Why I’m Adjusting Expectations for Myself if the Rest of You Agree Do the Same

With all the turbulent global crises of the past few years, everyone’s talking about taking a break from our work-obsessed culture and making peace with our limitations in these uncertain times. Now, I’m all about learning to value myself outside the logic of capitalism, so I’m happy to manage my expectations and lean more into self-care. Like, as long as everyone else agrees to do the same.


I am no sucker. If I’m going to start allowing myself to sleep anywhere near eight hours a day, I’m going to need some guarantee that the rest of you losers are doing the same. And let me be clear: I better not find out any of you were just talking a big game about valuing yourself outside of capitalist structures, and then secretly grinding behind my back. If I find out any of you are starting side hustles, getting super jacked, or teaching yourselves how to code, while you trick me into starting meditation, I’ll see you in court.


Okay sure, you want me to “take care of myself” and “prioritize my mental health,” instead of grinding all day to achieve inhuman goals on an unrealistic timeline? That’s very sweet of you! What a humanizing thought that momentarily inspires me to imagine other possible systems of value! But I wasn’t born yesterday, and it kinda sounds to me like you want me to ease up on my productivity so you can go grind alone in private, show me up on LinkedIn in a few years, and one-up me.


I will admit, this 24/7 hustle grindset shit is killing me slowly. It’s not great working full-time, trying to become a micro-influencer, pursue my next degree, letting my personal traumas go unpacked, all while trying to create a literary oeuvre on Twitter that gets the New York Review of Books excited.


But ambition is a bit of an arms race. If you’re not letting up, I sure as hell will not. So, take it easy? Sure, I’ll do it. But only if everyone else does.  Like, can we maybe get it in writing that we’ll all do it? Because I’ve read The Tortoise and the Hare, and you lame-o turtles will not succeed in getting this hare to slow down enough so you can pull a fast one on me at the finish line. Got that? So let’s all heal and chill!



I suspect, at the end of the day, we are all very tired, and we all want to bilaterally agree to collectively take a breather. And trust me, I really, desperately want to slow down, as I am literally unsure how long I can keep up this hollow facade of a life. So, all I’m asking for is some sort of legally binding contractual agreement that our entire generation is all going to start taking it easy.


Then, and only then, will I finally fucking chill, start seeing my friends more, and spending more time doing hobbies I find intrinsically rewarding without feeling like a complete waste of life. But if we agree to meet up, and you tell me that you got promoted at your job? Well, honey, I’m gonna race back to the hustle and will never come back.