It is something some us hate doing at times, but we do it anyway. We have our reasons on why we do it, despite voicing our displeasure for it, and some of us literally break our backs while doing this. And if you think I’m talking about having sex with our spouses…no. (It certainly doesn’t apply to me–I’m not even married!)
Since I was 13, there has not been one year in which I have never worked. From my early days in working at my parents’ small grocery store to my current occupation as a state-certified massage therapist, I’ve done my share of hard work. Even at a couple jobs that weren’t to my liking that I took anyway to support myself. (One of them was doing door-to-door for Kirby vacuums, and I did that during the cold months. Needless to say, I left after a month, and never saw that “guaranteed” pay originally advertised in their classified, nor thought walking in strange neighborhoods going door-to-door was “customer service”. “$1750 a month”–what a fucking lie.)
And while working hard is nothing special to brag about, it’s a concept that needs to be made known and reinforced. I say that because there are some who think doing things “the easy way” will get them what they want. Blame it on stuff like YouTube and social media outlets where it’s easy for anyone to make a name for one’s self. Blame it also on the celebrity-crazed media for hyping up certain people who aren’t known for working hard–you know, like “housewives” famous for marrying someone rich (how mediocre!) and societal setbacks whose main claim to fame was a shoddily-made sex tape. Others may look at these kinds of people and think, “if that person can be rich and famous by doing that, then I can do that, too!” The problem with taking the easy route, though, is that, if one is successful at it, you’ll get the attention and maybe some wealth. But it is not sustainable, especially when one is reluctant to take up a substantial skill and work hard at it over time. So what if some reality show lame-ass gets a book deal and thousands to guest-speak at a college despite having as much talent and substance as rust? That doesn’t mean they’re successful, much less admired by the public. That’s why an actor still working 30 years after his debut is more publicly admired than some flash-in-the-pan Jersey skank who faded back to her rightful place in oblivion two years after her name was known.
It’s not just working hard at what you do for a living that I’m getting at here. There is another thing I work hard at, and actually like working hard at. It’s my figure. I was a big girl as a child, and it wasn’t until I started making changes in high school did the excess poundage start dropping. Whenever I’d tell someone now that I used to be 10 sizes bigger 13 years ago, they find it hard to believe. I’m proud that I lost the excess weight without resorting to silly weight-loss gimmicks or the easy-yet-expensive route in liposuction. I did it all the old-fashioned way of exercising more, and eating healthy, as well as being patient (it’s definitely not realistic and healthy losing 30 pounds in a month). And while that is also nothing special to brag about, sometimes the old-fashioned way of doing things is the best way. I do have a little more ways to go before I reach my desired shape and size, but no way will I take the easy way out during my journey. I actually now have the money to do something like lipo, and I have given it some thought. But in the end, I don’t think I will. The guilt is what holds me back (that and the unsure results of doing lipo), but also, it goes against everything I stand for (and it’s not just my knack for working hard, but valuing natural beauty without a lick of plastic surgery done out of vain). Besides, bragging about getting lipo isn’t as appealing of a story to me as someone who worked their tail off to get to their dream physique.
When I was planning for my birthday trip last year, I knew I wanted to spend it in LA, but I wanted to stay someplace memorable. It didn’t need to be the most luxurious, but had features that made my stay all the more grand. I made my plans three months before my birthday, and in those three months I worked my tail off. I don’t recommend massaging bodies five hours a day for five days straight, but I did it, I survived it, and the rewards for it all paid off by staying at a location that was not attainable the year before: in a house up in the Hollywood Hills, overlooking all of the southland from the balcony.
Some of the views that I was treated to during my week-long birthday stay in the Hollywood Hills.
Million-dollar views, yes, at a fraction of the cost. I still can’t believe I was able to afford a place like this. (It’s actually much cheaper than the hotels on Sunset Boulevard, some of which you can see from this property.) Looking back at it all, I realized that this vacation was not only gratifying, but it was living proof that hard work does pay off. I always showed up to work on-time and did my job and gave my best, even when I was starting to run on fumes during my last massage of a fully-booked day. I never fooled around and slacked off, like a couple of MTs (no longer working there now) who showed up late to work and played with their cell phones when they shouldn’t have (like in the lobby where guests can see you!). Since I’m turning 30 this year, I want to go somewhere special for this. (Though I have no problem going back to LA and staying in that same home again a second time around.) I’m already saving up now for my trip so I don’t have to work five days of massage a week again. (Though maybe I should save up in the long run so instead of vacationing at a place like that, I can reside there and make such beauty an everyday thing.)
Safe to say, the best things in life are earned through hard work. Getting that CEO position at the company, winning an Oscar or a championship, finally reaching the desired shape and size without any sort of plastic surgery or lame diet pill…even less grand but no less meaningful things like finally learning how to swim or getting your first novel published takes hard work, as well as persistence and, yes, motivation. When the hard work finally pays off, it’s a feeling like no other, that those who took the easy way out in life can never experience. Instant gratification is tempting and brief; enduring satisfaction is the better, lasting high. It’s admirable as well. Yes, we may bitch about how tough it is every now and then. That’s why I don’t think hard work entirely rules. But it is cool.