Happy 2022 Everyone! We're almost to the end of January 2022, whew...and what a year it's been already! I don't know about you, but I sure didn't think we'd still be in a pandemic. Who would've thunk it, I know, right! What? Ever since March 2020 and here we are in January of 2022, a pandemic, masks, coronavirus, COVID-19, delta variant, omicron, what's next? Now, to say the last couple of years have been a challenge is an understatement. But hey, where’s the silver lining in all this? Well, for me I’ve finally embraced this global timeout taken some time to really get to know myself. I mean, I thought I knew myself all these years, but in retrospect, there were some things about me, that I seemed to have second guessed.
Now if you’re one of these people that have it all together, then this message is not for you. I'm speaking on behalf of me and others who are willing to be honest and transparent with yourself. Which here is a good segue into my topic, are you, am I really ok with myself? Ask yourself the question, am I enough? For some of us, we didn't have any choice in the matter, especially with us having to be in quarantine type situations and shutdown from one another. Personally, I found I either loved myself or realized my old self needed some work to just simply exist with myself, let alone other people. I mean other people who I was forced to be shutdown with, like my immediate family.
Simply put, I was put to the challenge of self-reflection, self-care, and loving and taking care of my mental during the last couple of years. What I learned was, had I not, I would've literally lost my mind. Well, losing my mind was not an option for me so I decided to think about what I needed to do to take care of me. So, what did that entail? For one, it included my realizing peace of mind was of the essence which consequently, started me on a journey to serenity. I had to do some internal as well as external housekeeping. I found myself purging bad behaviors, and negative energy from my space. I no longer wanted to tolerate negative toxic energy in my space. After all, it was difficult enough being in a shutdown and if I had to be mandated to do so, wouldn't it make sense to mandate some things for my life that helped to develop me and make be better?
But what about when I’m the bad vibe in my own space? What the hell do I do about that? It’s so funny to me, I hear it all the time from other people, I don’t do bad vibes, girl, that negative energy got to go, good vibes ova here. I’m like what? What the what? Really, sometimes, I’m just saying, but sometimes the bad vibes is us/me, not them/they, but we/me need the work. Now that’s a whole ‘nother topic for another blog and I digress!
In my opinion, it makes good sense to check yourself first. When is the last time you took self-inventory and did your own internal housekeeping? A load can be lifted by doing just that. Back when the pandemic began, I recall folks talking about how they were cleaning closets, rearranging cupboards, getting rid of old clothes and all sorts of things just to keep busy. At the time, what we didn't know was, what we were really doing was attempting to adjust to our new normal. A new normal full of uncertainty. Some of us were completely shut off from close family, friends, and other loved ones. It was the first time many of us had to sit in one space for a any long period of time. If you didn’t have your mind together, you literally didn’t know which way to turn.
I’m glad I recognized early on I needed help. I sought mental therapy. I thought I had it together so to speak, because if you know me, I always have it together. Right? Well, the short answer I wrong. There were timed when, I had become short tempered, anxious, and apprehensive. Like I said, I liked being in control of my circumstances, planning, keeping a schedule, strategizing, and executing my moves but all that suddenly changed. I, like so many others, didn’t know what to expect next during the last couple of years. People were contracting the virus all around me and dropping like flies. I didn’t want to speak it out loud but hell, I didn’t know who would be next. I had no peace, I felt myself losing control. I sensed folks around me became overanxious and seemingly desperate as well. I had become silently overwhelmed.
I knew it was past time for me to reel it in. So, and just like that, I reached out for professional support. Oh, and yes, I was praying, daily as a matter of fact. Eventually, I found comfort in my bi-weekly virtual therapy sessions as well as my daily virtual prayer calls led by the pastor of our church. Essentially, I became stronger and more at peace with myself. I developed a sense of it’s okay to be alone with my inner thoughts. For me it was all about self-care and trying to embrace my new normal. Sure, there were times when as a writer, I thought I should’ve been writing and developing material. But I also learned to give myself some grace. It was okay not to write for periods at a time, it was okay to just be, it was okay to do nothing.
My next step was weeding out those things and people that brought me down. One of the first things on my to do list was social media, there were times, I’d become so overwhelmed at what everyone else was doing on social media. Especially as it related to others in my circle and outside. I had to shut it down, social media that is, I stopped comparing my life events to the life events I witnessed on social media. I found all that was contributing to my consciousness. Some stuff and some people I literally had to stop following. Although, I wanted to think I was being supportive of others by being on social media, constantly hitting likes and loves, commenting and so forth, but for me there were times when it all became too much for me to personally consume. Ultimately, what I’m driving at is this, sometimes we must look at the man/woman in the mirror and do some self-inventory, we must determine what’s in our own best interests and what’s not and figure out how to get there. If it doesn’t feel right, it must not be good for you. It doesn’t mean it’s not good for them or that they are not good people, it means it’s not good for you/me and not a good fit right now for what you/I need in my life.
In my self-inventory, I began to embrace the alone times with me. I embraced what I was feeling, my emotions, what hurt me, made me feel good mentally, spiritually, and physically. I started paying attention to my behaviors, especially my bad behaviors. I determined what I needed to change, and I worked on those things. Once I began the process to get better, I knew I’d be okay with me. This is not a selfish move, this for me is self-care move. There is a difference. Sometimes we let ourselves go because we become so inundated with trying to be everything for everybody else. You can’t do it, you’re no earthly good to nobody if you don’t take care of yourself first. Don’t allow anyone to judge you for putting yourself first. So, because I decided to put in the work and besides, I had no choice, we were shutdown, in a pandemic, like I forementioned, folks were cleaning and reorganizing spaces they hadn’t in years. So why not do some self-cleaning, mentally, and physically on yourself.
I leave you with this thought, will it be one day I will be this or that? Or is it day one, I am the best version of me that I can be today. Am I enough? Short answer, yes, I am enough. I may not be what you want me to be. I am enough for me.