Often times, people ask me why I’m so hard on myself.
If I wasn’t a highly motivated individual, I would be in quite a rut.
I’ve fought tooth and nail to escape the fate of most of people from my socio-economic background. All odds were against me. Most people that have endured the hardships in life that I have would not be where I am today. The further I push myself the closer I get to the life that I once dreamed of. This is why I continue to be hard on myself and always push for more.
Suppose I decided to live in America. I would have an easier life… but I don’t care for an easy life. I want a life of fulfilment and freedom to do whatever I please whenever I want.
I have working rights here in the States. If I planned to stay here permanently, I could have started my career years ago.
I could start a business and get a loan much faster than I can in the UK. I would have more support and connections in California where I grew up and lived the majority of my life.
Suppose I never had the gumption to leave the security of my rent-controlled apartment in Pasadena near my school, job, friends and family for windy San Francisco, where the rent is sky-high and the vegan food industry that I have continued to pursue is highly competitive.
Life would have been easy if I stayed in my hometown. Highland Park is cool now and a lot of my friends have relocated there from Echo Park and Silverlake. Property is sky high compared to when I grew up there. The gentrification of my hometown continues to surprise me. East LA was an undesirable location that I dreamt of leaving to travel the world since I was a child. I used to hide a map and a journal under my bed and cry at night. I would pray outside the window and look at the stars for an escape from my reality. The only thing that kept me sane through the school day was the fact that if I pushed myself academically, I might find a way out of poverty.
Had I never left East LA, I could have tried to find love in a culture deeply engrained with misogyny. As a child, I was told I would never leave. My fourth grade teacher told me I was going to be impregnated by somebody in a gang that would eventually die. I was told I would end up a single mother. I was told that with age, I would realise that I would become happy with where the life those who surrounded me lived. I was told that I would grow up, settle down, get married and have kids. I’ve never been complacent and probably never will be despite what I accomplish in life. I can only imagine myself having more than I ever imagined and still wanting more.
I’m going to continue to push through the crowd of naysayers to get what I want from life no matter what stands in my way. The only thing you can do when you’re not happy with your life is continue to push.