April was a month of optimism. I finally feel like I’m taking the right steps in the right direction. I made a few decisions that’ll change my life as a whole and I’m excited to start putting those plans in motion. On a micro scale, I was getting to a point that felt too familiar though. Between the ubiquitous open season on black lives and the daily grind, I was beginning to feel depleted. Sometimes we go into auto-pilot mode simply to get things done. However, in the midst of life and its multitude of responsibilities, you spend so much time on auto-pilot that you forget to be human.
Life is a cycle of effort and rest. The effectiveness of each depends on the other
Since I’ve started to become more comfortable with my emotions, I could see that if I didn’t proactively give myself a break, I wasn’t going to be any good to those who interact with me. I noticed how the littlest thing would exascerbate a brewing negative attitude. After waking up the other night due to a panic attack, I had to reconcile with the importance of self-care.
I don’t want this to come off as a cop-out, but to be black in America is freaking exhausting! I went into Saks this week and was reminded of my blackness as a threat. I don’t really take walks at night anymore. I stopped doing that because I don’t want to give any cop a reason to confront me. That’s what the black experience is. To take care of ourselves out in the world is to lessen the focus on taking care of ourselves internally.
Everyone needs to take time to live and embrace joy; even if it’s in small doses. You’re not a bad spouse, parent, or activist if you take time away. Recharging allows you the opportunity to re-assess where you’re spending your energy and who you’re spending it on. If you can’t spin a globe and pick a place of temporary escape, find yourself an exclusive outlet to replenish your spirit. We all need that to get through the day of daily BS.