I started upgrading my self-care during the holidays with REST. Like, the stay in bed all day kinda rest. Like, the Netflix, nap and repeat kinda rest. Over the past two years I’ve been highly productive but also overworked, full of anxiety and totally depleted. My weekends? Gone. My 2hr bi-monthly manual MFR treatments? Gone. My sanity? Gone. What did stay consistent was my Pilates routine. Five days per week! That’s the glue that held me together; physically and mentally. That, plus journaling. But even that suffered. And when I’m not journaling, it’s usually because I’m avoiding the truth of my current emotional state.
I believe that authenticity is the foundation for everything. I’ve gotta feel comfortable in my own skin; knowing who I am, what I believe, and what I stand for. Plus what I want, need, and desire to feel successful and fulfilled. And those things shift because life lessons build wisdom, life circumstances show me the impact of choice, and relationships serve as mirrors. So it requires constant self-awareness. But without being grounded in my truth, I have no integrity or sense of direction. And as someone who was raised in a cult, with a value and belief system forced upon me, I know how disempowering that feels. Because I was raised in a high control religion, I believe
Personally, I want more social proximity and hugs, damnit! I want more intimate gatherings in cozy spaces with good conversations. More time in dimly lit lounges with a live DJ so I can “leave it on the dance floor” and exit a hot, sweaty mess. I want more Afro-Caribbean dance classes with live drummers and to wind my hips a bit differently in pole dance classes that transport me back to my days as an aerial artist. And then I wanna sit in a crowded Brooklyn coffee shop; banging out ideas on my laptop while the energy of other people’s creativity pulses around me. I want more opportunities to travel to Spanish-speaking countries to explore, meet new people, and continue improving my Spanish-speaking abilities. I miss all these strong energy zones fueled by dreams, inspiration, connection, and self-expression.
There’s this “strong Black woman” trope that hovers over me like an unmet expectation. Yes I am a strong, powerful, and resilient Black woman. I was even raised to project that image. But sometimes a sista gotta feel her feels and fall apart. I need the time and space to give into the tears, fears, and frustrations without pretending like I’ve got my sh*t together all the time. ‘Cause I don’t! I need a safe space for vulnerability, realness, and honesty. And for that, I treasure my sister-friends and my self-care rituals; deep and meaningful connections with a select few and my (higher)self. That’s where I got my support in 2021.