It was a moment that I had been looking forward too. I went there with an amazing woman named DeLorean. We met on Instagram and decided to room together for me it was ideal because you know the cost of NYC is out of my budget. It was during that encounter and that time away that I really began to think about my life, my purpose, my mission, my goals, and my passion. It was an innocent question that she asked. "So what is your goal with your plantform? What do you hope to accomplish?" It was a seed that had been planted and continued to slowly grow holding and taking root. As I surfed and loafed along I continued to ruminate on the questions running in my head.
Starting my new job I had a hard time figuring out what my next move was going to be. I was so busy surviving. Then the pandemic hit and I moved into full self-protection and introversion. As I isolated with my family and ultimately with myself I was left to take a deep look within. As I looked the more despondent I became. As I isolated and had more time on my hands the more I wondered “Where have I gone?” I slowly realized that in my life I had created space for everyone but myself.
Choose Yourself: Sounds simple right but actually this was one of the hardest steps for me. As a physician I’m constantly telling my patients who are caregivers to loved ones that they have to take care of themselves to avoid caregiver burnout and fatigue; however as a physician I was the worst patient. Often electing and selecting others needs and wants to precede my own. There is a reason flight attendant say “Be sure to secure your own mask before assisting others.” I started by embracing words and responses. “No.” “I don’t have the bandwidth.” “I can’t focus on that right now.” “Do you need this right now or can it wait.” and other assortments. At first I will admit I felt like I was letting people down, however the more I prioritized my needs, agenda, and my sanity the easier it became. Now, in all honesty it is still struggle and sometimes slip into my old habits but I keep fighting because, I’m worth it.
Seek help: I have started to see a therapist. There is no shame in seeking help of any kind. The only dumb question is the one not asked and the only shame is in wallowing in spaces where help is available and not using it. I don’t for a minute realize the privilege I have in finding help. Mental health resources are hard to come by and some providers don’t even accept insurances because the reimbursement rates are low and the hoops to jump through are ridiculous (let me get off my soapbox). However, with the increased use of social media and technology there are some more affordable options such as TalkSpace, etc. There is also journaling, talking with friends that you trust. Whatever the mode or the need seek help.
Try new things: Stepping out of my comfort zone has never a hard thing for me. However when in a rut it’s hard for me to see past my routine and just trying to survive. The key to lasting change is taking steps not matter how small and seemingly insignificant toward your ultimate goal. Taking inspiration from one of my favorite elements, water, I have been learning that it can cut through stone not due to its sheer force but due to the sheer force of its persistence. Small movements consistent in the purpose. There might be detours and misalignment it likely will not be a straight path but a persist patchy trying new things new ways new methods all aimed at the goal will create momentum forward.
Oprah Winfrey said "You can have it all. Just not all at once." I used to hate that quote until I realized that she's right. Gotta love "Mama O". I have realized that in trying to have it all at once I lost the most important part--myself. I am now focused on the creation of a life where as I attain and reach goals I am still energized and present to enjoy them. I am creating space in my life for me and if you have been guilty of ignoring your needs too, I invite you to come on this journey with me. Let us Create Space, and Thrive!
Embracing my imperfection and striving for perfection through grace.