The side hustle is grueling.
The people who tell you its easy are lying. Because behind every perfectly polished article, picture, video, social media account or website, is a pile of mess ups, mix ups and pardon my french, but honestly, fuck ups lying on the cutting room floor that simply didn't make the big screen.
The late nights, endless cups of coffee, sleepless hours tossing and turning that turn into anxious mornings, the nightmares that jolt you straight out of bed and across the room to park yourself right in front of the very computer screen you spent all night the night before staring at, anxiously monitoring activity, putting the final touches on the things you've overlooked, THAT is the reality. And it's just as exhausting as it sounds.
Sometimes, inevitably you miss time with the people you love, you turn down happy hour invitations to finesse your next email blast, stay in on nights you'd actually rather be out (rare for me, but FOMO is a very real thing) and (more likely) force yourself awake on the lazy, rainy, chilly, cozy weekend mornings when you'd rather be cuddled up with the someone-important who is snuggled up next to you snoozing away.
Sometimes you employ the people you love as cohorts to make light the work, whether it be scheduling social posts, posing as your personal photographer/model or copy editor or even, when the day's been particularly rough, acting as your built-in shrink. Because that's what it takes, a village, to raise your side hustle from the ashes and grow it into something big and beautiful.
Sometimes you endure the prolonged side-eye when answering emails during quality time, or sighs of exasperation when you schedule a conference call during the eight hour drive to the family vacation because it's literally the only free time you have.
And sometimes, the hours, days, weeks and months go by before you finally dig yourself out to a place where the sunlight blinds you, where you can finally, allow yourself a deep breath and a moment to look back on all the progress you've made while you were too busy making progress to look.
And of course, if you're reading this, then thank you, because if you're reading this then all the things above have not been for nothing. But also, if you're reading this and thinking to yourself, "I don't even have a side hustle and my life feels like this," guess what? Baby, you are not alone.
No matter what you pursue, be it motherhood, fatherhood, family, marriage, work, friendships, small business, big business, play, travel, art, etc, etc, etc. Even the things you love can take their toll.
SO, give yourself permission to be tired.
After all, you work so hard at everything you do. Allow yourself room enough to make mistakes, to learn, to nap when it suits you and of course, to grind hard when you can, so that when you don't you won't feel as guilty.
I spent the last year and a half gearing up for this big finale, I worked my butt off, networked, hustled, stayed up late, woke up early, missed out on fun things, had FOMO like no other. But the truth is it was worth it, it usually is. And at the end of it all, I'm exhausted.
And I'm okay with that, because I have given myself permission to just be exhausted. To do the things that make me feel like I'm indulging: a good workout session, a nice hot bath with one of our (insert promotional eye roll here) amazing Mountains to Sea bath bombs, a Netflix binge, eating my favorite salt and vinegar chips or a decadent piece of chocolate or spending time around the people I love OR just doing NOTHING.
I no longer feel guilty about that, because I have allowed myself room to be a recluse some days, to be anti-social, hole up in my room under the covers and watch something unfulfilling, or enlightening or even of remote substance. As long as I allow myself the time to rest, refuel and re-engage in the side hustle at the end of it, it's okay to indulge. Every once in a while. In fact, that exhaustion is a pretty beautiful thing too.
SO today, and maybe tomorrow or over the weekend, give yourself permission to be tired. And then re-energize, refuel and re-ignite all over again.
It may not seem like it now, but there's beauty in this journey. Don't let it pass you by :)