“Every day I’m hustlin’ (x4)”
— Rick Ross, “Hustlin'”, Port of Miami (2006)
The other night I was typing up a storm in #blkcreatives—by far my favourite Twitter chat right now—when something caught my eye.
That month’s theme was money and money management, which invariably got us talking about how we make money. Black folk are all too familiar with the hustle. We’re raised believing we need to work twice as hard to get half as far as our non-Black peers, but no one discusses the consequences of this thinking when left unchecked.
We’ve never been big on mental health. I sought professional help a few times in my 20s because I just pushed myself too hard. Working hard is important—I don’t have time for those complaining about their lives while doing nothing to change them—but so is finding balance. I’ve spent much of 2017 putting everything I could into growing the brand, but with all the things tugging me in every other possible direction—my family, my job, and my church—I just reached a point where I’d no more to give.
And this sorely affected my writing.
I’m don’t lack things to write—my to-do lists dozens of items deep—but writing is a feeling process. How well you write is completely dependent on how well you feel, so when you’re feeling burnt out, it isn’t doing any favours to anyone.
Something needed to give before it was me who took the hit!
This Game Had me Hustlin’ — But I Had to Learn to Hustle RIGHT.
“They say sleep is the cousin of death,
And nobody wanna die, so nobody gettin’ rest…”
— Rapper Big Pooh, “The Jungle”, Sleepers (2005)
When the creative blocks are particularly potent, I’ll sometimes grab my phone, fire up Pokémon Go, and take a walk to clear my head and think.
It’s not the best way I could’ve planned my 2017 out—heck, I’d be hesitant to call it a plan at all—but it’s my reality. And it’s not like I want to give any of it up—I spend time with my family because I spent far too much time alone as a kid. And sure, the day job keeps me busy enough, but the blog’s where I truly get to express myself. Something I can definitively call my own. And of course as a Christian, I can’t discount the good fortune that God gave me the ability to make all this happen, so if a communications strategy is His price for my success, then I’m happy to pay it. It’s not an ideal situation, no, but it’s one I live in the hopes it’ll all eventually grow simpler—I just need to put in the work first.
I’m Back, Y’all. And I’m HUNGRY.
So that’s why you haven’t seen me in a bit—everyone has their limit. And as much as I want to push myself harder and see what unfamiliar heights I can reach, sometimes it’s just as important to take a sec to breathe and enjoy what I’ve built so far. It took me a while to find the words that go with all the feelings inside, but now that they’re out, I think I can finally get back to business.
As always, y’all, thanks for reading—it’s always good to know at least someone’s impacted by these words!
Stay up, everyone, and until the next,