I'm a hustler.
"That's not how you use that word," says my little sister with that chuckle the young reserve for the old.
Maybe not, but still, I say:
My hustle: teach writing to older adults, teach Bollywood dance, and teach yoga.
It's a lot. But it's my hustle.
In the last 6 weeks, I've planned and schemed, feeling a bit schizophrenic to have three hustles and not one. But I've decided not to judge the hustle.
Now, the hustle is becoming real: Beginners' Bollywood starts in August (spread the word!). Seniors' yoga has begun, I've got several choreo stints under my belt. Writing is in the works.
I find myself 78% anxious and 12% excited. Math is not my hustle, so don't think too hard on that.
Being a hustler is many things at once:
I don't fall asleep till well past midnight. Either because I'm still working or I'm in bed, mind whirring.
I wake up convinced that no one is going to come to my dance class. Or that they will and hate it. Or hate me. Well, okay, not hate me, because I am adorable, according to (most) people I meet. But they will definitely hate my choreography or see through it and know I didn't grow up learning Bharat Natyam (Oh my God, that's not even how it's spelled!) or kathakali.
But at the same time as I imagine all the ways I will fail, I have moments of excitement, moments of I'm on the right track. Like the choreo clients who say they loved my work. Or talking about the writing idea with friends and hearing their excitement, hearing my own.
Or designing my website. ME. A humble schoolteacher from North Vancouver, BC, designing her own website? But again, I catch myself- because why not me? If I don't believe in me, how can anyone else? And you know what? The website is kind of awesome. I secretly love it. Much screaming and hair-tearing later, I have made my own website.
There is a part of me that thinks I'm dreaming too big. Or to be more accurate: who am I to dream at all?
There is part of me that doesn't think I deserve having things work out. So when things do work out, I don't really trust them. When people hire me for the job I told them I can do, I'm like, "Why are you hiring me?".
But here's the thing: I think part of hustlin' is having your initial idea, which comes from a deep and pure and real place, and then hanging the fuck onto it as you make it happen. Coz on that road from idea to product, these negative thoughts (your inner fear) are constantly trying to derail you.
This morning, I woke up thinking, I can easily cancel the new Bollywood class, it hasn't even been advertised yet. I just mailed the cheque yesterday, I can cancel it, and no one will ever know.
If I let myself cancel this first class, if I give into my fear at this first step, I may form a pattern of it. And then the hustle is over. Before it's even begun. That feels even worse than this pre-hustle anxiety.
So instead, I'm just going to lose a bit of sleep, live for a while with an elevated heart rate, up the self-care by 1000% and keep on hustlin'.