For The Girl Who Has To Work Hard For EVERYTHING: An Applause
This one. This is the article I was born to write. I’ve been waiting for my moment and, dear God, I think it’s finally here. This one is for the girl who stays up until midnight working on her side hustle because it’s her passion after spending all day at the job that pays her bills. This one is for the girl who goes without new clothes, fancy trips and expensive brunches in order to fund her dreams. This is for the girl who eats salads everyday and still gains weight if she so much as thinks of having dessert. This is for the girl who does the work, the extra credit and picks up the slack when something goes wrong. This is for the girl who doesn’t get to be everyone’s best friend because she’s too busy trying to keep everything afloat. This is for the girl who wants to be carefree but she cares…too much.
I see you. I am you. And I am going to write you a little something that you are not likely to hear because people tend to take for granted the sky opting, instead, to be in love with the sun, the moon and the stars. So here we go…
Your hard work is not in vain. It’s not. It is paying off. Right now. It may not look like it. It may not feel like it. But it is. You need to know that and believe it in the deepest part of your soul.
Create boundaries and don’t feel bad about enforcing them. No, I don’t care that it’s your mom or sister or best friend or husband. You set those boundaries for a reason. If you need to ignore that phone call so that you can just sit on your couch and do nothing. Do that. Don’t apologize and you know what, sis, don’t even return the call today. If you need to lock yourself in your room for a few hours because you’ve hit a groove in your work and don’t want distractions---do it. You’re not a bad wife/friend/mother/daughter because you want to excel. It doesn’t mean you’re putting your career before the people in your life. And, let’s say, you are putting your career first because you have personal goalposts to meet---that’s fine too. There is time for it all. Don’t let anyone rush you or slow you down.
Don’t deny yourself things that bring you joy. If you need that cookie because it’s going to make you feel better about all the yummy things you deny yourself in the quest for your best body---have the damn cookie. And enjoy it. Don’t look up the calories. Don’t beat yourself up. Don’t say “I bet Beyonce doesn’t eat cookies”. Yes she does. She does, sis, she does. And that one cookie is not the reason, you feel like, you’re out of shape. You’re probably being too hard on yourself anyway because that’s what girls like us do---we set up really tough expectations for ourselves and then chastise ourselves for straying from them on any level. Stop this. This is not the only way that you can motivate yourself to progress. You can do it with kindness. And it will still get done. Trust me, ok?
You’re not lame because you like to work. You’re so lucky to have something that you don’t mind getting lost in all weekend. You are not missing out on life. Socializing is not the consummate way to be young and sexy---so is doing something that brings you alive. So is staying home so that you can save money for the dreams you’re nursing. So is lying in bed so that you can recharge for the week ahead. So is getting excited about sitting down with your planner and making to-do lists to help you cross a big project off of your list. All of these things are also fun. Don’t let anyone “work shame” you (yes, I just made that up). Do your thing, boo, the lounges/brunches/cocktail dates will always be there but you will never be this young with this amount of energy and free time again. Use it however YOU see fit.
Take in the good things people say about you/your talents more than the critical things you say about yourself. Learn how to take a
compliment, sis. Believe it or not, someone wants your life. They see that you’re killing it. They see that you’re whole and walking in your purpose---they want that for themselves. And here you go: “I’m not doing anything, I’m not where I want to be yet, blahblahblah---making light of your accomplishments---blahblahblah”. This is not helpful to you or to the people who look up to you. Someone is depending on you to keep going and to show them the path---so when they give you praise, take it. Take it in. Store up those kind words for those days where you literally hate everything you’re creating, feel like you weigh 700 pounds more than you actually do and think you’re ugly, but thank God, you’re here.
Take a break. Nah, forreal. A real break. Go somewhere very chill (and it doesn’t have to be IG worthy because if you’re trying to serve looks, you’re not chilling) and listen to yourself. Journal. Eat. Talk to strangers. Wake up late. Stay up late. Read that book you keep falling asleep on because you’re exhausted by the end of the day. Watch that show that people have been spoiling for you on Facebook for the last few weeks. Turn your phone off. Don’t check a single email. No social media. REST. You need it. When you’re the way that we are---your mind is racing 24/7. You don’t even realize that you haven’t had a good night’s sleep until you get to shut your eyes in a house nestled in the Midwest with no city sounds, news alerts or events to attend and finally feel well-rested when you rise. Write it in your planner (because I know it’s right next to you): take a break.
You are so amazing. People see every single second that you put into the work you do---it seeps out in the finished product. You’ve thought out every detail. You’ve chosen the right colors, words, themes, images, etc… You are always performing at your highest level and then moving the bar a little higher because that’s what you do. You’re the friend who always listens and not always the friend who gets listened to. So it’s ok to not be ok. It’s just fine to need a little extra motivation. I know you want your work ethic and your bank account to match---it’s coming. When you take 10 steps forward in 2018, you won’t feel like you’ve also taken 20 steps backward. Things are looking up for you, boo. And, no, it would not have been easier to just skip college (or hard work) and be a stripper---I don’t care what social media tells you. You don’t actually believe that anyway. There is nothing about you that you have to change in order to reach your ultimate vision for your life.
It’s time that we celebrate.
Celebrate because we are the women who do the heavy lifting that changes the framework of the world. We sacrifice. We bleed. We cry. We do the work that other people shy away from. We lean into the sharp parts. We are Teflon when the whole world is burning. We are necessary, appreciated and irreplaceable.
So…with that said, win the day---and everyday---sis. As you always do.