It’s 5:33am and I’m on the Long Island Railroad headed to a new day job.
I have been putting off writing about this for six months. I was let go from my high paying job a little over a month into being hired. I was at my desk and was asked to come into the second-in-command along with the head of human resources on a Tuesday afternoon. My boss, the VP of the department was on vacation and I assumed it was a talk about bringing me on full time because that was the plan since I started.
Instead, I was being let go on the grounds that I wasn’t getting the job in which all parties knew this was false pretenses. They had too much pride to say “Hey, we are over budget. We’re sorry.” They knew they fucked up. They let go of the person who looked over the department’s budget; which was completely dumb.
I was loathing coming home that evening knowing I would be back to staying at home and hustling freelance work for a fourth of what I was working. That’s what I have been doing since I graduated from college in 2007: hustling.
My first job out of college was running the photo department at Walgreens. It sucked. It was menial and the manager had the nerve to tell me “In three years you could become a manager,” as if I didn’t have a college degree from a great school.
I left Walgreens to work at a mortgage loan company in October 2008. Who knew what was about to happen at the time. The real estate market had crashed and the company went bankrupt the day before I started. I had stints of selling cars during the “Cash for Clunkers” clusterfuck, bussed down motorcycles, sold insulation in homes, and some of everything else while living in Atlanta. Atlanta is the international headquarters of many corporations; but because of the Recession they all underwent hiring freezes. I took the test to become a science teacher and even applied to business school to get my MBA right before Timile got pregnant.
My twenties have been one big hustle. I chose Timile over the music business which was what I wanted to work in since I was eleven. While I didn’t regret the decision I was lost ever since. I had to make my own experience. I started doing project management for my father in 2009 on the side in 2009 and that has been the beginning of me figuring out something I’d like to do.
My student loans are in collections. In 2011, I had to make a choice: feed my new family of pay Sallie Mae $783 a month. That was a no-brainer. With that said, it’s pretty high on my criteria in selecting a wife that she have good credit because one of us have to (I say that jokingly but I kinda mean it).
In 2012 I started this blog as a means to let Timile and my friends and family see Cydney grow up in real time. A year and a half later I met a girl who was a professional writer and that pushed me. I had a nice little following and figured one day I’d write a book about my experiences…but somewhere between trying to be impressive, having something in common, my work ethic, and some other things I made this writing thing work out for me. I started getting paid to write about being a parent and all that comes along with it. The doors continued to open and I write for a few places now (the other reason I haven’t been able to get to writing on this blog as much as I wanted to since getting fired).
This new job is definitely a part of the hustle. It’s not a career and I’ll still need something with health benefits because of Cydney. I work 7-3:30, get home, do homework, raise Cydney and my nephew for a few hours, and writing about ten articles a week between this blog and other publications while looking for a project management position.
There are many twenty and now thirty somethings who were put into a situation like me. We’ve had to get creative and make a way out of no way.