While searching for my Chapstick today, I found $180 in different sections of my work bag and instead of rushing to the gas station or grocery store, I sat back, smiled, then cried. I cried tears of joy because, in the words of Langston Hughes, “life for me ain’t been no crystal stair”
I have 30 day tags on my new car, almost a full tank of gas and, as minor as it sounds, I had eaten twice already.
I had a flashback of raising my son in Raleigh and in moments of brokenness, I would go through periods of searching seasonal pockets, hoping a few dollars would add up for gas money or to be able to provide enough loose change so at least one of us could have a real dinner that day.
So today, in that moment of finding some money that I was not in desperation for, I received a sense of elation. It gave me the satisfaction of knowing that I never gave up in those times when the lights were off, when I was starving or when I lied to friends about not being able to go out because I really didn’t have the money.
It provided me a sense of humbleness and strength because I saw myself as someone who has been through so much but I now can see the finish.
My life has taken me through highs and lows to journeys and travels. I have been through love and heartbreak and now, love again. I wake up every day knowing that I am surrounded by friends who love and inspire me. I am an entrepreneur who is constantly tweaking my craft.
Now, while I’m in no way financially rich nor do I have an abundance of money in my bank account, I find comfort knowing that I have worked extremely hard to overcome my hardships. I am still a work in progress and no longer do I have to sit in the dark or diet because of lack of food.
The key to becoming rich in life was becoming rich in love of self. I truly believe that everything else follows once you love yourself wholeheartedly.
That $180? I’m sending it to my son to thank him for never letting me feel like I couldn’t provide for him. After all, I owe him for allowing me to sell his games for cash back in the day.
Mother to Son
By Langston Hughes
Well, son, I’ll tell you:
Life for me ain’t been no crystal stair.
It’s had tacks in it,
And boards torn up,
And places with no carpet on the floor—
But all the time
I’se been a-climbin’ on,
And reachin’ landin’s,
And turnin’ corners,
And sometimes goin’ in the dark
Where there ain’t been no light.
So boy, don’t you turn back.
Don’t you set down on the steps
’Cause you finds it’s kinder hard.
Don’t you fall now—
For I’se still goin’, honey,
I’se still climbin’,
And life for me ain’t been no crystal stair.