Akilah Hughes is a writer, stand-up comedian and YouTuber residing in Brooklyn. Her work has been viewed millions of times on Refinery29, Huffpo, HelloGiggles, Elite Daily, Femsplain, MTV, Yahoo! and on her personal YouTube channel, It’s Akilah, Obviously! She’s currently a digital correspondent for Fusion’s Pop and Culture team and a 2015 Sundance fellow. In the fall of 2016, Razorbill, an imprint of Penguin Random House, is publishing a collection of her personal essays. Follow her on Twitter, Instagram, and SnapChat (@kiwirabbitfru).
Noon: Crap, alarm has been going off for 2 hours. This somehow doesn’t inspire any quicker movement. I’m starving and parched in this dry winter climate, and my first move is to order GrubHub brunch from my favorite place in the neighborhood. I can smell the cheddar grits with a side of bacon and a bottle of Perrier now…
1:30pm : Take two chewy vitamins. One chocolate B-12, One cookie dough Vitamin D. Squirt face with boiled-then-cooled water because I’ve realized my water is really hard and causes me to break out like a mother fucker. The delivery guy brings the goods, but not without telling me my instructions were “complicated.” Who knew “ring bell, come to 2nd floor” was that hard to decipher?
2pm: Realize the sun is going down already and cancel video shoot that is supposed to look like morning.
3pm: Decide I’m going to go to the gym at 4. Move the pile of containers and brown paper bags from breakfast from my bed to the trash/recycling.
4pm: Take a phone call I totally forgot about. Realize how pointless my agenda is since I never remember to put things in it. Still, Summer 2016 is going to be intense and busy and crazy which is both exciting and stressful.
4:15pm: Chat with friend on Skype who is in a sexcapade crisis. Her current pound puppy wants to break things off, but how dare he, he didn’t even know that hand lotion is not a good lube substitute before he met her! Decide that we are both definitely going to die alone, but not before she comes to visit me in New York. We don’t make concrete plans, but we hope it just somehow works out.
5pm: Remember the gym closes at 7pm, so I’d better get a move on. I’ve been going every day since Wednesday (so twice) and it finally doesn’t feel like a burden.
5:30pm: Locate sports bra in bathroom on a hanger. Decide it’s clean and put it on. Take another 15 minutes to find running tights and a t-shirt I’m willing to sweat through and ruin the pits of forever.
5:45pm: Realize I didn’t refill Brita and that the water I take to the gym will be warm.
5:50pm: Feel an unfair amount of anxiety about the whole thing. I’m just trying to play the societal game of aesthetics and get in shape, why does MY WATER HAVE TO BE ROOM TEMPERATURE WHILE I’M ALREADY SACRIFICING SO MUCH?
6:00pm: Find loose receipt as I’m packing gym bag. I’m reminded that my Sundance trip hasn’t been filed and that I’m going to need to scan a bunch of receipts and make an excel document to get my $1,200 back.
6:15pm: Panic at the thought of spending even a moment doing something I really don’t want to do, RE: receipts. But I also do need to keep my finances in check so now’s as good a time as any.
6:16pm: Put water bottle in freezer. Gym is canceled, but we WILL go for a nice long walk tonight which sometimes feels even more like working out since the sidewalks are still icy from the snowfall a week ago.
6:20pm: Repeat the phrase “worry is wasteful and useless in times like these” via Jewel’s mid-‘90s hit “Hands” to try to find some chill. It doesn’t work.
6:25pm: Start drinking the room temp water.
6:30pm: There are three piles on my bed. One is 2016 GENERAL receipts, another is 2015 receipts that got lost, the most important is Sundance Film Festival 2016 receipts. These I will first put in chronological order (ignoring the digital receipts from Uber). Then I will make a word doc separating expenses into categories: TRAVEL, FOOD, MISCELLANEOUS. Once I have these entered, I create an excel doc that tallies the Total amount spent. Over $1,000. Man, I need an accountant.
I then open an app on my phone and take pictures of each receipt, then I crop them and the app makes it look like a legitimate scanner. Thank God for tech.
I send all of these documents (plus screenshots of all the Uber ride receipts) to my editor at Fusion. I say a prayer that this money will come back in this week. I have another trip to prepare for Monday.
7:15 – use the restroom but notice a ton of blackheads on my cheeks that weren’t there yesterday. I’ve had a lifelong battle for clear skin, but as used to this disappointment as I am, I can’t restrain myself from pushing the hard translucent gunk out of my nose and chin and cheeks. My face has puffed up considerably and so I decide to cleanse with the boiled down water and put on my ORIGINS charcoal face mask. It looks like I’m in black face, but I promise I’m not. I’m not sure if this will actually solve or simply delay the problem, but I need to feel clean again after gazing upon my facial pores and hair follicles.
7:45 – Rinse the solidified mask from my pores with, you guessed it, boiled purified water. I layer on lotion in hopes of sealing the skin from whatever polluting nonsense has me breaking out this far past my teen years.
8:00- Decide now’s as good a time as any to set up my printer. It didn’t have the right cord in the packaging, but luckily I have an extra Canon camera charger and it uses the same little piece. I follow the needlessly complicated directions for connecting to the printer via Google Chrome’s cloud. The printer whirrs to life, printing cryptic pieces of paper now and again telling me how to connect to Bluetooth and get the best use out of the copier/scanner.
8:30pm- I print out two return labels I’d gotten via email months ago for a pair of headphones that are devastatingly cool, but would be cooler if they worked at all—and a Mophie that decided on a whim to start UNcharging my cell phone when plugged into it instead of the opposite. At least I can pack those up and send off Monday.
9pm – I panic about how much more I have to do and how little (relatively) it feels like I’ve done today. I need to finish two chapters for my book and send them already. I need to edit a video for my YouTube channel and two from Sundance. I need to make a prop bag for tomorrow’s video shoots with Tim. I need to make sure my scripts make sense. I need to finish my presentation for Duke on Tuesday. I need to unpack my suitcase instead of picking out what I need on a case-by-case basis like some kind of unwashed miscreant. I should have gone to the gym. Ugh.
10:26 – I remember I have a cell phone and notice a missed message from Amber who has sweetly invited me to come over and paint nails/have dinner. Unfortunately my endless to-do list means that no, no I can’t have friends right now. I tell her I need an intern and we text rapidly about our 5-year plans. That’s when I remember I have a book about 5-year plans, and I should probably fill that out, too.
10:45 – My anxiety has reached fever pitch and I put on my Nike Roshe Runners and those “Hot Hands” and “Hot Toes” body warmers. I decide to walk for an hour, making one big circle of my neighborhood while listening to my “Sexify” playlist on Spotify, which is for making myself look sexier, not, in fact, having sexual relations. I don’t even have time for sex, how sad is my life?
11:35 – My walk is a little shorter than I hoped because I’ve made it back and there’s no reason to keep moving. 2.67 miles is pretty good and I’ve made a mental list of songs to add to my Karaoke playlist. “Thnks fr th mmrs” by Fall Out Boy still bumps—especially that part at the end when Patrick Stump slowly sings above the chorus “One more night. One more time.” I’m sweaty and gross, but I feel calmer.
11:45pm – Realize I haven’t had anything to eat since around 1:30, but also that it’s too late to order something and I’ll probably just get heartburn anyway. Make a short to-do list for this evening and tomorrow, and commit to finishing.
11:59pm – The day officially ends with me starting to write a parody song and simultaneously checking my Twitter feed.