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Thank you so much for reading all my articles up to date. I’m so excited to type this article about my experience as a black millennial. I’m going to get vulnerable in this article and tell my story since I’ve been out of college since 2018. If you are family member reading this then you might be triggered so read at your own risk. It’s time I show the world who I am, and how I am navigating the world as a twenty-two-year-old man. I will talk about last summer after I graduated from Cal State University, East Bay, my experiences in Las Vegas, Nevada from 8/2018-4/2019, my experience moving to my dad’s house and working for his company, and currently moving back home to my hometown Modesto, CA a couple weeks ago. These experiences have been rocky but have made me stronger. I don’t want people to feel sorry for me, but to find peace, and clarity in my story. I’m excited for the sunshine, but I have definitely been battle tested.

Wow, I did what I said I would do. I graduated from Cal State University East Bay at age twenty-one last year 6/9/2018. I was so excited about graduating, but I instantly started planning my way out of Northern, CA. I worked for housing on Cal State East Bay’s campus, and they payed for my housing until early August in exchange for my work. I also started driving for Lyft and Uber so I could save to get an apartment in Las Vegas, NV or Long Beach, CA. Fast forward to August and I saved up enough money to get an apartment in Las Vegas thanks to my Aunt Mel’s help. I took a trip out to Las Vegas late July 2018 and stayed at her house while I looked for apartments and found where I wanted to stay in North Las Vegas. I ended up moving to North Las Vegas 8/11/2018 and stayed there until 4/10/2019. I drove for Lyft full time when I was there and had a lot of trials and triumphs simultaneously.

While I was living in Las Vegas I was able to travel to Denver, Colorado twice, Los Angeles four times (to visit my sister at USC), Oakland twice, and San Diego once. Believe it or not I drove my car to all of these places, so I was constantly on the road. I also lost my apartment 11/15/2018 and was homeless in Las Vegas for about three months until 2/8/2019; when I started renting a room from my uncle who has houses in Las Vegas and Compton. My aunt and I had a falling out before I became homeless, but I reached out to her in early February; and she connected me to my uncle who let me rent a room the last two months I was living in Las Vegas. While I was homeless for those three months, I was still driving for Lyft in Las Vegas full time. I ended up staying in about 10 plus hotels/motels during that time period and slept in my car periodically. I also ended up racking up numerous speeding tickets, and citations for having my license plates suspended due to not paying my car insurance. I was living a fast life, and Las Vegas was fun to say the least. I survived the hoods of Las Vegas, and feared for my life at times, but God protected me. I was constantly in survival mode, but that experience has made me stronger.

This story sounds like a movie, but it has been my experience over the last year. Fast Forward to early April of this year, and I was doing a routine ride for Lyft. I was having a pleasant conversation with a passenger about the show she was about to see and then it happened. A police officer pulled up behind me and ran my plates; they were suspended so he pulled me over. After he pulled me over, he told the passenger to leave, and he told me to step out the car. I had been pulled over about eight times while I was in Las Vegas up to this point, but usually they would let me off with a warning. The cop cuffed me and asked me why he shouldn’t take me to jail. I pleaded my case and explained to him that I recently graduated college and was trying to make my way out of CA. Thank God he bought my story and told me that I needed to pay the ticket, and insurance for my car; then proceeded to let me go with a citation. After almost going to jail I immediately decided to move back home.

I called my dad and decided to move to his house and work for his business. I drove to Patterson, CA April 10, and literally started working for his business April 11. He told me that I could stay at his house rent free if I worked for him. The first month wasn’t too bad, I was basically helping his workers with general contracting work. So, we did chimney sweeps, drywall, black mold, etcetera. I was commuting from Patterson CA, to the Bay Area Monday-Friday so I was always tired, and I felt overworked and underpaid. It was tough working for my dad/boss, and then having to come home to his house but it made me tougher. There were a lot of days where I would leave the house at seven in the morning and wouldn’t get back to the house until nine at night. This is around the time I started my other business, and I couldn’t focus on that which was disheartening. Dealing with the stress was unbearable so I decided that my last day was 6/28/2019 and moved to my mom and stepdad’s house 6/30/2019. I told myself I would never move back home, but I saw my dreams slowly being sucked out of me, and I didn’t go to college to fulfill someone’s else’s dreams. I worked forty-six hours my last week working for his business, and he refused to pay me my last check because he was mad that I quit working for him. After that experience I lost all respect for my dad, and I had to forgive him so that I didn’t keep any hatred in my heart.

After that experience I cut off a lot of toxic friends, and family because life is too short to be around those who don’t want to see you win. The last couple of weeks I have been growing my business with my mentor in Sacramento CA, and I’m excited for the future. I’m also looking to get into security, and eventually an entry level position at a high school or college so I’ve been sending my resume to various institutions. I’m used to having money so the last two weeks have been tough, but I will come out of this rut stronger than ever. I’m grateful for my mom and stepdad helping me in this transition, but I most likely won’t talk to my dad and his side of the family until I become a millionaire. Since I’ve been in the valley since April it has made me realize why I went to college and escaped to Las Vegas after graduation. My childhood wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows, but I take responsibility for my current situation, and I will become greater because of it. I’ve been going through some storms, but I see the light at the end of the tunnel. I will not be a product of where I grew up, I will make it out of Modesto CA, and I will help others reach their highest potential once I do.

Thank you so much for reading my story, I appreciate y’all. My story is to let others know that even when others try to bring you down, there is always a lesson during chaos. Just because you aren’t where you are today, doesn’t mean you will never be where you want to be. I must keep reminding myself that I am only twenty-two years old, but I am an old soul. I thought my transition out of college would be smoother, but I’m realizing that I have to change myself first before my life changes. I grew up in certain struggles, but I proclaim that from this day forward I will live in abundance. I will not let my past define my future. I forgive everyone for everything, and I forgive myself for the hand that I have played in all these experiences. Thank you for reading, and I will see y’all at the top!

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