Part 2: A Taste of the Hustle
My own definition of hustling is pushing yourself, often past your limits, while handling various life obstacles in order to complete them all and succeed. Nevertheless, there are certainly times where a hustler fails until they can obtain success, but out of the hustlers I know and look up to as well as looking at myself, we are so determined to reach for the stars that we don't stop, even after we reach 'em. If I were to be completely honest though, I enjoy always being productive, but it's a completely different kind of productivity when you're doing something you don't want to do. To continue posting on this beautiful platform, I need money, for school, I need money-- basically, to live the life you want, you probably have to work hard for that cash. If I could earn a passive income from writing and doing other things I love, it might not even feel like work to me. As I said in Part 1: A Taste of the Hustle about how I got myself into such a stressful situation, I definitely came out with a lot more knowledge that greatly influence my choices to this day and I wanted to share the valuable information that I gained throughout my first taste of hustling.
#1 Double shifts are FREAKING KILLER.
During the month of May, I was working an average of 16 hours a week while handling school, extracurriculars, and other issues. Working 4 hours in the sun followed by another 4 or more hours trying to convince people to buy something or another 4 or 5 hours doing straining physical work can be hell. The first weekend I got scheduled four shifts, two each day, I thought, well… I’m gonna die, as the tiny voice in my head was faintly screaming “You can do this!" I DID manage to do it and I still do have double shifts to this day. The downside is that it’s mentally and physically draining (depending on the job) to work yourself more than you can handle. Like I said in my previous post, I didn’t have time for homework and leisure time so I had to sacrifice my lunch times to work, for example, and no doubt was I isolated from my friends during this time too. I wasn’t able to stop myself though, because I couldn’t and because I just thought that I’d get used to the work or that it would end after graduation. Near the end of the month, I actually injured my wrist and had to restrain from working one of the jobs. At first, I was devastated because I planned to make a certain amount of money by June and this set back meant that I had to work more at my now only existing job. However, since I am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason, if I hadn't gotten injured, I probably wouldn't have realized just how much I was mentally hurting myself.
#2 Time is SO precious.
This lesson came naturally to the whole situation, and though you don’t need to experience something time-consuming like I did to know that time is a gift that comes and goes, my hustling opened my eyes to choosing what and who is really worth my time. Do I really want to spend time being around people who are just going to gossip about others? Are these people going to ignore me and waste my time or would I have a better time having an alone day? In the end, I spent more time with myself which resulted in me becoming more independent in terms of working for myself to fulfill my own personal goals.
When you come to a point where you're working almost all the time and it engulfs you, you'll come across a lot of questionable times. Speaking on behalf of that, some days I even forget the reason I am working so much. A few weeks ago, I realized that work has become such a routine that I felt like I don't have any more purpose in my life. I even found myself comparing me to Sisyphus being condemned to pushing that damn rock over and over again until the day he died. When you're constantly busy with hustling, you lose track of time and suddenly, it doesn't even matter anymore because you're just doing what you have to do. and less of what you want to do.
While I was going through the hell that was the month of May I will never get back, I don't think I was ever really happy. In fact, it felt like each and every single day of that month, a significant part of my happiness was diminishing.. I became distant from my friends, my patience with myself and others became shorter, and I just didn't feel whole anymore. Fast forward to the present moment, I'm still struggling with regaining joyful and good vibes within me. I'm learning that it's much harder to gain happiness rather than it is to lose.
I was out one day with my friend about a month ago and I choose to go because I thought I'd have a good time and forget about work. WRONG. All I could think of, and I told him this, was that I had to try and sleep early that night so I wouldn't be late for work the next morning. It's like work had permanently tattooed itself in my brain and everything else was less significant and meaningful and I HATED IT.
The hustle, I believe, challenges individuals to such an extreme point where it's just you and this huge battle of doing what you need to do and time. It opens your mind into realizing things you probably don't think about on the daily, like who and what you invest your time in and questioning if working or doing something in particular is even worth all the precious time we have that goes by so fast. I'm still hustling, not as extreme as I was in May, but she's still here and I think that I'm slowly and gradually learning how to balance out my life the more I live. The negative feelings and thoughts I encounter while hustling can take over, but as long as I remind myself of why I am working so hard in the first place, then there would be less panic attacks and a lot more confidence and realization that this LIVIN'LIN doesn't give herself enough credit for working her little, but strong self to the highest of her abilities.
I tried looking for hustling quotes, but decided to write a few encouraging words of my own:
Time is probably the greatest gift that is offered to us; it's free and it can easily be used or wasted. Follow that dream of yours and start where you can. Keep hustling and constantly remind yourself of the life you want and spend less time complaining about why you don't have it. There's a reason you don't have it, and it's because you're thinking way more than actually doing. Accept the challenges you're going to face, believe you can make it, and let your work embody the faith you already have in yourself.