Grind culture requires most of us to work non-stop to “make it,” but is “it” worth the exhaustion?
Working in the cam industry is a daily grind. You are the boss, makeup and hair artist, costume stylist, writer and director. You also may do your accounting work and other various office tasks. Then there’s the continual pull to be available online all day and night to please clients.
The extra work is absolutely worth it if you love what you do, but could there be a better, more balanced way?
Resisting Grind Culture
A recent Autostraddle article asked a simple question of its readers: “What does slowing down really look like?”
Lala Drew, the article’s writer, continues:
“Over the past several months I have been asking myself this question. As a person who experiences many identities (Black, Queer, Nonbinary, transracial adoptee), moving through the current cultural climate is challenging and exhausting. Deciding who to work with and where to put my energy has become a practice of deep reflection and active listening.”
Drew continues by detailing how they’ve released toxic work and personal relationships and has, essentially, begun to “tend their garden” by weeding out what no longer serves their needs. Drew is done with grind culture and the toxic systems that helped create it.
“Capitalism, white supremacy, and slavery set the conditions and grind culture is a natural result of this collision of harm,” Drew wrote.
“The idea that people enjoy working 130 hour work weeks, that we must produce, produce, produce to have value is the crux of the hustle. On the plantation, an enslaved person’s value was a direct result of the work that person was able to produce. If a person was unable to meet the dehumanizing expectations of the plantation owner, that person was punished. If that person’s value dipped low enough, they would be sold or murdered.”
Drew ends their essay by detailing how they view society can “cultivate a culture of change” and how individuals can tend their gardens through rest, joy and tender personal care.
How Can You Tend Your Garden?
Perhaps you need to quit your third job, or maybe you need to hire an assistant. If you can’t do either of those things because you have to pay your bills and can’t afford help, maybe “it” is as simple as turning off your phone or social media notifications for a few hours one day a week.
Self-care during this scary, exciting and heart-breaking time is the only thing that can keep us going.
Never forget that the world needs people like you rested and ready for action — or else real change can’t occur, and grind culture will consume all of us.
Abbie Stutzer is a queer, non-binary writer living in Kansas City, MO. You can find them doing witchy stuff at home with their numerous pets or at the local animal shelter saving lives. Contact Stutzer via firstname.lastname@example.org.
Background header image via Unsplash here.