Friday, June 1, 2012

What's The Hardest Thing You've Worked For?

A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to speak with Lucille O'Neal, and boy is she one inspirational single mama! The world knows her as the mother of NBA Basketball Star Shaquille O'Neal, but she is also the author of a motivational book entitled, Walk Like You Have Somewhere to Go, which chronicles her struggles as a teen mom, a single mom, her battles with alcohol, and her fight to overcome many obstacles.

While talking to Lucille, one thing became evident: she's worked hard to get to this point in her life. And I applaud her effort and success.

Our conversation then got me thinking about some of the things that I've worked really hard at obtaining and maintaining -- a scholarship to Columbia University, the continued success of this community, my masters degree from CU, safety, sanity, and stability. All of those things are very important to me (especially because I've worked so hard to get them), but the one that sticks out the most to me is stability.

I didn't have the most stable life growing up, so once I became self-sufficient and independent, I knew the one thing I wanted was just that -- stability.

And so I pushed for it.

All of the other things that I worked hard for were mere means to an end -- stability.

In fact, looking back, now I have a much clearer understanding of one of the main reasons I ended the relationship with Aiden's other parent -- that toxic relationship was a threat to the one thing that I worked so hard to obtain. Being in that relationship made my life more unstable than I ever thought possible.

As I've written in this post,

It got to the point where I couldn’t recognize myself anymore. I was so far gone. So out there. I didn’t know how to find my way back to myself. I thought of leaving. I really did. Everyday after the first incident. But something kept me. Fear, maybe. Sometimes love is so blind, it feels right when it’s wrong. #Beyonce  
He tried to be Mr. Right after the first incident. And I tried to believe him. But the inner Alicia was saying “No… something’s not right.” I silenced her by thinking, “But he’s going to counseling for his issues.” Then he terminated prematurely. No more counseling. No what? The inner Alicia started to speak louder, but I still didn’t listen. 
I was so tangled and confused and living in passion and lust and not-at-all Alicia. But that’s the thing about passion – when it’s good, it’s great. But then it gets bad. So bad. It burns hard and fast and … out.

And so, I had to call it quits. To maintain the stability that I worked so hard to maintain. And now? Now, I work to preserve that stability. Everyday. For me. For Aiden.

I'm walking in my destiny. And, as Lucille O'Neal puts it, like I've got somewhere to go. Because I do.

What about you? What's the hardest thing that you've worked for?


  1. delete this comment after you fix the typo in the name of the book - right now it says "what like you have somewhere to go"

  2. Walk Like You Have Somewhere to Go has always been a motto of mine, It might've started when I lived in the city, you have to do that in NY.

  3. I'm working hard for emotional and financial stability. Growing up I never really had either of those. And now that I'm a mom of two and a wife, I really want to make sure that I can help provide those things not only for my family but for myself!

  4. hmmmm. If I had to pick one thing right now, I would say working hard to keep my son grounded and instilling good values. Some days it's a struggle and I wonder what more can I do. He's a smart child, but sometimes he tunes out and doesn't listen. I have to stay "prayed up."

  5. That's so great you were able to meet with Ms. O'Neal and what an inspiration - you are, too, for doing what's right for you and Aiden! - Bicultural Mama

  6. She's such an inspiration. And you as well, girly!

    Hardest things I've worked for 1) my ph.d and 2) pledging my sorority.

  7. that's amazing! :) I've had to fight for my first Bachelor's , my makeup company, the chance to write and I'm still fighting for those things and more every day. thanks for this inspirational post! :) and girl u r an inspiration just as well as Ms. O'Neal!

  8. I'm still working towards stability. Some days I work harder than others, so I'm thankful to have come across this post. Your accomplishments are amazing and you have every right to be proud!

  9. Oh, you're an inspiration to other single moms like me, Alicia! I think I should work towards that too: stability. I've never given it much thought until now. We do need that, especially for our children's sakes.

    You are so brave and headstrong... keep at it.


I love reading what you have to say!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...