The funny thing about this post is that it's been sitting in my drafts since January... Welp... Here we go!
The date is April 29, 2020 and ironically day 50 of being quarantined in my home and working from home remotely due to COVID-19. I have to say I have never felt more happy, relaxed, centered, calm, and in tune with myself then I do now. I've been being observant watching my friends and colleagues be proactive by creating events for women, writing books, creating new music, teaching classes, making viral Tik Tok videos, and starting new businesses. For me, this quarantine has pushed me to do the opposite... absolutely nothing...
Anyone who knows me, knows that I've always been that ambitious friend who was always hosting events, involved with non-profits, making sure I was at everyone's birthday party and event, and constantly trying to find ways to give back to our inner city young girls. In a time where being proactive has become "popular" I've found myself not feeling motivated to do anything new. Before this pandemic, I was stressed, running around, taking on numerous new projects, and truly burning myself out. Because I work in NYC, I would be on the bus by 7:45am and take the 6pm bus home and arrive by 7:15pm. As you can see, my entire day was gone by the time I got home with only maybe 2 hours to cook dinner, watch tv, and unwind, and then do it all over again the next day. On weekends, my time again was dedicated to other people. I was supporting my friends events (which I love to do), attending birthday parties, bridal showers, baby showers, and graduation parties. I made sure I was there for everyone and if I couldn't be there for them in person, I made sure I sent a gift, always. That amount of energy being put into other people and things is not healthy, and I didn't realize that until this year...
In one of our pre-marital counseling classes our Pastor asked us what bring us happiness as individuals and what do we do to unwind from our day to day. I sadly couldn't answer the question. I really thought long and hard about it and I couldn't think of anything I do, or could do to bring myself happiness. I immediately started talking about my community service work and how much I love to see other people succeed. I found joy in helping others and it made me feel complete to pour into others and do good things for the community. I felt like that was my "fun" and escape. I was kindly told by my Pastor that, helping others is not an outlet or escape from life, and that I would soon crash from trying to be everywhere for everyone.
My fiancé happily gave examples of how he de-stresses from from his day to day and with him being a homebody, it wasn't hard for him to answer the question. He de-stresses mostly by playing video games and gains his fun/excitement from challenging himself to battle his friends in online matches, which is great! As I stared at him while he was giving his answer, I was so jealous that I didn't have an outlet that brought me the same joy and escape. I prayed that night, that God would guide me on what to do next. I didn't feel like I was burning myself out, and I felt happy and content with where I was in life. Things were working for me, and I felt okay being on the go and constantly moving around. This was in January 2020, and in only 2 short months, God showed up and gave me what I prayed me....
We were asked to self-isolate and quarantine from our offices on Wednesday, March 11, 2020...
Let me tell ya'll.... It's been 50 days of self reflection, peace, stillness, hope, patience, prayer, meditation, and love. As soon as I stopped trying to be there for everyone but myself, I immediately became in tune with my wants and needs. I began to align myself with God's plan, and focused 100% on my physical and mental health.
This pandemic has slowed me down drastically. It has humbled me and enabled me to see life in a much more precious way. I stopped planning, closed the tabs on my laptop, and became fully still. I've excepted that it's okay for things not to go as planned. I'm finally okay with not being perfect. The weave and makeup came off and I took a real look in the mirror and asked myself who are you?
It's amazing what happens when you stop pouring into other people and start pouring into yourself.
It's been an eye opening journey that is truly just beginning.
No one knows when this quarantine will end but what's most important during this difficult time, is you. Don't feel pressure to create or think. It's okay to just watch a movie and eat ice cream (not every day) but you get my point. Take care of yourself and pour into you. Read a new book, start journaling, listen to music one day instead of watching Netflix. Try meditating and follow yoga videos on YouTube. Really reconnect with yourself before trying to find ways to pour into others, it's so important for your mental health and well-being.
We will get through this, but in the meantime remember, you come first always.
Be safe, ya'll!