Unmasked: What’s Behind my Work Ethic?!

Feel pulled to share my lesson about hard work. 

My work ethic is unmatched once I’m ignited these days. However it hasn’t always been that way. 

In mid 2018 I gave my fiancé back his engagement ring because of my lack of integrity. He asked me to move out. I did. 

I remember sleeping on my home girl & her mans couch and woke in the morning like…we need to go move my things. We loaded up our cars from Battle Creek and this was my “official” move to Kalamazoo since leaving college in 2014.

I found a quick sublease due to the last minute nature. Moved in. 

Well without any notice they leased my apartment without offering a chance to renew or any notice until I tried to renew. 

I tried for a month to find a new spot, but Kalamazoo was booked! If I wasn’t tryna pay at least $950+/mo it was occupied. (That’s a lot for rent in my opinion)

So I moved my things into my car and my commercial space in Jackson. It was July.

I was officially homeless. 

I would AirBnB hop, but that got expensive. I booked hotel rooms but that got pricey. I stayed most nights on the couch in my commercial space and sometimes I would sleep in my car in parking lots or garages. Wake up in my back seat, go to the gym to shower and get ready for work for 5 months. 

During this time I learned the valuable lesson. I always had this mindset cash is king. I wasn’t responsible in my younger years so for years I’ve paid my leases in cash in full, no questions asked. But Kalamazoo wasn’t having it! 😂 They wanted credit! 

I will remember the lady calling me to tell me she couldn’t rent to me even with my offer to pay the lease in full. She said “all that cash don’t mean anything unless you have credibility.”

Credibility; the quality of being trusted and believed in. 

That was my lesson of 2018 and I was committed to building credibility financially, professionally and in my relationships (romantic and otherwise). 

I sit here fresh out my own shower, in my apartment in my name based on credibility, that I love with everything I want to feel safe and comfortable. I’m judgment & debt free (minus student loans) and a credit card to begin building again. 

Today I reflected on the hard work I’ve done since. This experience I didn’t share with anyone. Not family not friends. 

I called my parents 4 months into this experience and told them I’ve been homeless and living in my car. It was the call that gave me the push, resources and hope to begin building credibility. 

Now the hard work isn’t the work, for me. I’m a fucking hustler. Doing the labor, making and earning money has always been in my blood since I was bootlegging mixed CDs in middle school. 

However hard work is sometimes asking for help. It’s making the unappealing yet right decisions. It’s swallowing pride and admitting you were wrong. It’s being honest with people you love even if it will disappoint or upset them. It’s sacrificing the things you want and enjoy to build your credit and focus on the long game. 

My work ethic on these things remain in tact because I know what the opposite of hard work can lead to. I never want to lose valuable & honest relationships. I never want to be vulnerable to unfortunate circumstances. I never want to be vulnerable to men for a place to rest my head. I never want to be sleep in the backseat of my car. I never want to be denied the essential means to a quality life, like housing. Especially when this all starts with what’s in my control, doing the hard work. 

Grateful. Humbled. Thankful

Written by: Sydney Lorraine