1. It’s ok to say no.
It might sound cliché And in the back of my mind I know this to be true. But far too often I don’t operate in it. As an introverted extravert, I often feel pressure to perform for others and if/when I let someone down I feel an overwhelming sense of guilt. That’s unhealthy. We know that kind of self-destructive, hamster wheel mentality leads to physical, mental, and emotional health imparities. When I focus too much on being there for other people, I fail to be there for myself. I can’t afford to do that if I plan to continue the work I do.
The day before I started the hiatus a good friend told me, “You deserve you.” I can’t say yes to me unless I am ok with saying no to someone else.
2. The world will not implode if I take time for myself.
It just won’t. I’m not that important. And it’s arrogant of me to think that I am.
3. My people care about my wellbeing.
Listen…all skinfolk ain’t kinfolk. When I say my people, I’m specifically referring to the people with whom I have a kin-like relationship. The ones who call me when they sense something isn’t right. The ones who show up when I need them most; who sometimes drive an hour and a half to sit in silence with me on my bedroom floor as we binge watch Living Single and eat cornbread or lemon pepper fries because they just know that’s what I need at that moment. These are the people who love me. These are the people who understand that even though I may not always reach out for help, I still need it. They see my humanity. They know my heart. I’m worthy of these kinds of people.
4. There is no place for toxic relationships in my life.
There just isn’t. I’m busy. We all are. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: This place will kill you if you let it. The competition. The unrealistic deadlines. The pressure to write, publish, and produce new ideas. The constant critique – some of which is constructive and most of which is a personal attack or disdain for the work I do. All of these factors compiled on top of one another means that I do not have time to entertain negativity or toxicity - especially in those who claim to support me, but truly do not. I just don’t. If you’re not here for love, joy, and hope, please exit stage left. Thanks.
5. I will lose sight of the plan if I don’t allow time for stillness and silence.
It is ok to steal away from time to time. My work requires that I be in constant contact with people, some of whom require more of me than I am willing to give. It’s important that I rejuvenate. And perhaps even more important is that I recognize what that rejuvenation looks like. Most times, it looks like spending time with family and friends. But every once in a while I need to be alone in a room with my Savior and my thoughts. I need to meditate on where I am, why I’m there, and what steps I plan to take next. It’s ok to disengage for a moment.
I hope this helps someone.