"Trust your struggle." 

-Iggy Azalea

Chicks like me don't quote Harriet Beecher Stowe. Chicks like me don't even know who Harriet Beecher Stowe is, or that Uncle Tom's Cabin is a book. Chicks like me quote female rappers with hair extensions that came from nothing and rap about how they'll prove everyone wrong once they succeed.

When I was 8 months pregnant I was fussy. I lived in Frogtown about a block from the capital in some crappy section 8 apartment complex with a bunch of crackheads and prostitutes. I was sort of used to it though and my mom worked in the building so that was some sense of security, right? So back to what I was saying, about how fussy I was. I was really fussy and the people in the apartment above me were like a fricken' herd of elephants walking around everyday, but one day when I was trying to take a nap, they were really pissing me off. I had had it! I walked upstairs and knocked loudly on the door, I was pissed as hell (did I mention I was pregnant?). They opened the door and it was a huge black lady, she might have been pregnant too, I'm not sure. But she was the size of a football player, maybe bigger, and I told that woman from way down at 5'3" that I was trying to take a nap and she better chill on the heavy walking! Don't get me wrong, when I saw her girth my throat shrunk up but I knew if I showed fear then I was done for. 

I grew up with a bully in my family and if you didn't stand up for yourself you would get eaten. So despite my size and overall "little girl" appearance I developed a bark that was as bad as my bite. Eat or be eaten. I wasn't afraid of anything or anyone. 

I can remember taking the city bus from my middle school to downtown to meet my probation officer, I remember vaguely someone saying to sit near the front of the bus because then the bus driver could protect you from any "weirdos". But I didn't need anyone to protect me. I saw this lanky older guy sitting all the way in the back with a pristine white shirt, a big gold chain, and jheri curls that glistened in the fluorescent light, perfect, I'll sit near him. It wasn't long before he struck up conversation, but I knew what I was after. The content of our conversation has been totally forgotten in my short AND long term memory loss but when I was just about to get off at my stop I looked at him with my big seventh grade green eyes and said, "Hey can I bum a cigarette from you?"  

Starting your own business takes "cojones" (that means balls in Spanish). The same kind of balls that bitching out a 400 lbs black lady takes. The kind of balls that bumming a smoke when you're 12 from a dude that looks like he is in the Vice Lords takes. You've got to be strong and laugh in the face of fear! You've got to put your heart back in your chest and not on your sleeve. Every time you pitch your idea to some douche who condescendingly pats you on the head you've got to come back swinging with thicker skin and a savvier plan. Because with every mistake we make we get stronger, and with every catastrophe we learn. So "trust your struggle" because we all know what doesn't kill you, makes you a badass bitch! 

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