Owning Your Space + Getting Healthy

Spring has finally decided to make an appearance, and I'm taking this time to shed the dead weight of past anger, internalizing my frustration, and channeling it in other ways. My life hasn't been to well-rounded and my mind and body are screaming for a change. No matter where you are in life, there are signs that it's time to switch things up. Your temperament could be short, you’re frustrated with everything, unmotivated, and uninspired. As women of color, we always have a lot on our plate, but it doesn’t help that society sees us as angry, feisty, sassy, and other adjectives that paint a picture of a woman that's "hard to deal with."

The phrase “strong independent black woman” doesn’t have to be a mantra. I’m not always strong, I cry, I try to be vulnerable because pent-up stress will exhibit itself in other ways physically and mentally. How the world views you has nothing to do with you and everything to do with them. We can control our own narrative. This burden takes a toll on mental and physical health and it’s our individual responsibilities to take care of ourselves.  

I loved this clip about finding your happiness that XONecole posted. Protect your peace. Don't get comfortable and let others choose your life for you.

It's true - I have been angry, frustrated, and less than confident in my abilities. I've been shrinking myself for the comfort of others, unmotivated, and not owning my space. I've feared taking risks. I'm choosing to challenge myself to hold my head up high and find ways to make myself feel good again. Dealing with depression and anxiety is no easy feat, but I declare that I will find ways to combat it. Outside of therapy, I'm challenging myself to work out a couple times a week and take meat out my diet to make myself feel good physically. The only kind of meat I'll eat is fish. The food I've been eating has been making me sluggish and it hasn’t been too kind to my skin. Also, it’s time to get that summer body. I’ve always wanted to try boxing as a release, so I found a boxing class. Practicing discipline isn't easy when you have to make time to be more active as an alternative to binge-watching The Office and basking in my lack of inspiration. I’ll try to make it fun by going for walks with my daughter Zion, dancing with her, and finding other ways to get outdoors.

The next step is clearing out my space. My room basically looks how I feel. It’s cluttered with clothes and things I can get rid of. Out with the old and in with the new! I’m thinking about how much better I’ll feel once I throw away all my papers from undergrad that are stacked in boxes all over my closet. I still have clothes from middle school and high school hanging in my closet that haunt me daily.

I can't control how the world views me or other black women, but I can control how I feel about myself. Finding ways to get healthy mentally and physically and owning my space won’t instantly cure depression, anxiety, or the lens that the world views women of color, but it can help make each day a little easier to deal with. This is my year of saying yes to myself - Shonda Rhimes’ book “Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand In the Sun and Be Your Own Person” is amazing by the way and I suggest you read it.

This life is short. You must do whatever it takes to live the life you need to live to fulfill your purpose.

If you were born with the weakness to fall, you were born with the strength to rise.
— Rupi Kaur, Milk and Honey