I have been a mother since I was 18 years old. I had my child at 19, but motherhood started when I decided to not have an abortion and quit smoking weed.
Before I was a mother, I was a daughter. The only child of a mother who was hard-working and giving, but also broke. I was an emotional kid who turned into an emotional adult. Yet, having a daughter has always been one of the greatest things I have ever done. It taught me things that, being an only child, I never would have learned.
I learned how to share, how to sacrifice, how to be a good friend.
Fast forward 20 years.
As I turned 40, I asked my daughter for a big favor. I asked her for space. I asked my daughter for one year of space to work on my projects.
I moved to New York City, which is something that I had always wanted to do. I left her with her grandmother, gave the dog to my cousin, and am spending my days and nights in a studio apartment in a Dominican neighborhood.
It’s been full of ups and downs. Space seems like something you really want, until you have it. I am grateful for it. I need it to work. When I feel lonely or bored, I work.
What I’ve found that there have been a few things that have been key in making this year the best possible.
- Set clear goals. I write down exactly what I plan to work on, and then take advantage of the fact that I have time to work.
- Collaborate. I joined a few Meetups. I’m looking forward to getting started with them.
- Feel the Fear. There are some days when I feel so insanely alone. I am broker than ever. Exhausted by this city. And, while it might have been a shadow, that probably was a mouse in my apartment. But, I can’t quit.
- Set a hard stop. I plan to leave New York City February 10th. Knowing my end date gives me a deadline, and as a journalist, I have always worked well with a deadline.
- Make time for fun. While I am here to write my ass off, that doesn’t keep me from partying occasionally or visiting cool spots. Work is important, but always make time for fun.
Hip Hop Affirmation: “I’m taking out this time/to give you a piece of my mind/who do you think you are/baby one day, you’ll be a star.” -Jay Z f/ MJB “Politics as Usual” Reasonable Doubt.