A Lot Has Changed — And A Lot Hasn’t…

In Discipline
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I moved out of my parents house in 2006. I was 24 years old. 

I’d graduated from Penn State with a business degree two years earlier, and played a few places overseas by that point. A good chunk of my post-college time “living” at my parent’s home was really me using their place as a storage bin. 

(I used to film NBA games on VHS tapes and kept them in a long cardboard box. Last time I checked, those tapes were still in my parent’s garage. I hope they haven’t thrown them out.)

When I was home, though, I knew I needed to move out. 

I’d meet females at the mall and at the gym (two places where I held jobs after college) and I’d hesitate to ask the females on dates, since they would probably learn that I lived at home with my parents. 

Why… because I figured that I’d either look like a scrub (remember that TLC song?) to the women who had their own places, OR I’d find out that they, too, lived with their parents, which meant there was nowhere for us to go after a date. 

Awkward. That happened a couple of times anyway, despite my best efforts. At least with the second type, we had something in common and I wasn’t embarrassed.

And I’d hesitate to call those events “dates.” 

I moved to an apartment complex called Presidential City. It’s funny how I knew about Presidential City.  

I had a friend from my block named Aaron. Aaron was a year or two older than me and he attended Temple University. The summer after graduating high school, Aaron insisted that me and the rest of my friends from my block attend a party on Temple’s campus. We did, and I met a female student there who was about three years older than me. She lived in Presidential City. 

So when I had enough money saved up to finally move out (or at least what I thought was enough), Presidential City was the only complex I knew about. 

It was a studio apartment. 

Philadelphia winters are COLD. The heating system in the building shared resources amongst every unit; on really cold nights when everyone was using the heat, it just wasn’t warm enough. 

I HATE being cold. 

In warm months, it was an electric fan or nothing. 

I washed my own dishes (no dishwasher) and laid them out on a towel to dry. 

I ate microwavable meals that I’d buy in bulk from the local ACME grocery store. 

Sometimes the elevator in the 20-story building (I was on the 11th floor) wasn’t working or was moving really slowly. We’d have to take the stairs. 

Anyone could walk into the building and get straight to someone’s front door. There was no front desk — well, there was, but no one was ever sitting there. No security to call on, either. 

My only furniture was the couch that I’d taken with me from my parents house when I moved.

(It wasn’t until months later that a girl who was staying the night guessed that there might be a fold-out bed inside the sofa. There was.)

I had a computer, but no desk for it. My computer sat on a couple of crates, perpetually plugged into my external hard drives. 

I had to be to work at 9 AM. I’d get there early — 8:30 at the latest — but I wanted to work out before work, and the gym I worked at didn’t have a basketball court. So I woke at 4AM to work out at a diffrent gym, showered, changed clothes and drove to work. 

Then I’d go play in local recreational leagues after work. 

Sleep was the sacrifice I made to make this schedule work. I almost got fired from my job twice for falling asleep at my desk and in district meetings. 

All my free time, not counting the gym, was spent sitting on my hand-me-down couch in front of my crate-supported computer. 

I’d be either blogging, talking to people on the social media of the time (back then it was MySpace), or editing videos to publish to YouTube. 


Today my rent is FIVE times what it was back then. 

I’ve had gym memberships that costs 4-5X what I paid for the gym in which my first videos were recorded. 

Food costs are a bit higher than those $4 microwave meals. 

One time in one of my buildings, the elevators weren’t all fully functioning. About seven residents gathered next to the elevators as we waited for about ten minutes for one to come. 

I don’t mind taking stairs. But we were on the 45th floor. I needed to be sure before I committed. 

An irate European woman pulled out her cell phone and called the building’s front desk to complain. The front desk doesn’t fix elevators. 

The concierge working the 24-hour front desk answered. The woman cursed him out about the elevators and hung up on him before he could even say anything back. 

“Hey — I am on the 45th floor right now and the elevators are not working! I am REALLY UPSET and it will be REALLY BAD if you don’t fix this RIGHT NOW!!” 


I laughed. 


The main thing that’s changed for me now is that I don’t have that 9-5 anymore. And I’m done with basketball. 

Well, I have a bed to sleep on. I never use the microwave. There’s a dishwashing machine. I’ll still take the stairs when necessary. The central AC and heating systems are very dependable. 

But I’m still at the computer. 

Still editing, still publishing. Still excited about putting it out to the world. 

The environments change. The disciplines do not. 

I wrote a book called The Mirror Of Motivation: The Self-Guide To Self-Discipline, and I’m giving away FREE physical copies while supplies last. You can order your free copy here: http://WorkOnMyGame.com/Motivation 


-Dre Baldwin 

Remember: You’re Just One Bold Move Away…