This is for my hustlers.
Aside from the urban hip-hop feel this white girl gets when saying hustler, there’s not much I like about the word. I’ve seen a lot of quotes and thoughts lately that want us to hustle for the dream, hustle to survive, and hustle to make it happen.
Questions that inevitably pop into my mind when I read about the hustle -hustle- grind are, what is the dream I’m hustling for, does survival really require hustle, and just what does make it happen mean? What is it?
I just can’t afford to buy into it anymore. My reserves are low and the hustle flow is not regenerative.
Now I know that the intent behind the words is probably rooted in good intent. In deeper values and ambition than the side effect of feeling of less it creates. At least, that’s what I’m finding it creates in me.
I have a friend who runs. You know that friend who is way too energetic and covers 10 miles in the time it takes you to eek out half that distance. Ya, that friend.
I make her tell me the story about how she stopped continually training for marathons a lot. She was about half way done with a long training run and stopped. Picture Forest Gump’s abrupt halt after months, years (whatever it was) of constant running. At least that’s how I picture it in my mind. She said something inside of her was wearing down with years of training and in an instant a switch went off inside of her and she thought to herself mid run coming down the canyon, “why are you running, and who are you running for?” And that was that. She called her sister to come pick her up and her constant training and miles to be covered ceased. She said in looking back, the joy had stopped, and she realized she had been mindlessly running for months because she was a runner. Her identity tied her down to the label. But she had changed. The hustle told her she had to run – she had to be fit – she had to be working, running, striving toward a goal.
A result. A measurement. She had to hustle.
For her, running and pounding the pavement was cold and lifeless. For others it is an escape that enlivens. But the point is, she didn’t want to hustle just because she was supposed to.
Brené Brown, psychologist and researcher, uses the phrase “hustle for worthiness”. And that’s just what the hustle becomes. Somehow it has become a hustle for worthiness. True worth can’t be found outside yourself. Not in the goal to go and grab, or the hustle to hurry and secure your perfect job or status as amazing wife, mother, lawyer, teacher.
You are not the hustle.
I know there is a part we can’t escape, and I don’t yet know how to stop the hustle completely, but I’m working on reasons why to find stillness and worth inside my story instead of outside.
So don’t hustle darling. Let’s be still and know, ponder, sit, say no, walk in the grass, turn off the phone, read, and do whatever that thing is that brings a little bit of peace instead of pandemonium.
What false messages do you find in the hustle? How do you manage everyday life with the counsel to be still and know?