Broke but confident
This past June I took one of the biggest leaps of my 29 years — I quit my job as a teacher to pursue my dreams as a writer. Yes it was one of the best decisions I have ever made but not bereft of its own struggles. As with any major change, there are highs and lows. My highs are I get to do what I love and am passionate about, with lows coming from not having the comfortable salary I once had.
I was living in Houston, TX before moving back home to Los Angeles, where I drove a fairly new Lexus and lived in a luxury apartment — Houston is cheap and pays its educators well.
Now I live with extended family, I’m driving a two-door Honda that looks much older than it actually is, and I sometimes need friends to front dinner. But, I’m still happy.
Just because you don’t have the money and the lifestyle that money afforded you, doesn’t mean you can’t have everything you need. Sometimes there are other needs that need to be focused on that aren’t necessarily material. I learned over the past 4 months my biggest need was confidence. I had just enough confidence to get me back to Los Angeles but I needed a lot more to get me through living in Los Angeles without the fancy job title that my family and friends boasted on my behalf.
Within a month of moving back, my best friend convinced me to go to a budget-friendly fusion twerk Zumba class that she visits every Tuesday. I of course protested but she argued that it would help me with my confidence and get my sexy back. All I could imagine was a bunch of old ladies gyrating to early 2000s top 40 hits. The first day of class, I was definitely wrong. I wasn’t surrounded by old ladies, it was a lot more simple, just 20-somethings of different colors and genders trying to have fun after a hectic day at work. Within five minutes my awkward attempt to keep up with high paced twerk inducing choreography turned into a spiritual and emotional release. I stopped overthinking and let the moment consume me.
It was there that I on Tuesday’s began to lay everything at the altar of the music and move my body in ways that challenged me to get out of my comfort zone. For years I wanted to get into a dance class but I was always too scared that I would look foolish because I’m not the most coordinated and usually the one butchering dance moves even after two or three tries. But in this class, I’m free from judgement and free to call on to my inner goddess.
The confidence I’ve found in this class has given me something I didn’t think I’d ever find back in Los Angeles— a little piece of myself. I’m okay with leaving my stuff and my old life in the past because now I get to pursue my dreams but also journey into finding me, and who knows what will come next from love, a big name job, or maybe more of the same. But I do know right now that I’m happy and money can’t buy that. I found other ways to fill up my cup and my cup runneth over.
Written by Charmaine Griffin