The phrase “I have been busy” isn’t enough to explain my absence from blogging in the past months. “I have been tired” is another phrase that would explain the situation better. Although I didn’t post here for a while “I have also been writing.”
You would think that as someone very passionate about ensuring that others cater to their mental and psychological health, I would care for mine as much. Unfortunately, it hasn’t been that way for me. Those within my closest circle know that I do a lot of things and I am always trying to help others, maybe out of the fear of not maximizing my abilities, potentials or opportunities. However, this is causing more strain on me in a way that hurts more than it helps me to help myself or other people.
While all these titles added to the many things that I do sounds cool and appealing, looks sexy on my LinkedIn and resume, or even inspires other people, there are days when out of stress or work overload, I don’t want them. There are days when I just sit, maybe sweat through my eyes and try to remind myself “what exactly I am pursuing and why.” There are days when I just suck up my physical and emotional exhaustion to ensure that I get all my work done while hoping to that someday, this will all be worth it. The echoes of many people in my support system saying that “my work will pay off” allows me to trust the process sometimes. There are also days when I ask myself, what if this isn’t worth it at all and I end up not attaining the heights that I wish. Lastly, there are times when I shrink in fear and do nothing because I think that I may get what I have always wanted and not want it at all anymore. The latter happened recently when I applied to the NYU TEDdx Pitch.
It has always been my desire to give a TEDx pitch or talk and unfortunately, the night before the pitch; I wallowed in so many doubts and emotions because I realized that I didn’t want it anymore after gaining the opportunity. But like I always do for most situations, the next day, I dressed up and showed up to deliver what I had signed up for. As I walked home the night after the pitch, my heart sunk with fear wondering what other things I think I may truly want for myself but wouldn’t want any more when I have the chance to own it.
I also thought about what was standing in the way of obtaining what I wanted for myself, and the answer was obvious – I am very occupied with helping others to achieve what they want or need. The outcome for my personal satisfaction is being stuck with only activities that I have no choice in eliminating myself from, such as at school where I had to show up for classes and work where I got paid from. Everything else that I need to do to attain my wants at the time I still find them pleasurable has been swallowed by the time I have committed for helping other people.
My emotional breakdown dresses in insomnia, WhatsApp status rants to my exclusive VIP readers, ignoring peoples messages or delaying my responses, not picking phone calls, not reading, working hard but not working smart or effectively, forgetting to eat or overeating, ice cream solutions and more ridiculous things that I am not very proud of.
Can I handle all these responsibilities successfully? Actually yes! But do I want something different? Absolutely yes!!!
Even recently, on April 1, my fourth book – a free chapbook titled “But Here You Are” was published by Authorpedia, WRR and thanks to my friends, otherwise I wouldn’t have remembered that something special was happening on that day.
Going forward, I am choosing to quit one main project that I am working on for other people per month, and not filling that void with something for someone else except if that something is solely for my benefit. I also plan to spend my free hours doing more fun activities like exploring restaurants, finding ice cream factories in the city, watching movies and travelling by bus to other places in or out of the city. Additionally, I will be switching up my schedule a little bit and try to work in a different environment temporarily such as with an internship. Although more sleep isn’t guaranteed yet, I want to hope that as the year progresses, things will get better and my sleep hours will increase.
One unintended and positive consequence of this predicament is that it has allowed me to become extremely cautious of being a burden to others like some things and people have become to me. So, I am cautious about asking for too much or even asking at all, and if I do, I always give the person an option to turn me down, letting them know that I respect that they are making the best choices for themselves. I have learned to not hold any grudges against people who don’t give me what I want, when I want it and understand them when they say “I am busy.” If you have friends with similar lifestyles, I urge you to help them by not being a burden to them and not making them feel guilty for not being useful to you. I want you to cultivate a habit of asking them “How can I be of help?” rather than asking them for favors. Trust me, it will go a long way.
I am also learning to identify the people in my circle and clarify if they are a constant addition to the quality of my life and experiences as much as they are a subtraction by the things they take out. I am clarifying between the people that are there for “a reason, a season or a lifetime” and forgiving myself for forgetting some people or losing contact with them. This clarity is defining how important I take my relationships and with whom.
This is the sanest, most articulate and professional way I have been able to express these feelings to anyone, including myself and you, and I hope that you learned something from it. I am not promising that I will be more committed to blogging often, but I will try my best and perhaps keep you updated about the things that I am choosing to quit every month.
This month, I will be rounding up my activities with a group that I volunteer with called Natural Flowers Community where we support victims and survivors of sexual abuse and harassment in Nigeria by having weekly discussion on different topics about healing. My initial role was to help build a solid program structure since it is a startup and you can find more about my responsibilities with them on my LinkedIn page. We will be successfully wrapping up our second cohort this month and if you are interested in using their resources or you know someone that has been a victim or survivor of sexual abuse and harassment and needs an online community to rely on, please visit their website – www.nfcommunity.org to find out when the next cohort application will open and you can send a message to them via email.
Pending the next time I will publish another post, please download a copy of my book “But Here You Are” which is available for free as a pdf. I hope that you enjoy it and feel free to send your reviews, feedback or criticisms of the book. Thanks in advance. Click Here to download a copy of "But Here You Are".