Around this time last year, I had just finished up my first year of college. I was home for the summer, and faithfully punching someone’s clock as if my life depended on it. Like any other student, I was on a mission to make as much money as possible before next semester.
I worked two jobs last summer, both of which I stopped working well before August.
The first job, where I was returning employee, was at a hospital. I worked in the cafeteria — room service, primarily — delivering trays to rooms, but occasionally prepping the meals and trays, as well as taking orders in the call center.
This was the first job I had with double-digit pay, and the first job I actually enjoyed working. Needless to say, it was a major upgrade from McDonald’s — but that’s a different story.
In addition to this job, I had got hired through a temp service at a ducked-off warehouse, putting together doorknobs. Odd ass job, I know. Anyways, they paid me the same amount as the other job, but I absolutely hated it.
The only thing that kept me there was the pay and the fact my homie who put me on, worked there with me.
I worked the warehouse job Monday through Friday, from 6AM to 3PM, sometimes 4AM to 3PM, if we didn’t meet production goals and we had mandatory overtime the next morning. As for the other job, I worked every day of the week, 5PM to 9PM — sometimes picking up morning shifts on the weekend for more pay.
I did that for about a month and a half.
The hospital started hiring more full-time employees and slowly began cutting back my hours. After not being on a two-week schedule for a single day, I eventually quit. As for the other job, they fired me — with little to no explanation as to why.
Realizing I still had another month and a half until I had to start classes again, I was back to submitting applications like crazy. Long story short, that “summer grind” was short lived and I never found employment for that remaining time.
However, I’m happy I didn’t.
While working both jobs simultaneously, I was slowly working myself to death. I barely slept during that period of time and I was definitely depressed. At both jobs, I had a lot of time to be alone with my thoughts and I ultimately came to the realization of two things.
One, although we all hate these 9 to 5 type of jobs, there’s too many people to count, who have no choice but to work them if they want to survive. (Notice I said survive and not thrive.) Two, I cannot let myself be one of those people.
Luckily, I’m a full-time student and I’m currently in a position to potentially escape that trap but others aren’t as fortunate. There’s people who have been trapped in that cycle their entire life and honestly, there’s nothing more depressing than that.
If we were all able to live the life we truly want and make money how we choose to, the world wouldn’t function properly. The world needs janitors and fast food employees — or else we would all be in Chic-fil-A making our own shit.
Everyone can’t be famous for something (or nothing) — the world needs that balance.
However, I on the other hand know I was called to be something greater than who I am now. There’s no way God put me on this Earth with the abilities that I have, to just be someone sitting in a factory putting together doorknobs.
As a result of my frustration during that period of time, “The Come Up” was born.
Although this isn’t the first song I’ve ever written, it means a lot to me because I feel it speaks for everyone who wasn’t born into wealth. We’ve all felt the depression and frustration of being in that trap at some point, if you aren’t still in it now.
If you’re a creative like myself, you understand my level of frustration.
There’s people who are flourishing financially because of their talents and others who are for no reason at all. Knowing I’m just as talented and there’s other people who are too and just haven’t been discovered yet, is what frustrates me.
We’ve all heard the saying “Money can’t buy happiness,” (which is a quote I included in the song, just worded differently) but I believe it can to a certain extent. Obviously, money isn’t everything, but money could solve a lot of my problems — and if you’re reading this, I’m sure you can say the same.
The other half of my frustration comes from not knowing if I’ll ever reach the level I aspire to be at — not only in wealth but in status. As an introvert, one of the many reasons why I didn’t start sharing my music sooner is because I didn’t want the attention.
I originally never wanted to pursue a career in music because I didn’t want the lifestyle that came with it. However, after finally being real with myself, I do want that platform.
I want to be able to aspire as many people as can through my music and by just being myself.
Sometimes I wonder if I’m wasting my time in college. Other times I wonder if I’m wasting my money on studio time. Yet, I came to the conclusion that anytime you’re investing in yourself and your goals, not a damn thing is being wasted.
One of my favorite bars from “The Come Up,” is ‘Dear Lord make it stop, but I must be late / ’cause I feel like God sleep every time that I pray.’ I love it because it accurately sums up my fluctuating faith.
I get discouraged sometimes like everyone else but the truth of the matter of is, this is literally only the beginning for me.
We all don’t want to be punching clocks for the rest of our life but we have to stay down until the come up arrives. The key to thriving and not just surviving is staying patient and believing our time is coming.
Note to Self.