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I know a lot of creatives (and am one myself), so I’m no stranger to folks answering questions like “What’s been up?” with exciting but meaningless statements about all of the shit we’ve been up to. Shit, I always make sure to answer that question as if I’m a rapper who is about to release an album that “you ain’t ready for.” People are always ready, b. Always.

Or when you ask somebody what it is they’re doing and they don’t actually tell you but instead rattle off a speech about how what they’re doing (which, again, you still don’t know) will change the game and everything in the game. Yeah, my life.

I don’t even know what you call those statements. Motivational? Empty? Gratuitously self-indulgent? Nonsense? Aspirational? I have no idea if they’re winning or losing. Yo no sé. What I do know is that there are tons of things that people say that imply some grand mission is afoot, while the truth is, nothing is afoot.

Here is a list of things people say to let you know they’re winning (?) or about to win or not going to let the not winning hold them down or something. All are things I’ve actually heard and written down to use specifically for the purpose of this writing.

1. I’m grindin,’ fam.

The Clipse were not the first to be “grindin’,” but they definitely gave niggas with nothing to do on Tuesdays a national anthem. If you run into 10 people on the street and ask them all what they’re up to, at least six will tell you they’re grindin’. What is the grind? I don’t know, man. The grind is the grind, ya dig?

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2. I don’t have time for these no-move-makin’ folks.

Probably not true at all. People have a lot more time than they claim. Beyoncé was out there at Target getting shit for Easter. If Beyoncé has time, YOU have time.

3. I’m out here makin’ movies/makin’ money moves.

Cute. How hourly niggas are stackin’ cheddar while tellin’ me they’re making money moves in line at CVS is beyond me, but hey, grind, cuzzin.

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4. I’m focused on my focus.

I heard this the other day. I decided that whoever said this is literally sitting on Instagram right now hashtagging #GoalsGoals and passionately claps a lot when telling people about their life plans.

5. I’m getting to the money.

Where? You owe me money. Can you get there quicker?

6. I’m on a new level with mine.

I see. What was the old level? Does it count as a new level if nobody knew you were on the old level to begin with? Or are we all on a level, and if I go up the stairs, I’m on a new level by default? It gets tricky. Or does it?

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7. I’m bringing you that thing you’ve never seen before.

We’ve seen it. You’re using different colors, though. That’s good.

8. I been ducking and moving ’cause the haters are trying to stop this paper chase.

If by “haters” you mean bill collectors, I feel you.

9. You stopping my goals.

Not true. I just asked you what they were. That’s all.

10. You know what it is.

No. No, I do not.