My “best” looks a lot different right now. It’s not an old friend I recognize in a crowd. It’s a new friend, one that I am weary of, one that I am questioning, one that feels conflicting. My new best arrived during an incredibly unprecedented tumultuous time, one that my system has never experienced before. A time that does not have a clear end in sight.
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.
“Stay grounded” it’s a common phrase we hear. Depending on the situation, this could mean: be present and stop a cycle of negative thoughts, be more realistic and stop idealizing, or establish a connection with the earth. We’re going to focus on the first point, being present and interrupting negative thoughts.