I may not have been able to travel this year, but I found myself exploring places in my mind that I had not ventured before.
As a therapeutic exercise, I wrote a letter to my younger self, offering career advice and kindness on the long, professional road ahead that would await them. It was a reminder to myself to be compassionate about my choices and to keep my mind open to the possibilities we have yet to encounter.
An apology is usually reserved for some form of wrong-doing or disrespect, intentionally or unintentionally. If you’re not doing anything wrong, then there’s no need to apologize. If you’re like me, you know that’s much easier said than done. There are a lot of reasons you may be an over apologizer, but it doesn’t have to be a life-long identity.
If you have ever experienced a crisis, which looks different for everyone, you may have experienced an overwhelming loss of control. The heaviness of everything weighing on you prevents you from being able to think, speak, feel, and act as you would if you were well. Your family and friends, who may or may not know your behaviors, also do not know how to act. It’s very isolating and scary. Developing a crisis plan is a tool to assist yourself and your loved ones with managing your care in the event of a crisis
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.
This year, as chaotic as it’s been, has allowed me time for introspection. Today, 7/27, is my birthday; I have a lot to say to my younger self. They should be very proud.
I’ve been weird all my life, not fitting in and feeling pressured to do so. I have a new appreciation for weirdness and being a weird Black kid; this is my love note to all the others.
Permitting yourself to be authentic is beautiful, but it takes practice, trust, and safety. We hear over and over that we should be ourselves, without the warning that it needs to fit someone else’s design.
Have you ever used daily reminders? Little things to tell yourself to keep going about your day. Sometimes these phrases can be a machete that chops through the thick brambles of negativity; other times, they just kind of swim around in your head. Here are a few you can incorporate.
When I disappear, it’s not because I no longer wish to write. A scary, familiar feeling makes its way back into my mind; the first sign of its existence is when the writing stops. These words are a reminder to keep trying.