THIS IS A VIBE CHECK
How are you doing? What are you doing? Are you feeling supported? Most importantly, are you taking care of yourself?
These are some tough times. I’m feeling it, and I know all of you are feeling it too. Living in a world while actively trying to change it is uncomfortable, unsettling, and often leaves us feeling a bit misplaced.
Real talk, I had to run away to the mountains for a week. Not because I was running away from the work that needs to be done, but because I knew I needed to do something for myself in order to continue the work. I was feeling raw, exposed, and unable to communicate effectively. A failed attempt at starting real conversation with my family about Systemic Racism left me feeling untethered and without a foundation. That, on top of an emotional local protest where I heard first-hand accounts of the ugliness that I was blissfully unaware of, made me feel like the problem was too big to fix. I know that’s not true, but it sure as hell felt that way.
My time in the mountains was beautiful. I created new memories in old ways, had thoughtful conversations with new + old friends, spent quiet time with myself in nature, and was reminded of how capable I really am….both mentally and physically. I knew it was time to come down the mountain when I had a dream about the store. It was my mind telling me that it was time, and I was ready.
On the way home, I came upon an incident at a gas station that was a quick reminder of the work that needs to be done. In that moment, I was able to keep a watchful eye, show support + solidarity, and make my presence known in a way that, I hope, made the situation better. It felt like a right time, right place kind of thing. Not just in that moment, but in this time in history.
Since returning home, I’ve already participated in my first STL Sandbox session, finalized plans for new ways to promote open dialogue, and had touch conversations with loved ones that have helped propels us forward in positive ways. I was able to do these things with fresh clarity and purpose. It’s not that I wouldn’t have done these things without having had that time away, but I was able to do them with a clear mind and renewed confidence. I feel empowered and ready to change the world.
I can’t say that I won’t need to run away again. Self-care is of the utmost importance in times like these, and there’s still much work to be done. Maybe you can’t run away to the mountains. Maybe you can’t run away at all. But you can (and must) find ways to take care of your mental and physical well-being, no matter how big or small. So while I know that we have been calling on you to do the work, speak up, and allow yourself to live in the discomfort, I’m also asking you to be kind to yourself and take the time you need to heal, recover, and prosper. We are all in this together, and that means when you need a break, take it. The rest of us are here to carry your load until you’re able to come back stronger than before.
Take care of yourself. Take care of each other. And please, please, please, always be kind.
Good vibes + cat cuddles,