A piece of my heart broke this week with the announcement of the loss of bell hooks. It is comforting to know that I belong to a sacred collective of mourners who felt a shift within themselves- Black women, femmes, and writers whose lives forever changed when they held bell hooks’ work in their hands.
Autumn marks the season of transformation and the start of the holidays. With that comes an expectation to maintain traditions and express gratitude, a desire that is not universal for all of us. You don’t have to accept and find goodness in everything. You can be grateful and acknowledge you need change.
Imagine a demon hag with sunken eyes, a deep black hooded cloak, and long boney fingers following me around, sounding alarm bells, and making me second-guess my every move. That’s how I pictured my anxiety and our lopsided relationship. Something needed to change.
This blog has always been a safe space for me to reflect, create, and untangle some of the messiness in life, waiting for me when I felt compelled to do so. I truly did not anticipate you all being a part of this journey and touching me as deeply as you have. I started Muted Mouthful three years ago; that fact alone is incredible to me. I have grown so much; the evidence is all right here. This blog has become a living testament to me, something I can, and do, look back on, reflecting on the one inevitable thing in life, change.
If you’re a long-time follower of my blog, you may recall posts that discuss my discomfort with sharing my blog with my family and friends. I listed it as a goal, trying to convince myself that one day I would overcome my fears and insecurities and share with the people around me. Well the time has come.
Do you have a friend in your life you consider the “strong friend”? You may not use that label, but may have used descriptors such as reliable, understanding, problem-solver, gives solid advice, always knows what to say, and has it all together. This friend has your back, is your cheerleader, very comforting and supportive, and a good listener. All done without asking for reciprocation. Does that sound like someone you know or, does that sound like you? That friend is probably exhausted.
Sometimes we underestimate the power of words of thanks and gratitude, I know I do. I want to make a more conscious effort to freely let others know I appreciate them, whether I know them well or not. You never know who needed to hear those words the moment you said them.
Prioritizing alone time is a precious resource you can give yourself, but it’s not always feasible. If you’re a parent, a partner, a sibling, or just someone with a hectic life, finding a few minutes to yourself can be hard.
Sometimes we’re made to feel guilty about leaving a job despite giving it our best efforts. A lot of times you can pinpoint a reason to leave, sometimes you can’t. You might be in an ambiguous space where you could stay, but you don’t want to. It’s a tough life decision to make, being pulled in different directions does not help.
Raise your hand if you do not like getting your picture taken ? If you raised your hand either physically or mentally, I am right there with you.
Don’t spend too much time behind or away from the camera that you forget to include yourself.