ANONYMOUS HUSTLE: The Final Chapter - I Made It


It’s been a hot minute, y’all. Wait, no. Let’s be real, it’s just been a shamefully long time since I’ve posted anything here. Two years to the day, if you really want to rub salt in the wound. This chapter has gone through a ton of revisions and rewrites but while we’re all locked down during this COVID-19 pandemic, there’s really no excuse for me to not post this, soooooo...better late than never…? Ahem. Anyway. Between the previous chapter and this one, I’ve finally made it. I’VE MADE IT, FRIENDS. I can’t believe I can say that without feeling like a fraud. BUT HOLD UP, “made it” isn’t so much the traditional grandiose way you’re picturing right now. To be fair, I didn’t even really know what “made it” meant until I started putting this chapter together. Them clickbait titles, I couldn’t resist (teehee). C’mon, you must’ve seen that coming! I apologize if you’re left feeling slightly empty but hopefully by the end, you’ll feel a little less jipped. Let’s rewind, shall we?

So, as you know (or maybe you don’t), I started documenting my “anonymous” hustle for this series. The idea was to turn this outlet into a job and hopefully inspire others to re-evaluate their perspective of success. I didn’t know it at the time but the whole point of this series was for me, and mainly me, to feel complete when I had finished; for me to realize I’d made it. If sharing my journey happened to inspire you all, that would be icing on the cake. Hindsight 20/20 though, I was more invested in living and working through my own journey rather than telling or selling it. I know. Soooooo avante-garde starving artist of me *insert sarcastic hair flip here* Why, you ask? SH! You’ll see. So, after I released Chapter 8, what felt good at first, no longer felt right. I always tell my students, “It’s the right decision until it’s the wrong one,” so why did it take so long for me to realize it was wrong?

I spent two years berating myself for not posting anything. I did a lot of brainstorming and ruminating (and guilt-tripping) to get rid of any excuse I had to put off another chapter. If the long-ass hiatus wasn’t obvious enough, I was horrendously unsuccessful. Chapter 8, which was about my day job, was the catalyst to everything. An insightful little bird (hi Laura!) said to me one day, “I know you. If you didn’t want to teach, you wouldn’t be doing it right now,” which set off the inspiration for that chapter. So, after coming to terms with the fact that I didn’t hate my day job, my intuition kicked in and I followed the little white rabbit down the never-ending hole of internal rumination. I started realizing I was chasing after the frills and bills that I wanted (or thought I wanted) rather than sitting down and listening to what I needed and loved. I completely forgot that my intuition is one of the few things that I am very proud of. Well, I wouldn’t say completely forgotten. Poor thing had to claw its way through the self-hating hurricane that is my mind. It can get pretty rough in there and Tuey (that’s her name, my intuition) was already exhausted from all the shit-talking hail winds so her whispers were drowned out. 

Without hearing her guidance, I kept chasing those frills and bills. I was being led away by what worked for others instead of finding out what worked for me. I nearly drowned Tuey. Cue insightful bird wisdom and...BAM! Tuey clung on to that tidbit of wisdom like her life depended on it. She found what little energy she had, turned super saiyan, and kamehameha’d me into a procrastinating gloom after I posted Chapter 8 (I’m sorry if you are not a Dragon Ball Z fan and none of that made sense but don’t stop reading on account of my nerd). Oh, Tuey. I thought I lost you! Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not dumb and/or arrogant enough to think I know everything. However, I am confident enough in myself (more so nowadays) that if the decision I made is no longer right for me, I won’t do it. I just won’t fucking do it. Tuey won’t let me. “But what if it’s not the wrong decision and you gave up on something too early?” you ask. “Don’t live life with your head in the sand. If something isn’t working, change it. Changing doesn’t mean quitting,” says Tuey. “But what does that m-” Let’s get back to what’s at hand. I could play devil’s advocate forever.

So after a big fat hiatus, a whole lot of what-is-life-even type work inside and outside of therapy, and a steaming pile of bullshit-turned-silver linings, I . MADE . IT . FOLKS! I am not about to sign a book deal for this blog, I am not about to happy-cry when I make my thank-you speech at the Grammys like I imagined, and I am not making eight figures with an offensively big home in the Bridle Path with Drake as my neighbour. For the first time, I am grateful for the life I have and where I am. I used to think that if I was grateful for everything I had, I’d lose my ambition. Not true. Not even remotely. I’m still passionate (if not, more) towards what I’m building both internally and externally except this time, there’s no horrible overwhelming pressure and anxiety to be perfect or to “be somebody”. I can just be me; whatever version of myself that I am right now. In short, I’m happy. I no longer feel like I am chasing a horizon. I’m stopping to smell the flowers but am still building my garden. (Fun fact: I hate smelling flowers literally, I only like it metaphorically.) 

I started off this blog series unhappy with my life and secretly hoping that by writing about the hustle, it would eventually give me the bright lights and the “who are you wearing, you look fabulous!” styled life (hands up if you got the Chandler Bing reference). This fully contradicts what I was trying to preach. I was still being a shithead. I was only looking forward to the destination rather than enjoying the journey. But then, Tuey mustered up all the energy she could and clawed hard enough. She disguised herself as procrastination to distract me from writing more chapters until I had a more clear and objective mindset to realize that I only needed one more chapter

After nine installments, subconsciously, I knew I was doing this for the wrong reasons. Consciously, I know now that going through the process of writing these chapters (and a shit ton of internal hustle) has shown me that I already have everything I need to be happy. I just didn’t see it. Too many lemons had been chucked at my life. As a millennial, when life gives you lemons, you make lemonade...aaaaand then you go DIY an Instagrammable lemonade stand and sell it. I was so preoccupied with making the lemonade stand and how to sell it, I forgot I had to make some bomb-fucking lemonade first. I had honestly hoped there would be a shinier conclusion for you but I’ll tell you what my therapist said to me: “I wish there were more balloons and confetti to show for it but like most things in life, there isn’t.” 

Despite having my initial “I made it” sigh of relief, I still have to remind myself of my happiness. I fight the bright allure of fame on a regular basis. I give in to my toxic emotions when I’m too drained. I try to forget that ever lingering fear of not having enough time to live my life authentically and put out what I believe will inspire those around me. But that’s the bittersweet complexity of our lives though, isn’t it? We have no clue how long we have and there’s no blueprint on how to make life your bitch but we’re all doing our best to make sense of all this. After all my hustling since the conception of this blog series, I think I understand myself a little more now; enough to make a pretty good go of it at least. At first, I wanted to change people’s minds about how they viewed success and happiness in hopes that it would change mine. What actually happened was that I did hustle anonymously. I just didn’t write about it. And because of that anonymous hustle, I can finally say, “hey look, ma...I made it.”

Until next time,
Stay bold and beautifully weird.

For those who still feel jipped and want some insight into the secret sauce, I’m sorry you feel that way but my next series might be the metaphorical ingredients you’re looking for. “Dear Little Me” is about writing letters to my younger self on the lessons I’ve learned during this process of learning self-care, things I’ve always intuitively known, and tidbits that I would’ve liked to hear when I was a young, impressionable girl so she knows that whatever happens, her older self is worth all of it.

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