If a global health pandemic wasn’t enough to worry about, the worldwide acknowledgement of the sleeping beast that is racism has been stirred. However, if you’re Black, like me, or a person of color, racism is never really asleep. For us, it’s a stalker. And sometimes, it can be lurking so far behind us that we don’t have to think about it. But then, something happens and it pounces. Needless to say, it’s been an overwhelming few weeks, with news-watching and Facebook- and Twitter-fighting. I am also trying to move, because I have a strong dislike for my current apartment. I’ve been stress-eating Oreos and rewatching old movies. I haven’t been working out, practicing yoga, or drinking smoothies. I’m reading and writing very little. And I’m planning something (maybe? Decorations have been purchased…) for my soon-to-be one-year-old, which is wild to think about. So yeah. “Overwhelmed” is the word of the month.
Despite all that, I am trying to focus on the positive more. I’m still working on building up my faith, which is in a weird place, but I’m hopeful. My mom has started a family book club featuring The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett, whose first novel, The Mothers, I enjoyed. I’ve been journaling more often and trying to open up about things I don’t want to talk about. Healing is difficult and a process. There are good days and bad days, but there comes a certain point where being silent about the pain doesn’t help any more. I think I’m almost at the point of speaking about my pain (fair warning: it probably won’t be on here).
I miss the pre-pandemic days of distractions, because now TV and social media (especially with all this vitriol) doesn’t hit the same any more. Going to the mall with my coworkers during lunch and visiting friends always worked. Not having that anymore means more time in my head, which sounds bad, but when you’ve been through a lot, that’s kind of the last place you want to be. So, the good thing about the pandemic is that I’m learning to sit with myself, embrace my emotions, and reflect. I’m doing that even in short bursts throughout the day, because putting it off for later doesn’t always work. And try as I might to evenly separate work from home, it’s still messy.
So if you’ve been feeling overwhelmed, let’s take a deep breath and exhale slowly. Now in this moment, focus on what you’re grateful for, even if that’s just the breath in your lungs. Don’t feel better? That’s okay. That happens. Go do something relaxing that you enjoy, not just something people say you should do. Be safe, friends!