The New Year brings with it a joyful urgency to rebuild & recreate ourselves. But the rush to re-create ourselves can get exhausting, especially when every damn Instagram post or Facebook status is about someone getting their hustle on – or side-hustle, or their rise-and-grand, or whatever. This feels especially pressing for women, who are always expected to be and do all things, so I wrote this one day when I had it with all the productivity porn.
This is for the quiet girls. The lazy, dreamy, head in the clouds ones. The ones whose brand is soft voices and gaps in the schedule. The anti-hustlers.
The world is getting faster, and with each turn, louder still. Many “-isms” want you to rise and grind, lean in, get with the times and hustle. Not just hustle, but side hustle. As if it’s not enough to try to live in the world.
But it’s not your responsibility to be productive. It’s not your responsibility to be harder, better, faster, stronger. No. The poet Mary Oliver is right: you don’t have to be good. Many people and their “-isms” will tell you that it’s good to get faster, and with each turn, louder still. But it’s not your responsibility to transform yourself into what you think the world demands: a fast loud hustler.
It is your responsibility to bring your dreaminess with you and create spaces of solitude. It is your responsibility to paint softness with your words and advocate longingly for peace and quiet. It is your responsibility to indulge in silence, quickly and often, and let others do the same. Slow your world down; slow the worlds of those around you. Create fortresses of pillows and dreams for your loved ones; walk poetically with a blank mind.
This is what the world needs from you: a place of solitude and longing.
So put down your side-hustles, and even your regular hustle sometimes. Tear out (and recycle!) the To-Do list crowding your space. Let your hands and heart rest, and let the soft animal of your body love.