Securing the (Under Eye) Bags: Overworking in America

By India Taina

Photo by Marvin Meyer on Unsplash

SECURE THAT BAG, SIS! ALL ABOUT THAT MORNING GRIND! FUCK UP THAT BACK WITH ALL THOSE SERVING JOBS! CRY THOSE TEARS at your manufacturing job that gives you only a 30 minute break for your 10 hour workday SO IT CAN WATER THE SEEDS OF YO PAYCHECK… said no one ever. 

But that’s how social media and American society make it seem to us, in the 18-25 range, ALL the time. Because, let’s face it, we can’t ALL be social media influencers and YouTubers. It’s just not possible. (Sidenote, the way the rap game has been going lately though, it seems we all really CAN be rappers. Really. Any of us. I digress). 

Therefore, what is made readily available to us? Retail, Food service, and drugs, all of which are not careers man (please do not come into my DM’s with some bullshit about your cannabis side hustle making billions Bill, if that’s true, then why are you still wearing a Gilden T-shirt with sketchers to the clurb, and offering girls lemon drops? I digress). However, in this day and age, it seems everybody BUT you is making that muhfuckin’ bread, grinding day in and day out; and it can make you “compare and broke-bitch despair”. But not to worry. India is here to set out the facts, baby.

So, why is overworking glorified, sanctified, and amplified in America?

Here’s a couple of thoughts I think are solid enough to stick:

  1. Social Media makes EVERYTHING *seem* better

Newsflash, everyone is a fucking 10 on social media (except dudes who send unsolicited dick pics, you will always be a 2 for that, Jamal). But think of all the people you follow. How many of them are ugly? How many of them are unsuccessful and broke? How many are willingly exposing their insecurities and flaws? Probably less than 2% of the people you follow fall under that bracket (unless you’re petty like me and follow the people you knew since high school would not succeed and keep up just to make sure your predictions are true… I know it’s evil!). For the most part, however, we follow people that are pretty, rich, and successful, because we like to model ourselves after who we follow. You know that saying, “if you hang with hoes, part of you is a hoe?”. It’s the same for who you choose to follow. So if you’re following people who are rich and beautiful, you like to think of yourself becoming that way some day. 

So what do you do? You buy the social media influencer course. You try to become an IG model. You do all the “get rich quick” schemes that your favorite (and rich) influencers swear by. But in the end, you’re still working that 9-9 and instead of bread, you’re seeing CRUMBS. Hence why you compare and broke bitch despair. Because LunaStarxxx is making $90,000 a year on IG, and the only job title she seems to hold is “Public figure”, whatever the fuck THAT means.

  1. The Broke Bitch Mentality is a real disease

We have come to a place where we really have a scarcity mindset, in many things. We think there aren’t enough clothes in our closet, enough extensions in our bundle collections, enough shoes to call ourselves sneaker enthusiasts, and certainly, not enough money in our bank accounts to be the real people we were meant to be (me AFFF). And so in a way, we hinder ourselves, by believing we don’t have enough, so we overspend like crazy to try and make up for what we lack, but conversely, we are depleting the resources we do have and making ourselves broke again, feeding into our scarcity mindset. This shit is dangerous. It can really take over your life man. 

  1. We all know who Karma is, but have you met Perfectionism?

Perfectionism has to be in the top tier of why people work so damn hard and so damn much. I will never forget idealizing someone I knew and putting them at the top of my pedestal (and concurrently bashing myself and making myself feel like shit) because they at one point worked “80 hours a week, always on my feet, got up at 5am to go jog and then worked until 8 or 9pm to do it all the next day.” And they seemed SO put together (I later found out they were doing adderall to get them through the days, which meant I once again was comparing myself rather harshly against odds that I (or any other human) would never meet naturally). 

I felt so burnt out working my 2 mediocre jobs (which I now realize how hard I was on myself, I was LITERALLY working M Th F S at one job from 730-5 and then had another job on Tuesdays while also going to class and all day clinical on Wednesday. I was working myself to death and didn’t think I was grinding, can you believe it?). But we blind ourselves like this all the time, and make ourselves think that we are not worthy or successful if we aren’t working our asses off 24/7. This is the insecurity culture that capitalism breeds. 

So… how do we combat all this? It seems it’s hitting us from every angle! And it’s true, it is. But I think if we manipulate our angles to our advantage, we might have a solid chance at hitting this thing back like Sharkeisha. Here’s what I mean:

  1. Stop following things on social media that make you feel like shit

Are you really following that XTRABOOTYXTRABODY page on IG for their workouts, or are you following it so you can compare and despair at their beautifully sculpted (and probably facetuned) bodies? If everytime you see a post from a page, you instantly scold yourself for not being like them, UNFOLLOW. BLIGGITY BLOCK. SHAKE THAT ASS AND UNADD. Do what you have to do sis/king. Because the comparing and broke bitch despairing ends HERE.

  1. Realize what you have and stop looking for the excess

We have so many resources to utilize and yet something in our human nature makes us think we don’t (hence the toilet paper outage). WE HAVE SO MUCH! You don’t need another wig (I might as well just @ myself), shoe, or fashionnova legging to get us ahead and looking right. I promise that what you have is not only enough, but PLENTY. Start looking at your life as PLENTIFUL and man, I’m telling you, things will change right tf up. 

  1. Come to the realization that you aren’t perfect, but you deserve it ALL anyways

Overworking is something that some of us don’t feel we have a choice to avoid. I know that. Some people feel so stuck in their bills and in their never ending debt cycles, and it can lead to so much frustration and anxiety, that you forget you are more than just a well oiled machine. We have to take care of ourselves, because as a coworker of mine once said “Uno no puede matarse por un trabajo!” which means “One cannot kill themselves for a job!”. And I feel some of us have the mentality that if you’re not working, you’re dying. It’s not true. There IS balance. If you’re struggling financially and truly feel like ends can’t meet, make a budget. Write down all your expenses and find out which ones can be cut temporarily or permanently to get to the essentials. Something can always be done. But also remember that you DESERVE rest, you deserve time off, and you deserve breaks and vacations. 

And if ANYONE ever tries to tell you or sell you differently, you tell them “Que te jodes, y a la mierda” for me 🙂

Love. Ferociously.

India Taina. 

Published by India Taina

Brown skinned (and eyed) (and haired) girl just looking to talk about stuff that interests me (and you guys, too, of course). Student in El Curso de La Vida, learning to take things one day at a time and with a grain of Adobo. Stay tuned for self care tips, discussions on issues that both affect and that are within the Latinx community, and some pretty wild endeavors into my heart and soul. I hope you enjoy this ride as much as I do! Feel free to keep up with me on Instagram as well @xoracionesdelatainax , can't wait to see you there!

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