After getting over the initial shock of not having a job during the summer my first thought was: Finally, I have time to work on my dissertation uninterrupted.” Through the month of June I been juggling working on my proposal, substitute teaching, tutoring, and doing photography. These were just school and my streams of income. This was not including the blog or the YouTube channel. I had also been stumbling to keep up with those platforms and social media with everything else.
What I was feeling was more burn out but my soul was depleted. I was losing my desire to do anything. What I had been doing has in no way sustainable, and I knew that. I had been struggling with figuring out what I needed to do to keep myself healthy and happy. I needed to rethink how I was approaching work-life balance and tending to my creative pursuits. Usually I keep pressing forward until I am forced to stop but I realize this is never the best course of action, so I decided to slow down. If you read my post on the Creative’s Summer, you know that I wanted to ficus on feeding my creative side and working on those skills. However, what I did not realize is that I would be coming to a full stop or how much I need it.
While making my summer goals it hit me that I needed to take a full hiatus from YouTube. The thought of this sent anxiety flowing through my body. I have been building and pressing forward but not so much keeping my schedule. Editing was becoming too much in conjunction with keeping up the blog. I also went on a month long hiatus from social media because my mental health was taking a nose dive from the scrolling and comparing myself. I needed space to free flow and take a look around to examine where my life is and is going from here.
The summer is a great time to do that sort of inventory because you get to the half way mark and, for many of us, we get some sort of break. My full stop really meant making time for a break because, as a doctoral candidate, I don’t really get a summer break. Breaks are uninterrupted writing stints. Pumping the breaks is really giving me the opportunity to examine what I want out of my life going forward and the things that are (and are not) bringing me more value. This has been far more gentle than getting railroaded by exhaustion and a mental or emotional breaking point. This was a point of growth for me because I made the full stop by listening to and honoring what my body was needing. Call it the wisdom of age.
I share this because I think that we do not always handle ourselves with grace. Our society pushes us to produce more, succeed more, keep up more. Slowing down, or even stopping is frowned upon. There is nothing wrong with stopping for a bit to check in with yourself. Honestly, it allows you to do some personally decluttering so that you are able to be more productive, more successful, and more whole. Honoring the need to pull it over means that you are prioritizing yourself, something that I struggle with so much. If you feel like you need to stop, it is ok. You deserve to do it. It likely means that there are some things that you need to reflect on and clear yourself of so that you are able to stay the course. In our desire to achieve and be successful life can pass us by and make us into someone that we no longer recognize. So if you need it, do it. And don’t apologize about that shit.
Love and Light,