has anyone else felt scattered this month? as we wrap up june and i pack up the last four years of my life at one job while in selecting office furniture for the next step in my career, i have felt all over the place. even still, i know that the decisions i’ve been making are the right ones for me.
there was a time in my life where if every single thing was not operating smoothly, i would categorize myself as a failure. my nonstop pursuit of perfection was all consuming and quite frankly, dangerous. being able to admit that and relinquish control was a game changer.
it is okay to relinquish control. it is okay to feel scattered. it is okay to be flawed.
this quote from gigi groener, who i am lucky enough to call a friend, was a much needed reminder of just that.
“i am still whole even when my pieces feel scattered.”
leave it to gigi to remind me that i am just as valuable even when i feel a bit scattered. you are, too.
happy friday, my loves! it has been a few weeks since i have blogged. typically, i might apologize for that but i certainly will not be today. there have been so many transitions happening. from watching my first set of freshmen graduate over memorial day weekend to having a sick grandfather (and the family drama that goes along with that) to transitioning to a new job, all while trying to pay attention to my health and wellness, i have been overwhelmed. i was scrambling to get everything in order before leaving to mexico for the week. the thing i was most adamant about was being sure all of my client notes and files were completely finished. then on monday, i had this moment of clarity.
why am i putting pressure on myself to get something done that will be waiting on me when i return? a couple of months ago, when i went to puerto rico, i spent a full day working remotely. and while it felt good to put a dent in my work, as soon as i got back to the grind, i fell back behind. and you know what i ended up being regretful about? it wasn’t about falling behind – it was about not enjoying that day in puerto rico with my friends. i had earned that time off. why not enjoy it fully?
with me working in mental health within the school system, i get a chunk of summer off. why not use a few days post vacation to catch up? who is going to punish me for being behind on notes that are due to no one except for me? why am i holding myself to these insane standards as if i haven’t served a community desperately in need amidst a pandemic?
something had to fucking give.
after plowing through administrative meetings on monday and doing personal training both monday and tuesday, i hopped on my flight wednesday morning to head to mexico. but something happened to me on tuesday once i finally made peace with my decision and it was incredible. this quote was a reminder of just that.
“what you’ve been trying to carry is too heavy for you. put some of it down. take a break. relax your shoulders. unclench your jaws and fists. take a few deep breaths. you’re going to be okay.” -faith broussard cade
tuesday, i was wiped out. i felt too tired to drive to personal training but didn’t want to miss my session. we were wrapping up our third month together and i am feeling/seeing the shifts in my body and spirit. i went out on a limb to text my trainer to see if we could start later so i could squeeze in a 60 minute nap. she happily agreed. later on, i felt proud driving home from my session and that evening, couldn’t place what was happening. after a trip to the restroom, i realized my period was starting. i had a few thoughts. the first was that this explains why i was even more wiped out than i could put into words. the second was that this was inconvenient timing since i was leaving for mexico just a few hours later. but the last and most important one was that this is the first period i have had that has been completely natural (without intervention from my ob) and normal (flow and pain wise) in years.
the second i put down what i was carrying and after a few months of treating my body better, in return, my body is treating me beautifully. so on this friday, i invite you to:
we might be in a different month but i am still obsessing over “more than enough” by elaine welteroth. i find myself referencing gems from her book over and over again in session with clients.
most recently, i was working with a young woman who apologizes quite frequently. she apologizes when she is voicing her opinion. she apologizes when she disagrees with someone else. she apologizes for simply being who she is. we have been doing a great deal of work to explore where that comes from. what exactly is she sorry for? who does she find herself most frequently apologizing to? the answer was simple: she is sorry if anyone is perceived as being uncomfortable or inconvenienced and she most frequently apologizes to her father (and any other authority figure). i had to read her this line…
“women aren’t taught to get comfortable with making people uncomfortable.” -elaine welteroth
in hearing it, she was stunned. there was this realization that her father would not even consider apologizing when necessary, much less because someone else was slightly uncomfortable. why had she been conditioned to do so? she put getting more comfortable with making people uncomfortable on her summer to do list. as she preps to leave for college, i couldn’t think of anything better.
as the end of another school year draws near, the number of students requesting sessions has increased. while typically, the two most discussed topics during this time are stress around final exams and worry paired with sadness around starting somewhere new without their closest friends, the topic that has come up again and again in the last couple of weeks has not been either of those.
there have been countless discussions around family dynamics and what is acceptable treatment from a family member. i often pose the question of what is acceptable treatment in general. it is often met with confusion – almost as if there is a separate rule book for family and one for everyone else. that can be a slippery slope and for many of my students, the end result has not been positive. especially for my seniors, we have been doing a ton of work around setting boundaries that feel good to them. i came across this quote recently and read it aloud this week in multiple sessions. for many, it brought them to tears.
“simply because someone is related to us by blood and may have even been the one to birth or raise us, does NOT give them a pass to be cruel and harmful to us.” -therapy for black girls
who have you given a pass to? what message are you sending by giving that pass? what is the long term impact on you and your spirit?
that was part of a text i received from my dear friend melissa at the start of the week. she knows how may tends to weigh on me and something i appreciate is how she doesn’t shy away from the dark and twisty shit life throws our way. and you know what? she is right. grief management is never ending. today marks four years since we lost grammy. on some days, it feels like it’s been a decade (with all that’s transpired since she’s been gone). on other days, it feels like it has been 10 seconds because on the days where i need a voice of reason, i almost feel like i cannot breathe without her.
for the first couple of years, there was a lot of learning to simply exist without her. four years in, i have certainly learned how to exist without her even if i am missing her terribly in the process. in the last year, it seems like my grandfather has aged a dozen years. it is difficult watching someone who is fiercely independent need help and guidance. it is even tougher knowing the person he would love to lean on most is the love is his life when that isn’t an option. lately, i have found myself asking: what would grammy do? she might have only been five foot two, but her presence was that of a giant.
“sometimes, only one person is missing, and the whole world seems depopulated.” -alphonse de lamartine
even without melissa never having met grammy, the quote she sent me above highlights just how well she understands what my grandmother meant to me and grief as a whole. to honor her this year, i want to lean into being my most unapologetic self and remember that life is nothing without the balance of the people and things you love.
for those of you struggling with your own grief, especially around mother’s day, just know you are not alone. sending you so much love.