It seems as though it has been forever since I have sat down to write a personal blog post. So much of these past few months have been neck deep in the HUSTLE. Creating The Fount Collective, being in the busy portrait season and making sure all of my clients are well taken care of, and not to mention everything that comes with moving at the end of the summer and taking the business full time. The hustle, friends. I feel as though I have officially learned it’s true meaning.
If we are going to be completely and 100% honest this morning- the often scary-big gulp-deep breath kind of honest- I wanted this post to be written in the past tense. I wanted to to come out the other side and THEN sit and write about hard it WAS, and not how hard it IS.
It will get you likes. It will bring you followers and fist pumps. Instagram a planner by your laptop and tell the world you plan to work at your desk and hustle for the next 19 hours without a bathroom break, and you will have a crowd cheering you on. Frame the letters shining in gold foil and hang it on your wall. Sell it for $30. People will buy it. I have one in an online cart somewhere.
Hustle. Hustle. Hustle.
The hustle is not bad. The hustle is not wrong. In fact, I think it’s important. I think at times, even incredibly necessary. It has without a doubt gotten me where I am in business, and doors of opportunity have come my way because of it. I don’t intend to quit the hustle.
But I just want some sort of proof that I am hustling for a destination. I mean, is the hustle ever enough? Do you ever reach the end and sit down? Reach the end and say it was worth it? Because I have been exhausted. I have barely had the free mental space to have a meaningful conversation. I have been walking around like a zombie most days trying to remember where it is that I am hustling to. It’s easy to forget you know. The reason for your own hustle. As my good friend Mary once said, you can look up and realize that you are checking off the list of someone else’s dreams and not your own.
There is an intentional, deep from your core kind of hustle that I need to find again. To redefine what hustle means to me and never again get caught up in looking to the left or to the right. To remember why I am building MY business and what kind of life I want to have. Because mine won’t look like yours. I look around at leaders in the industry who seem to have been hustling for years upon years. And it’s as if they are afraid to sit down, afraid to take a break, afraid to stop striving to be three steps ahead in fear of losing the momentum.
Friends I only want momentum if it’s taking me somewhere. Because I don’t want the hamster wheel life- a life that LOOKS like I am going somewhere, that LOOKS like I am the leader of the pack-when in reality if you stop you are right back where you started, and it was all for nothing.
We are constantly bombarded with this message that we are never doing enough, striving enough, being enough. I reached this place where I realized that what used to feel like a really successful day, now feels like it’s not enough. Because I didn’t edit in the car on my way home from a portrait session, or stay up all night long and deliver the edited images the next morning. Because I went for a walk which I really enjoy, instead of a workout at CrossFit or Pure Barre that would equal my car payment. Because I bought my healthy groceries but I didn’t buy them organic and local, or grow them in my garden. Because I bought new makeup that I really liked, but it wasn’t paraben free and now I will probably die because of it. Because I blogged two days a week instead of five like all the rockstar photographers do. Because I chose the park with the kids over getting my inbox to zero before noon.
In one downward spiraling swoop of a newsfeed I am reminded that if I am not careful I will join the hamster wheel.
But this morning I am declaring this truth, and this reminder. I say it right to myself.
Their hustle is not my hustle. Your hustle is not my hustle. I want to reach a destination. MY destination.
Enough IS enough.
This is an invitation to get off the hamster wheel and remember why you are doing what you are. Why you are working so hard. Why you are sacrificing the things that you are. Are you really going somewhere? Will it be worth your hustle?
Because what everyone else is doing on Social Media isn’t important. It isn’t YOUR life. And it isn’t MINE.
Like I said. I really wanted this post to be written in the past tense. But it’s not. It’s my today. It’s my right now. And you can fist pump or you can move on to something less authentic. But I am writing it just the same. Because I don’t know about you, but I need some more real in my days.
And that’s all I really have to say.