Diary of an Exasperated Black Woman
First blog post of 2022, woo woo! Oh yeah, welcome to the new website. Take a tour, have a virtual cocktail while you look around, and get to know our new place. I love it and hope that you do, too. Shoutout to The Carter Standard, the Black woman-owned brand that made my vision for a more mature site come to life.
Look, I know what they say about putting your business in the street and oversharing in public spaces, but can we talk? Like, really get real for a minute? Because I need y'all to understand that this Black woman, like so many Black women, is TIRED.
It's been months since I've published anything, so I know that I could stand to write something more positive, such as Lessons from the Pandemic Zone: Year 2021 or talking optimistically about my goals for 2022. I could, but I won't right now. Y'all know my promise is to always keep it real, and the truth is that there is a lot hiding behind this smile.
One of my main takeaways from 2021 was the realization that I have "a servant's heart" (as my sister, Alyssa, says) that often gets me into trouble. I genuinely love helping people; it brings me joy to lend a hand or a skill to lift someone else up; perhaps making their burden feel a little lighter, their load a little easier to carry, and the challenges of life a little easier to bear. I learned about looking out for others as a young child, even before I joined the league of eldest sisters, and it's something that's stuck with me ever since. The servant's cheer is great, but the challenge that no one speaks about until it's too late, is often that the servant's heart can become a double-edged sword of sacrifice if you're not careful. So many of you just nodded because you know exactly what I'm talking about.
Make no mistake, I'm not sorry for saying "yes" to anything or anyone. I'm not sorry for answering the calls of friends or family in need. However, I am sorry for neglecting myself in the process of being there for so many. I'm sorry for spreading myself so thin at times that I feel like there's no room left to breathe. To eat. To sleep. For fooling my body into loving the stillness and quiet of the night time even if it comes at the expense of rest. And I'm not even anyone's wife or mama yet, but y'all truly are the best for learning how to juggle so much and making it look easy. That historic, stoic, oxymoronic strength of the Black woman who, even when she's struggling inside, always makes it look easy.
I once had a job where the leaders always said, "make sure to manage your book of business." Well, on the heels of the New Year, it's highs, and lows like today, I've found myself reflecting a lot on the many pages within my book of business. There's the job I'm not connected to that secures my privilege to pay the bills. There's my devotion to the sisterhood I sought out for so long and wouldn't fathom not serving to the best of my ability. There's the creator who loves to play with new tools and post visuals that make people laugh and smile. There's the blood sister, the sorority sister, and the sister-friend. The grandaughter. The cousin. The daughter. The niece. The caregiver and public servant. The ambitious one, still full of dreams even though they sometimes get blurred by the clouds of the world. The cheerleader whose pom-poms sometimes feel heavier when it's time to cheer for self. The multimedia brand executive and future mogul. The wild child with broad interests, who sometimes struggles to define a single direction to pursue.
I wonder how many Black women reading this have books of business that are even heavier than mine. Are you managing your book of business? Or does it feel like, more often than not, the book of business is managing you?
I'm not here to complain. We all know that heavy is the head that wears the crown, and that to whom much is given, even more is required. It's a blessing to be in a position to bless others, but I just want to offer a reminder to you (and myself), that self care and preservation are important, too. Try to find balance between them and obligation whenever and however you can. Remember, on the days when your business feels the heaviest, assess the things within your control and let the rest go. Say "no" when you need to and then keep on pushing. Today was hard, but tomorrow will be better.
Breathe, Reset, Repeat. #StayKultured