing department due to my hunger to learn. So 2 jobs, no car but with determination to make it. I remember waking up at 5am to catch the bus to be at job 1 by 7am. Then rushing out at 5pm…..running up the hill to catch a bus to the train/bus station to run up another hill change into my front desk uniform and try to hit the desk by 5.30pm -5.45pm. I typically did that shift to 11.30pm, walked to the train/bus station and went home and rinsed and repeated the routine again.
Today I am back on the same road, rinse and repeating again. This time, I get up at 4.45am…drive from my home to my personal trainer’s training studio. Get there approximately by 5.45am and super excited for the fitness beat down.
Here are some things to think about:
- Start from where you are with what you have.
- Don’t give up. The dream is YOURS….do whatever YOU need to do for YOU. I started my American dream life in the deep ghetto, some guys would do it that way, others not so much which is fine. The journey was/is mine…I made it work for me.
- Little by little, things come together. Just take one step at a time. If you fail, fail forward.
- To resilience n grit, add humility, the ability to survive the school of hard knocks and a plan….typically, things work one way or another.
- To those starting from zero or even negative: push through: stay the course, typically things turn around. Also while in your journey, whatever portion of it you are in, look for things to be grateful for. It’s funny that even when it is raining you can learn to dance and just because you are on the journey, this doesn’t mean it is bad; you are just where you are when you are and that’s OK too.
- Build those inner qualities in you like grit. resilience etc, add peace & joy they too go a long way. Then just be a good human.
- God is present.
- Stay grounded. Stay focused. Keep your eyes on the prize. (Whatever your prize looks like).
Atieno Ayegba is a Sr. IT Information Security Tech Analyst| SAP Security| S/4 Hana| Fiori| GRC| CyberSecurity| Mentor -Careers in Tech & Cyber-Security|SOX COMPLIANCE| AUDIT| CONTROLS, bodybuilder and fitness enthusiast.