*I wrote this post about two months ago, but have been sitting on it until it felt like the right time to publish it. Now feels like the right time, it ties in nicely with this post about why I decided to move away from my home city.*
So this is a very hard post for me to write.
As I sit and type this, all sorts of gremlins pop up in my head.
Telling me how ridiculous I must be for feeling like this.
But I think this post is important for you and me.
I suppose I have always been what you might call an overachiever/people-pleaser.
I threw myself into school and higher education, worked hard and always did as well as I possibly could.
I wanted to be a ‘good girl’ and make my family proud, but I also pushed myself in this way to hide the fact that I felt very different from most people as a child.
Not only was I different in regards to how tall I was, I went through puberty pretty early and just seemed to be more ‘grown up.’
I have never felt like I fit in in terms of the way I look, not even in my own demographic of black women.
I have never felt like I fit in terms of the way I view the world, my sensitivity, my kindness.
This has led to me always trying to ‘please’ everyone to make sure they like me, and has manifested in me pushing myself not just in education but in my career.
The relief I feel at writing that all out above is astounding.
Just admitting that this is how I feel, instantly takes some burden off.
The burden I have been carrying for about 30 years.
This burden has routinely taking a toll on my physical health.
When I was a child I suffered from recurrent tonsilitis, and stomach issues. I found school absolutely exhausting, though I continued to push myself there.
As an adult I developed glandular fever during a time when I was working a full-time job, whilst also studying for a post-graduate degree, whilst also commuting a whacking great big 4 hours a day.
I was in a very challenging cycle of relationships at the time, and had little to no boundaries with many of the people around me.
Since becoming ill with glandular fever I have been on a constant quest to slow down.
I work hard.
I work hard at my library career, in my family life, creatively and spiritually.
Lately, I simply don’t think I need to be pushing myself as hard as I always have done.
I want to live more in the flow of life – but then the guilt sinks in.
How dare I want to spend a few days doing nothing at the weekend?
How dare I say ‘no’ to invites to go out and have fun?
How dare I take the time to look after my physical body, with baths and oils and good food?
How dare I look after myself first?
Though self-care has become far more of a popular phrase, our society still treasures those that repeatedly ‘put themselves out there’.
Women are still supposed to be super nurturing to others whether that be their children, romantic partners, friends or family, sacrificing themselves in the process.
(Many men also feel this pressure too, albeit in different ways.)
I simply cannot do that anymore because when I do, I repeatedly burn out.
When I burn out, I can’t help anyone.
So my newest mission, my newest and most important life goal that I am working towards, is looking after my health and well-being.
So that I can continue to be of service to our world.
Much love Txx