You all know the feeling. That unsettling existential crisis when you realize you’ve missed all your friends’ parties this summer, and dates with your significant other, and hikes, barbeques, and festivals. This is around the time when you start asking yourself, what was this all for? Was it worth it to miss all of that? If you are like me, your bank account may say no. But your heart will say “Oh HELL YES.” And here are all the reasons why:
Firstly, lets establish the difference between Work Guilt and Werk Guilt. Work Guilt is simply being overworked, stressed, and too damn exhausted and busy to do anything else. Werk Guilt is entirely different. Werk is different than just a job. It might not pay much, but it is something that lights a fire in your soul and makes you come alive in ways that nothing else can. Therefore, Werk involves consciously choosing to dedicate time to this passion over other things and people in life. And Werk Guilt can feel painfully selfish. That is when those questions rear their nasty heads. The phrase "worth it" will haunt your entire being.
YES. No matter what kind of guilt or self-destructive thought vortex you put yourself through during a crisis like this, always remember, YES. IT IS WORTH IT. We choose the paths we want to follow, and we choose the parts of ourselves we want to cultivate. Us Werker Bees, we like to cultivate our passions and turn them into something substantial. There is no shame in that, and therefore should be no guilt.
Many of us have probably struggled in relationships. Always Werking means you lose time for others. This can be hard on the people in your life: family members, friends, roommates, and significant others. A lot of times, the guilt we face is on their behalf. While this is a painful spot to be in, it does not make you insensitive or in the wrong. The people who love you and care about you may feel hurt, but they will understand that we Werker Bees put our passion and ambition before everything. In the end, despite their feelings, they will want to see you succeed as much as you want to yourself.
And if they don’t, Tell ‘em Boy Bye.
Most importantly, remember during this crisis that you owe this to yourself. You owe yourself to be the best version of who you are. For many of us, that involves non stop hustling. For someone like me, I am unhappy when I am not hustling. I feel stagnant and stuck. Therefore, I believe that we have every right to take ourselves to the top, no matter what it takes. No guilt required.
It can be difficult to look around and see other people with different priorities, living seemingly simpler lives. It can be difficult to look around and see people who aren’t Always Werking, and wonder why the hell do we do it. But no matter what, it is so important that we never forget. Don’t get swept away by the normalcy and simplicity of a passion-free life. If you have something you love, dive into it. Start a business, go out for a record deal, apply for poetry contests, go to open mic nights.
[We have every right to take ourselves to the top. No guilt required.]