To all the hustlers

Don’t tell me about your hustle.

Tell me about how fucking hard it is

to choose one dream, and to choose that dream every day.

———

Don’t tell me about your grind.

Tell me about what makes you keep going

even when you have nothing left to give.

———

Don’t tell me about your work ethic.

Tell me about the times

when you thought you weren’t worth it.

———

Don’t tell me how you’re the boss.

Tell me about how much easier it would be

if someone just plotted all the points for you and all you had to do was follow them—like a roadmap to life.

———

Don’t tell me these lies.

Don’t show me these pretenses.

Show me how you’ve struggled.

Show me how it’s shaped you and made you resilient.

Be real.

———

Show me how you’re going to take the ugliest parts of the hustle and the grind and polish them.

How will you take the dull mornings when you can’t get out of bed and make that dark, sinking weight as shiny as you can.

———

Don’t tell me with that fake Instagram smile; that contrived bathroom selfie

that you’re putting in the work today and all you need to do is caffeinate and practice self-care.

Tell me how you can actually look at yourself in that mirror when you’ve spent so long muffling your soul’s cries.

———

Tell me what you’re going to do when your social media identity cracks and dies and you’re left naked with a haunting darkness about what it all means and who you really are.

Because when you’re standing in the space between fiction and reality, that’s when you’re really gonna need that hustle. That’s when the grind really begins.

Like what you read? Give Emily Rodgers a round of applause.

From a quick cheer to a standing ovation, clap to show how much you enjoyed this story.