Happy Spring, everyone! Have you seen the movie, “Soul?” I watched it around Christmas primarily to see beautifully designed, black animated characters. But, as Disney and Pixar would have it, I walked away with so much more.
At the end of 2020, I made a video about 20 lessons I learned from the year. Several of those lessons revolved around the appreciation I gained for time and daily life. Yet even as I write this, I am focused on what I am going to do with the days off I took next month, and stressing over finances, and trying to plan out my next series of hairstyles so I am prepared for the warm weather. At first glance, there doesn’t appear to be anything wrong with that–we are stuck in the house with our thoughts, so we occupy that thinking space with ideas that bring us joy, excitement, anything outside of the mundanity we have been experiencing for the last year. I sometimes feel the way I did when I was unemployed in 2016 and part of 2017 just thinking the next day would be “the day,” and then looking up to see it’d been months of me doing the same thing every day. But what have I really learned if I continue to chase the future? I continue to operate as though time is guaranteed to me.
This past month, I have had to take a break from my creative endeavors. When the month started, I had so many posts and video ideas I wanted to share with a pre-planned schedule for all of my platforms. But the world has other plans for me. I wish I could say it was something that specifically happened to me or a thought that crossed my mind, but it wasn’t. I just burned out. You know that feeling when you just don’t feel like yourself? When a bad mood carries over a couple of days and then it’s weeks and then finally it’s been a month and you’re like, “Why am I not feeling better?” I know this is not a universal experience, but it is common. While I may not know what the catalyst was, I knew for a fact that I was not right at my core. I had to stop everything.
When you think of self-care, what comes to mind? Baths? Meditation? Spending $200 online for a serotonin boost? Honestly, same. But self-care isn’t all about spending money and face masks-the beauty kind anyway. It’s about investing time and energy back into oneself. Don’t get me wrong-I am all about buying things that make me happy, doing my skincare routine, and having a glass of wine. However, after a rough, anxious week, I had to do a little extra work on myself to start feeling ‘normal.’
Last week, my boyfriend shared someone’s tweet on his Instagram story that asked people to stop telling others that they have to love themselves in order to be worthy of love in return. We all know the saying that if you do not love yourself, how can you love someone else? It has gained increasing criticism as people realize there is a negative element that can be tied to this saying. It can suggest that you have to unpack all of your baggage and trauma before anyone can love you. But it’s scenarios like this that always remind me that studying communication will always be relevant and interesting. Intent, interpretation, and impact can completely obscure a message. In my experience, this saying has impacted me the opposite way and I will explain why.
Recently, I did a video as part of my Lex Behind the Lens series on my YouTube channel about knowing your worth. It surprisingly gained a lot of traction compared to the performance of my previous videos, but it was the first thing I thought of when I was reading this on his story. Another recent occurrence was that I ended a friendship after discovering this person was inherently not someone I wanted to continue befriending. To protect this post from derailing from the point, I will not express further why that friendship ended (if you know, you know), but I would not have been able to do that or feel confident enough to create a video about knowing my worth had I not been on a self-love journey for the last three years.