Sometimes, change is as good as a holiday. In my case, I needed both a break and a new career path. Near the end of 2016 I was a crispy burnt out mess.
I had taken on some stressful external projects, my 9 to 5 work no longer inspired me and training/hiring interns was starting to take its toll on me.
Being a millennial means you’re often hanging around ambitious and very talented peers. You always feel like you should be doing more. Your friends are juggling several hustles successfully, getting featured all over the place and passing with distinctions. There’s a need to work, work, work and the constant worry that it’ll never be enough. I’ve now had to learn to switch off my competitive comparison tendencies and be grateful for whatever the fuck I have going on.
Near the end of December 2016, I started falling apart.
I was sleeping too much, struggling to get out of my house and making decisions that didn’t benefit my bank balance.
In the midst of seeing people slay and do well, I was trying to survive every single day. I had also gained weight (which I am now dealing with in a more positive manner) but I was in the midst of an emotional eating shitstorm.
Don’t ever underestimate how a certain environment can impact your mental, emotional and physical health. I ended up getting really sick around January this year and I knew something had to change. My body had finally had enough of my shit.
I had to take stock of my life and see how my behaviour was isolating a lot of close people in my life. Shout out to the people who stuck around for my shit because it wasn’t pleasant a lot of the time. I kept a journal around this period and the recurring theme was me mentioning how hopeless I felt. It’s tough to read now because I could see the steady decline in my personality on a weekly basis.
So I made a change, took a ten day break and started a new job. And the difference has been mind-blowing, I could actually cry.
I’m happier than I’ve been in months and it shows. I’m a generally positive person but I swear the life was being sucked out of me.
But the valuable lesson I got out of this dark period was that I didn’t need to slay all the damn time. I live in a time where I can easily witness #blackgirlmagic all day but sometimes a brown gal just needs to stay in bed and eat snacks. I can put my hustle on hold for a bit and take time to enjoy the mundane things too.
Not to mention, it’s easier to be kinder to other people than acknowledge how harsh we are to ourselves. So if anything, I hope you celebrate your small victories and give yourself a damn break sometime this year. Put the magic on hold, it doesn’t make you any less glorious.