IDK why I subscribed to hustle culture…

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Photo by Kinga Cichewicz on Unsplash

I know that I’m not lazy. I work several jobs. I do my best to clean and workout several times a week. I contribute as much as I can to my household and I (sometimes) blog here.

But ever since the beginning of the pandemic… I’ve needed many naps. I sometimes plan micro-naps in the evening or on the weekends in order to get through my day. It’s frustrating to think that I used to be able to pull all-nighters and work more than one job and pretend that I was perfectly fine. …


Red flags… and more.

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Photo by Marten Bjork on Unsplash

The first day of all of my jobs starts the same. I’m overwhelmed, I shake hands with dozens of people, I try to memorize names and I try to learn where the bathrooms are. I usually shake on my way to the office and I’m full of anticipation and adrenaline. And on top of all that, on those first days, I feel exceedingly grateful.

Trying to make it in the media/journalism industry, I know how precarious my presence is. This is an industry that is hemorrhaging jobs, where people like me are the last hired and the first fired. …


Slack messages & virtual happy hours

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Photo by Andrew Neel on Unsplash

When I applied for the social justice fellowship at Girst, I was just a little over a month into being unemployed. I had slowly begun to recover from some medical issues and I finally had enough strength to sit up and send out my application after a friend looked at it.

Several video interviews later, I was called by my now editor who confirmed that I was selected for the fellowship. My hands shook when I accepted the offer in an email. I didn’t go through the usual routine that I leaned on with other job acceptances. …


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Photo by Niklas Herrmann on Unsplash

I moved back in with my family soon after COVID-19 hit New York City. It is and isn’t an ideal set up. The WiFi is kind of slow, I live with my parents, my older sister, my cousin and his wife, and my mom runs a daycare downstairs. But buying food is easier here now that I’m part of a unit versus buying everything myself. I no longer have to make every single meal that I eat because half of the time breakfast or lunch is a plate of food that someone at home hands to me.

On the other hand, Caribbean family members is that there is absolutely no privacy. But I have been able save money. I haven’t made as much money as I did before the pandemic when I had a salaried job, but I am luckily making some money and I’m glad to continue to slowly grow my savings account. Not by a lot, but I can’t believe that I can actually save some money during a global health crisis and economic meltdown. …


A post health emergency recovery journey

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Photo by Kalen Emsley on Unsplash

Earlier this March, gyms in NYC were shutting down due to the looming shelter in place rules. I looked up at-home workouts, figured out where in my tiny apartment I could do stretches and lunges, and dug up my resistance bands from my closet.

Weeks later, I was laid off from my full-time job, had to move back home, and I tried to figure out a workout schedule. I began to speed walk or jog two or three miles in the morning or I’d do a workout video. …


Be polite, but ask questions…

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Photo by Camylla Battani on Unsplash

The only real lesson I learned from a lot of the adults around me about hard work was to put my head down, work hard, do what I have to do, and to be polite to everyone around me.


Race, the environment, and disposing of my PPE

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I wear a mask and gloves at least once every day. Sometimes I wear those to go outside for a food run or errand run. Other times I wear them to change my bandages from a procedure that involved drains and having gauze shoved into me every day. But after a few uses, sometimes after one use, I throw those gloves out. And every time they fall into my trash bin, I wonder where they’ll be going.

Last year, I began to write about environmental justice for various publications, including The Nation and The Mujerista. Both publications gave me the opportunity to look at different angles of environmental justice including race, the youth movement, and protesters in developing nations. …


Thoughts on body image, indoor exercise, and self-acceptance

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Photo by Siora Photography on Unsplash

Most gyms in NYC began closing down in early to mid-March. At first, I was a little worried. I love my gym, I love the burn I feel after a work out session, and I love feeling like I did something productive. I rationalized that I could work out on the floor of my tiny living room and jog in the early morning since there are fewer people outside.

But then, I had fluid trapped under my skin; I had to have an emergency procedure to have my drain inserted and dressings changed every single day by nurses. …


The end of a lease, the end of an era.

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Photo by Niklas Herrmann on Unsplash

I signed a lease in the beginning of 2019. My dad supported me, my mom didn’t and told me that moving out was against every tradition she grew up with. And so there I was an “unmarried” woman setting off to rent on fourth of an apartment four blocks away from where my parents lived. My room cost $825. It was the cheapest one in the third floor unit. The kitchen was tiny and had almost no storage, the fridge was made for two people (and not four), and the bathroom I shared with a roommate clogged every other week.

But…it was a block away from one of the local supermarkets, a block and a half away from a subway station, and I could still live and shop near my family. …


productivity in a pandemic?

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Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash

Longtime freelancers are pros at working from home or in the corners of libraries, university lobbies (for good wifi) and coffeeshops. As someone who has struggled to find full-time employment in a very saturated media market, I have spent a lot of time with my trusty laptop and noise cancelling headphones in all kinds of environments trying meet deadlines, interview sources, and send out pitches in hopes of paying bills.

It took a while to understand how to do this comfortably, especially in my post-grad life where I was used to a formal-ish environment of a college or graduate school campus. …

About

Angely Mercado

Native NYer. Freelance writer in The Nation, Teen Vogue, The New York Times, Vice & more. Hire me: amercado92@gmail.com

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