There's a heavy weight of truth that comes with being an independent woman. The sweet nectar of fulfillment tastes a little different when you're able to look back on your own hard work and self-fulfilled ideal of success.
For Tiffany Haddish, her journey from being homeless to being a box office-smashing actress was nothing short of hardship.
At a point in her early career, Tiffany was living out of her car in Beverly Hills and using money borrowed from actor/comedian Kevin Hart to utilize motel bathrooms. In a recent interview with Vanity Fair, Tiffany detailed the pivotal moment when Kevin learned that she was living in her car. At the time, both of the comedians were up-and-coming and had been working at The Laugh Factory. Kevin suggested that Tiffany use her pretty looks to take advantage of shacking up with a man for shelter.
That wasn't an option for Tiffany, because she knew the type of woman she was and what her end goal was. She told the mag:
"He saw all the stuff in my car. He had like this long discussion with me, you know? Basically like, 'You're a beautiful woman. You could stay with any man. Why don't you just stay with a man, like?' And I was also like, 'I'm not sleeping with nobody for a roof over my head. I'm just not that type of person.'
"And Kevin was like, 'Oh, that's real commendable, look at your homeless ass.' And he gave me $300 and told me I shouldn't be sleeping in my car. He was asking me where I was sleeping. I told him, 'Beverly Hills. If Imma be homeless, I'm gonna be homeless in the best area.' I would park my car in Beverly Hills and I would sleep over there, and the police would come every morning and make me move. That was like my wake-up call. I got to know a lot of police officers like that.
"Kevin gave me $300, told me to get a room for a week, and I was like, 'I don't know where you can get a room for a week in Los Angeles for $300, that's impossible.' But I got me a motel room, and he told me to write out a list of goals and start doing something every day toward those goals.'"
There is nothing wrong with receiving support from a counterpart, but there's something to be said about us looking deep within and recognizing our own abilities to be independent and create the life we've imagined for ourselves.
Even with homelessness staring Tiffany in the face every day, she was able to separate herself from the pulls of temptation to depend on someone else to get her out of her situation. A week later, Tiffany moved into a motel room with the $300 that Kevin had given her, and started goal-setting.
"I wrote: Get myself an apartment. Do these things, all these people I wanna work with, everything. I pretty much tackled almost all those goals."
By the next day, she received a call about an apartment that was available. At $550 a month, a broken refrigerator, and a stove "full of roaches," it was truly humble beginnings. But it was hers and she worked for it, and that what mattered most to Tiffany.
Tiffany has gone on to make her mark in Hollywood, including revitalizing the comedy genre with a role on The Carmichael Show and her breakout performance in the box office success Girls Trip. She has also written a book (The Last Black Unicorn), and has become the first spokesperson for Groupon that the company has had in decades. Tiffany and Kevin Hart are even in the process of a major full circle moment as the two are set to star in the upcoming Hart Beat Productions/Will Packer Productions comedy film Night School.
When asked how Kevin feels about her achieving major success, she revealed:
"When he sees me, he says he's so proud of me and stuff. And he's always giving me the best advice. And I try to listen to him. Sometimes I don't. And then I'll be like, 'Dang, I should've listened.' . . . Sometimes he gets on my nerves 'cause he tries to play the brother and tries to clown, but for the most part he's an awesome dude. I mean he gave me a job on Real Husbands of Hollywood, and I kept trying to give him his $300 back. He's like, 'I don't want that money. You keep that money. If I need you to be in something else, you just make sure you can do it.'
Then, when I got Night School and we were working on it, I tried to give him the money back again. He's like, 'I don't want your money. Just know your lines and be good in this damn movie.'