FOUR YEARS AGO TODAY

Four years ago I was in a much different place. I always considered January 20, 2009 as a turning point in my life. This, as you may know, was the day Obama was inaugurated into his first term. A moment in history that I knew was going to set the stage for the future. I had just turned 23, was living in Brooklyn with my two best friends, and was in the biggest state of depression I’d ever hit. Some might call that "rock bottom." At that point we were all smoking enough weed to fill Colorado three-fold. Some might call that "Numbing out." Again, I was 23, almost a year out of college, and flat-broke. I was working at a gallery for 15 dollars a day. I wasn’t working there for the pay; I was there because I fully believed in what they were doing and I was passionate to be a part of it. I had Sallie Mae breathing down my neck wanting their money. Arguing with them regularly, I would scream, "WHAT MONEY AM I SUPPOSE TO PAY YOU WITH? I DON’T HAVE ANY!" Convinced I was on their shit list and that a red alert came on their screen that said "HUGE BITCH" every time I called. Maybe it was all the weed that put me in a state of constant paranoia. Sorry Sallie Mae, actually fuck that you still want my money.

In a journal entry dated 1/19/2009 I wrote the following "Obamas Inauguration is tomorrow and I know things are going to get better, because, really they can’t get much worse. I have no money no job and frankly shit just sucks." On inauguration day I was with my friend Sara and we had gone to the Brooklyn Lyceum to watch history on a big screen. We cried, this was it, lets move forward. We headed to Pathmark afterward.  Being flat broke we bought about 20 microwaveable Banquet meals that were on sale for $1.00. Chicken Fried Chicken Meal, Turkey Meal, and the ever delicious Salsbury Steak Meal. $1.00 for bliss cooked in under three minutes. We were also really into instant coffee. God forbid we splurge on a coffee maker or anything that couldn’t be smoked. However, this day was a turning point. Slowly little by little since that day, things started to unfold. Odd jobs began trickling in, I was at the gallery, working at a photo studio, even doing a random data entry job in Greenpoint. Slowly a shift had begun to take place. I was lucky to live with friends, we all supported each other, pulled our selves out of funks and motivated one another to keep going further.

Four years later 1/21/13, I am sitting here watching the Inauguration for Obama’s second term. The top right corner of MSNBC says "Lean forward." Today I am in a much different place in my life. I’ve had a full time job for two plus years and manage to subside my Sallie Mae expenses as well as have some money left over for living. My pot smoking habit has become an occasional past time. The past has been nothing short of trans formative and I have no idea what lies ahead these next four years. I can only hope for the best outcomes  and a continuation of moving forward, of feeling like we are actually heading somewhere. As Obama mentioned in his speech today "We must lead the transition."

*Image pictured is from January 2009

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