I was sitting in front of Starbucks thinking on how if I just had the right investors, the right financial support to focus solely on my photography & magazine, I would be on 'nother level.
Deep desire & emotion ran through my body that night.
So I walk into Five Guys to get some water.
As soon as I walk in I see a guy that looks exactly like my CouchSurfing friend I met a few months ago.
Something told me I needed to talk to him. & if I didn't I would regret it.
So I did. Come to find out he came from France & is African. From Chad to be exact.
My family speaks french & is from Ivory Coast. The west part of Africa.
So we exchanged contact information & he was on his way to catch up with some friends.
I'm feeling positive so I decide to go up the street & shoot.
Not even an hour of shooting, this guy with a broken arm keeps staring at me.
Finally he comes up & asks "you a photographer?".
So I explained him my story on how I was couchsurfing the globe, working on my photography..y'all know the story by now.
Come to find out he's a Dallas Cowboy thats in NYC to get surgery on his arm.
"Where you from?" he asked. "From Charlotte, man."
"Yeah? We were just living in Concord but we're in the process of selling the house..."
I'm from Charlotte but I lived in Concord with my family I told him.
Knowing that there's no such thing as coincidence we exchanged contact info & kept it moving.
Feeling more positive than ever, I knew I was gonna meet one more person that night that would make my hostless night worth it.
And I did.
I believe that when you're feeling 100%, that great things tend to flow your way. So I went & bought a fat sack of gummy bears to treat myself that night.
I'm sitting there snackin' in Times Square...then things take a whole 'nother direction..
Andre Berto & Andre Ward pull up to Starbucks a couple feet away from me.
At this point I'm trippin' BALLS.
His trainer is outside checking his phone while the World Champions are inside ordering.
So I strike up conversation. "Yoo thats Andre Berto. What y'all doing here in the city?"
"Here for a press confrence, man...Say something to him when he comes out"
Best believe I did. But not before I called someone special first.
I got my dad on facetime & told him he wouldn't believe who he's about to see.
Berto finally comes out. I say whats up & with no hesitation he talks to my dad for dang near a full minute.
Seeing my dad so happy brought me so much joy.
They're done talking & Berto shakes my hand is on his way.
But I couldn't end it on that note.
So I walked quickly back up to him. "Hey man, let me get a photo of you real quick"
"For sure" he said.
The rest is history.
See just the night before that I was in Virginia for my cousins wedding for the weekend. Before I left, my family spoke to me about coming back to Concord to spend time with my sister. She was going back to school in Poland that week.
But I couldn't do it.
I can't go back home until I accomplish something big that I feel truly proud of. I miss my family like hell but its motivation for me to stay up on these sleepless nights & grind.
So I came back to New York while my family went back to North Carolina.
24 hours later all these blessings unfold.
The connection between the wedding & the boxers?
My cousins husband is Hatian. Andre Berto..the humble world class champion?
He's Hatian too.