One of my favorite things to do on a hot day is sit in the fountain at Washington Square Park.
No, not really sit in the fountain. It's almost like an amphitheater, with steps going down to the water. I usually sit on the steps between two sprinklers, with people I don't know, some alone, some in pairs, some in big groups, some reading, some chatting, some just tilting their faces up to the sun.
My favorite moment is when the wind hits the fountain just the right way, and droplets of cold water spray all of us sitting on the fountain steps. Even though we're all strangers, in that second we all gasp, laugh, and look at each other. There's something about it that's just... comforting.
There is one quality that I possess that I have had my entire life, which has only strengthened in intensity over time: I am a hard worker. If I don't have something productive to do, I'm bored. And if I'm bored, I'm not happy.
This playlist probably should have come out weeks ago, when I was in the chaotic midst of my internship. But, of course, I'm posting it now instead, in my very last week working in Manhattan.
Tomorrow, I go to work for the last time. The day after, I move out of my funny little apartment and go home to Long Island and my family. A few weeks after that, I go back to school in what is essentially the woods to finish my last year and get my creative writing degree.
It's weird. I don't want to go back to school. I want to stay here, in this city where I never have to Amazon Prime things because everything I could ever want is down the block at the 24 hour corner store. I don't really miss the natural beauty of where I go to school like I thought I might. For one thing, New York City is not as industrial as one might think, and for another, it's so centrally located that an hour long train ride in any direction will transfer you into a totally different world.
I'm coming back as soon as I graduate.
But this post isn't about how much I'm dreading leaving here. It's about hustling, and even though my internship technically ends tomorrow, my work is not over. I have things to write, films to make, jobs to get so that I can live the life I really want to, here, in a year's time.
I may not be where I want to be in a month. But that shouldn't make a difference, and this playlist will definitely help me keep my mind right.
In case you, too, need to remember your priorities in the face of an unpleasant situation, take a listen to the full playlist here.
1. 9 to 5 - Dolly Parton
Tumble outta bed
And I stumble to the kitchen
Pour myself a cup of ambition
And yawn and stretch
And try to come to life
2. She Works Hard For The Money - Donna Summer
Already knows, she's seen her bad times
Already knows, these are the good times
She'll never sell out, she never will
Not for a dollar bill
3. Manic Monday - The Bangles
Have to catch an early train
Got to be to work by nine
And if I had an aeroplane
I still couldn't make it on time
4. Whistle (While You Work It) - Katy Tiz
Brush, brush, brush it off
I will never let this shit weigh me down, weigh me down
Don't cry, dry your eyes
Keep your chin up and leave it all behind, all behind
5. Run The World (Girls) - Beyoncé
This goes out to all the women, getting it in
Get on your grind
To the other men that respect what I do
Please accept my shine
Boy I know you love it
How we're smart enough to make these millions
Strong enough to bear the children
Then get back to business
6. Girl On Fire - Alicia Keys
Everybody stares, as she goes by
'Cause they can see the flame that's in her eyes
Watch her when she's lighting up the night
Nobody knows that she's a lonely girl
And it's a lonely world
But she gon' let it burn, baby, burn, baby
7. Spinning Wheel - Blood, Sweet, & Tears
What goes up must come down
Spinnin' wheel got to go 'round
Talkin' 'bout your troubles it's a cryin' sin
Ride a painted pony let the spinnin' wheel spin
8. Making Money - Ben Rector
Everybody's got their reasons
Finer wines or fairer seasons
If we're truthful, we know we're fools for making money
Hustle where you are. Listen here to do it.