Miriam is a fighter; a fighter in both the proper and figurative sense of the word. Miriam is an eight-time world Muay Thai champion. Nicknamed “The Queen of Mean” by her peers, Miriam made a job of her passion.
But in a country where you go big or you go home, Miriam went big, Miriam went home and Miriam ended up homeless. Injured at the top of her career with a severe knee injury, Miriam had to quit training and fighting to let her body heal. Everything went on a downward spiral, insurance bills piled up, and eventually, Miriam had to sleep in her car with her beloved companion cat, Princess, and call it temporarily home. Hurt both physically and emotionally, Miriam decided to get her life back and make a complete 180-degree move : change trainers, change her social circle and get her life back on track.
Miriam has been an uberX driver-partner for a little more than a month now. She got help getting on the road by taking advantage of the vehicle solutions program, developed by Uber for partners who, like Miriam, don’t have access to a qualifying uberX vehicle.
Uber has allowed Miriam to earn revenue while enjoying flexible hours to train and get back in shape. It has also helped her meet new people, socialize and feel part of society. She says that she enjoys being an Uber partner not only because of the flexibility it offers her, but also because it makes her feel like she’s helping people : by listening to their personal stories, riding while listening to their favorite tunes, and making sure they get to their destination sound, safe and on time.
Miriam is a fighter. Her incredible journey into recovery touched me to the core, and reminded me that ‘you never know how strong you are until being strong is the only option you have.’ [Bob Marley]
Whether, like Miriam, you are looking for a career change, or a side hustle for an extra source of income, Uber offers the flexibility of being your own boss, set your own schedule and work as much or little as desired. Being a driver-partner is made easy through a simple-to-use process. Once you become an Uber partner, it’s a simple 3-step process to making money:
- Turn on the app – at whatever times are convenient for you.
- Accept a ride – you get to decide who you want to pick-up.
- Complete the ride and get paid!
Miriam had so many stories of rides to share with me : from happy moments when she rode a group of friends heading to a Rihanna vs Beyoncé concert and were arguing over which one of these divas was winning the most votes – and Miriam put on some tunes so the group could all sing along during the ride – to sadder ones when she drove a senior lady who told her about her past struggles in her native Tibet before moving to the US. This sense of empathy, of feeling the pain and joy around her is strongly anchored in Miriam; almost as if her second chance in life allowed her to connect deeper into life’s joys and pains of others around her, one Uber ride at a time.
I met Miriam Nakamoto for a couple of hours, but she has managed to imprint in me the feeling of humbleness, of empathy and a life-long memory of what a modern hero truly looks like.
To read more unique drivers’ stories, head over to the Uber site.
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Photography : French By Design ©