I had a conversation yesterday. Let me be real. A therapy session yesterday.
About lots of issues. Family. My own marriage. A need for me to let go of the things I cannot or should not always control. My lack of trust and faith in others. I am not sleeping full nights.
And I kept talking.
About all the “shoulding” I have done during the quarantine these last couple of months. I should have written more and read more than 4 books. Did I watch all of the revolutionary interviews and experience all of these mind-blowing Verzus battles live? Did I watch all the shows? How about getting back into perfecting burpees to return back to the shape I was in at Strongman competition time? Shouldn’t I take more than just the one writing class? What about daily walks? All of those people in this motivational FB group are going live, talking about their insecurities and constantly interviewing for podcasts… should I be in this mix? Did I donate enough? Did I contact everyone for Mother’s Day? How about starting an indoor garden? But oh wait! I did learn to play poker and I am working with Hubby on this 1000-piece puzzle and I continue to work from home.
Then I stopped talking.
It was pointed out that I was listing goals, checking off imaginary boxes, obsessing over what the next few months may bring (financially and otherwise) and whether I am doing enough right now in order to do what?
She observed all these mental gymnastics I was performing were not just in order to keep up with family, friends, stay distracted, entertained and to make a living but I was acting as if any of these things were going to change what’s going on “out there.”
As if any of these things were going to make me “win the quarantine.”
As if I accomplish all of these things, come out on the other side with a stunning body, a thick and voluminous curly afro, a couple of manuscripts ready to pitch and new languages acquired, I will change the reality of what’s out there.
A scary pandemic, conflicting opinions, no answers as to when this will actually be over and a world where people who are Black like me and my husband are never quite safe. We never know if and when we will be confronted with the fear and hatred people have for us solely based on our race. I never know when we will be perceived as a threat: during a walk? driving? Sitting at home eating ice cream on our own couch?
My lists, my books, puzzles, card games, work, television, dancing to music, working out and social media engagement won’t change it.
It won’t make it all go away.
So what can be done?
I can write about it.
I can talk about it.
I can cry about it.
I can let myself fall into bed, let my mind find the peace it seeks and sleep.
I can sit in the sunshine on my balcony and pray.
I can build myself up enough emotionally to allow myself to engage authentically in the things I truly want to do, not what I think should be done.
I can relieve the pressure.
And let it be.
If some days look like a short walk outside before work, cooking, journaling and putting a puzzle together, I will let it be.
If somedays I need to sleep longer, eat and laugh at reruns of “The Office”, I will let it be.
Anything else doesn’t work for me.
Because it’s not about winning the distraction or achievement quarantine Olympics, it’s about finding a healthy and real way through it.