Updated: Sep 15
Grand Rising good people.
I know that my absence has been long and quiet and I pray that you forgive me for it.
And I also know that I usually try to stay away from the hard-hitting, real-life conversations because everybody needs a break from the cares of their life every once in a while, but... My life has been trying to overtake me and frankly, I'm sick of it.
And I am almost positive that I am not the only one. As we speak, I am sitting here itching.
Yup. You read that right. ITCHING.
Let me explain.
In March of this year, I had to leave my job due to the closures of schools and facilities. I was confident that, even though I was going to be unemployed for a while, I would be back to work in no time. At the moment, the position that I held was becoming more and more stressful so I wasn't mad at all that we decided to part ways.
I decided to take the time to develop my business, work on my books and podcast, as well as nurture and spend time with my children. I decided to stop floating, which presented it's own set of issues but I was determined. It was time for me to eliminate any and all distractions and get serious about this thing called life. I had wasted enough time playing around.
It was a wonderful plan, really.
Until it wasn't.
March passed, April came and went, May slid by, June and July flew, August made its way through and here we are in September and my children and I am still home. School has gone back virtually. So many days have passed but they all felt the same.
At first, my online, plus-sized t-shirt shop was popping. I was getting orders on top of orders. But then, it came to a halt. I'm not sure what happened. My designs are dope, my prices are doable. It just stopped.
But I didn't let it deter me. I keep pushing on. If one thing wasn't working, I would just move on to the next. And next on the list was job searches.
And boy, have I been searching.
I've had interview after interview, both Zoom and in person. I've filled out so many applications that I have begun to see the questions and drop down menu answers in my sleep. I check my email almost constantly, usually to see the dreaded "thank you, but no thank you" responses. I have made a job of looking for a job. While my kids wake up, have breakfast and sign into their Google Classroom, I wake up, have tea and log onto my email to begin another round of applications.
It can be so disconcerting.
Last week, I decided to add some self-care to the equation and take myself to the doctor. I know that its not a pedicure or a solo movie date, but sometimes self-care is specifically about actually taking care of yourself. And with the level of stress that I have had in recent months, I figured that I'd better hop on that sooner rather than later.
Good thing I did, because I found out that I had a bladder infection (sorry of that's TMI!) and needed to take antibiotics for a few days.
Seems simple enough, right?
So, so, very, very wrong....
Apparently I was allergic to the antibiotics and developed the worst case of hives that I have ever had in my life. the doctor did prescribe a different type of medication, but the itching persisted. After several phone calls and emails, it seems as though my rash is more mental than physical.
Stress-related hives, is what they are called. Isn't that the craziest? So not only do I have the regular stressors, i happen to be lucky enough to have stress-induced stressors. Got me feeling Tyrone Biggums-like...
So why am I telling you all of my business? Well, for quite a few reasons. But mainly because I want you to know that you are not alone in the hard times that you are having. EVERYONE is struggling with something right now, whether it be financial difficulty, employment problems, marital issues. Black Panther passed away! Is nothing off limits? Even our children are stressed! They are used to going to school just like we are used to them going. They miss their friends. They miss going places and doing things.
But one thing that the entire year of 2020 is teaching us is that change will happen whether we want it to or not. Time neither pauses nor slows for no man. We have to make the best of everyday, difficult or not, but we cannot try to act like our the stress in our lives doesn't exist. I have read so many Facebook and Instagram posts about people younger than me passing away from massive heart attacks and strokes because they were stressed out but trying to maintain.
Sometimes you have to just stop. That's what I did.
Yes, I need to take care of my kids. Yes, I am trying to maintain my business and market books and remix my podcast. And yes, I am still grieving the loss of my daughter. And yes, I have a household to maintain. But I also want to live a very long and very full life. And I want to enjoy it!
Life is so much more than bills and meals. Life is all of that and every breath in between. I am holding out hope that I will have hundred of t-shirt orders and dozens of job offers super soon, and until that happens, I will have everything that I need. Because that is the belief that I choose to hold onto.
And that is the belief that I want you to hold onto as well.
You will always be going through something. But the trick is, you want to be around to go through it. And there will always be another reason to keep smiling, keep trying and keep moving. Being stuck never served anyone. But the wisdom that we learn by surviving the hard times is the experience that we will need to keep living life. Every negative has a positive. Every right has a left. every darkness ends in light.
So keep going. You're almost over this mountain and there might be another one up next. But if I can make it, itching and all, so can you. I believe in you.
Take care of yourself, good people. Life is meant to be lived, not tolerated...