hustle /ˈhʌs(ə)l /

I remember when we first moved here, my neighbor said that I was too nice and that I’d be eaten up by the culture here. I thought nothing of it. Then during the past month, I began to wonder, “Is she right?” Am I fitting in? I’ve noticed that just about everyone I do meet is part of being a couple and in a professional setting with my fiance. I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about this lately, and I realized that I need my own identity and my own friends. Those are the things that come naturally, and work helps with that.

Marco told me before and recently again that to get work here, I have to hustle. What does that even mean? Do I have it? How does it work? I don’t enjoy marketing myself. With frustration over my certification in New York still looming a year after I initiated the process, I feel I could use a coach.

I found that the Oxford Dictionary defines hustle as:

[no object, with adverbial of direction] Push one’s way; bustle

Sell aggressively

North American informal Move or act quickly.
As I settle into this new life in Jersey/NYC, I’m beginning to become aware of my own anxiety about landing a job. For a while, I wasn’t sure that I wanted to continue my education career as a teacher or school counselor. But I find myself missing it. Maybe I just needed a break to gain some perspective. Now that I am here in the city, there’s much more competition. I know I have what it takes, but I’m reminded by my fiance that hustling is the key.
Being from Texas, that’s not necessarily who I am. I don’t like to market myself to potential employers in general, and to have to do that in a place where there seems to be ten times more competition is a bit intimidating. So I literally want to know…how does one hustle? What does it take?
No, I’m not talking about swindling or illicit activity. How do I push myself forward? My best estimate to start would be exuding confidence. Check. So tell me…what are the other keys?
This hustling phenomena led me to take a little a sabbatical from my sabbatical during the holidays. Honestly, I wasn’t sure how much I was self-accomplishing by blogging. Instead, I started focusing my efforts on work and cutting back on spending. Especially since I have yet to sell my condo back in Dallas. Even though my adventures have been spiritually rewarding, they don’t exactly pay the bills. I have applied in two districts and initiated contact in a third. But with little feedback and many times going in circles or unable to follow up, reality is sinking in where I’m feeling maybe I’m a little out of my league in this harsh culture. Things aren’t as streamlined here, and my friendly, Texas smile isn’t going to magically land me a job. It’s trying to even meet people and make new friends. At times, it feels a bit lonely, despite these great adventures. I joined MeetUp to help, but the truth is I’m an introvert, which is shocking to many since I appear so outgoing. Deep inside, I’m very much a thinker and analyze my interactions. I prefer for others to take the lead and initiate. I have a hard time stepping out. The funny thing is I have done it before. I lived in Argentina and went back to Argentina all alone. I can do it. I just feel stuck at the moment.
If this feels gloomy, it’s not intended to. I know there is a growing pain to such a big change in life and relocating. By putting this out there into the universe, I’m hoping to become unstuck and find that spark. I want it. I need it. I have it. I will find it…within me.
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2 thoughts on “hustle /ˈhʌs(ə)l /”

  1. I completely understand. As someone whose written some award-winning scripts, I know I’m capable of “doing the job” as a writer/screenwriter. But going out and selling myself and my work is very intimidating. And a big chunk of it is the whole “who you know” angle. What if you don’t know anyone? Well . . . Network. *cringe* But, yes, you gotta. Make yourself get dressed and go out to that meetup. Remember you’re not the only introvert, either, and that many of the others there are just like you. Find that other person standing there, looking lost, and introduce yourself. And focus on the positive when thinking about yourself. If I tell myself I still haven’t sold this or that script or story, I’m just beating myself down. But when I remind myself I’ve won awards and been a bestseller, I feel very different! And it shows! And people respond accordingly!

  2. Great words of advice, Amanda! I am realizing that “get up and do it” mode. It’s the story I keep telling myself that gets in the way. Yea, it’s frustrating, but I have been here before (maybe not the same degree as the way it is here in NY) and have done it. I have been going through the people I know. But then again, I don’t know that many people. I think the Meet Up can help with that. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and comments. I needed that 🙂

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