Just like a tunnel,

sometimes you have to go through the darker stages in life before you can reach the light.

A lot of the A-listers and success stories we hear about all have their “Struggle Story.”  You know what I’m talking about: coming from nothing- being broke down, busted and disgusted- a second from giving up, when just in the knick of time, there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

Along our lifelong journey..

we all run into hurdles that trip us up, but we still have to finish the race. We face losses that will slow us down but we cannot allow it to stop us. We all go through it. It’s inevitable.

Although the struggle ultimately S-U-C-K-S, it is totally vital because it molds us into the fabulous person we’ll become.

The struggle story for the year of 2017 was a tough one. As many of you know, I moved to New Jersey in January of 2017. I packed my belongings with a suitcase, an open mind, and heart of faith. However, moving with no job secured, I was basically asking for it. Worry crept in. Anxiety called my name. Depression was right around the corner.

Earlier in the year, I gave you all a gist of the story.
Here comes the juicy stuff.
2 weeks in, I was losing my mind.
3 weeks in, I got a part-time job.
Key words to write down: Part-Time.

How many of you know that a part-time retail job won’t pay the bills? If you didn’t know, I’m telling you now.

I was thankful for the job. Unfortunately though, it was not enough. I tried to remain hopeful but the days off left my mind to worry even more.

Think about it for a second. You’re in a new expensive place, applying everywhere. There are no jobs calling you back. You don’t have a degree and you’re not related to Oprah. I mean, come on.
I kept telling myself that if nothing happens, I have to go back home.

Somehow, God kept me here.

The first month’s rent was payed for. When the time approached to pay second month’s rent, I knew I didn’t have it. Surprisingly enough, there is always a light at the end of a tunnel. My tax refund came in literally the day the bill was due.

Safe!

 

Now I was seeing that I was barely making it.
Key words here: Making it.
But see, I’m telling myself, “Nah Ahni, you can’t live like this. You’re setting yourself up for failure, and it’s cold too?! Yeah, no.”
It didn’t help that every other person I talked to asked, “Why would you leave Florida for this?” I started to wonder myself.

March came around. I was losing a lot of weight. I was still working part-time. My schedule was somewhere between 2-4 days a week. The rent due date was rolling around and I had to make a big decision.

Do I go back home?

Is it time for me to go back to the palm trees and sunny weather? Do I go home to my family, my car, and this option to live in comfort?

Or, do I stay here?

Do I stay in this discomfort? Do I stay in this awfully cold weather, missing city buses to get to work, living check to check, and sell my car to continue to stay here?! Hmmm. You guessed it.
I sold my car.

Now, I knew this was it.
Now, I knew I couldn’t go back home.
I moved here specifically for the creative opportunities within New York. I always dreamed of living here. Considering the fact that I currently lived 30 minutes from the city I loved, moving back home was an option I had to eliminate.
Believing that I could survive out here took a lot of affirmations and a lot of prayer. Making irrational decisions without having an immediate “positive outcome” was a hard wave to ride. It was not easy. But I can say, I’m glad I did it.

 

April came around..

and I received an email inviting me for an interview. After the interview, I was invited to work a day for a “test-run” on the following Saturday.
After working with the new company, it didn’t take long for me to realize that this was the new move. It was a creative career, the people were awesome, and it was full-time!
I quickly put in my two weeks!

8 months later

and I’m still here to tell the story of why I stayed and why I did not give up.
Although people thought I was crazy and told me I wouldn’t be able to do it, I knew there was something better in store for me. At times I couldn’t even believe it myself, but I knew it, and there was.
Life can be super tough. We know that. Don’t allow the hard times to make you give up.

Allow the hard times to make you.

People may think you’re crazy and that’s okay. If it takes being called crazy to follow your dreams then take it! I can now say that I’m very thankful for every trial I faced. Each one of them helped to mold me. I now know that there’s a light at the end of every dark tunnel. I now know that tough times make for great outcome and a greater story to encourage the next person.

We’re in 2018 now!
I believe I can officially consider myself a resident. It’s a new year. Now that I’m settled I can carry out new plans. I can re-launch and expand Ahni Nichole in a place where Art, Fashion, and Businesses thrive. I would not have it any other way.