I told myself, if I’m starting to physically look tired, they don’t even want to know what my brain looks like right now.
I kept my hair tied up. I don’t go to work with makeup on my face so the bags under my eyes flourished immensely all week. The death of Mike Brown in Ferguson, MO put me in a somber place. Robin Williams death nauseated me as I had just watched What Dreams May Come the night before. Something had to give. I needed to step back from social media, put down my phone, back away from the things I thought I had to do and clear my head. I wrote. And in my journal were entries upon entries of beautiful calligraphy written by an exhausted woman. Within the words were forced sentences, someone holding the pen fighting sleep yet putting ink to paper and formulating paragraphs on ironically, needing sleep.
To get through another day.
To meet the demands and live up to my everyday responsibilities.
People were pulling me in every which direction and I was partially to blame for it. I took on these roles. I extended both hands… and feet, with open arms for others. It became normal to give, give, give until I became depleted of energy and all I needed was a weekend of rest and I was right back it. But the events of the past week had me feeling dark and a few days of relaxation wouldn’t be enough. Right now, I need a refill – an emotional, spiritual, mental one.
My mental state is the most important to me right this moment. The mindset of police officers led to the murder of a child. Mental illness took the life of Robin Williams. We need to take the well-being of our mind more seriously. At the end of last week I tweeted, my body is on E & all week, Twitter had my anxiety on 10. There’s no balance. When we get to places like this, we need to take two steps back in order to take the next twenty steps forward without tumbling or it’ll be a perpetual cycle of provide and come up short, fulfill the needs of others and feel empty personally. I have a habit of putting out until I’m reduced to nothing. I see it in my bank account and how I spend money frivolously and later complain about low numbers and negative signs. I see it when I’m tired and work alongside people who toot the word loyalty around which gives birth to feelings of guilt and leads me to continue to commit to others’ needs.
But how loyal am I to myself? When will I wholly commit to taking care of me before anyone else?
I stepped down from two positions last week when I acknowledged the fact my sanity wasn’t in its rightful place. By partaking in so much, all I heard was noise and it became hard to find some solace at any time because I grew so accustomed to chaos, moving around, and staying busy. Being productive meant being involved in something, anything. I’m now finding productivity lies in resting periods too. When it’s quiet, when no one is around, when I’m alone in my apartment I have time to actually think and time to spend with the person who matters most.
People will feel a way. They’ll be angry. They’ll count me as unreliable, but I need to feel right. I’m falling back from people and stepping away from positions. I read a post on Twenties Unscripted that really had me thinking. People have asked me the question, how was your day/week/summer/etc. and it’s always been the same answer – the generic, monotonous okay, consisting of the hundreds of things I’ve done (you’ve read it in the brunch post). But sometimes, I am not okay and sometimes, I’m far from good and it’s because I need to back away from it all and clear my head.
So as the days of summer wind down, so do my obligations to others and I feel no guilt about that. My body is currently thanking me tremendously and right now actually feels like a great time for a nap…