Do you guys remember that big social media trend from 2008-2012? The "truth is" trend. You'd be scrolling through social media and see someone post "truth is" on their status; people would either comment or react, and the person who posted the status would go to that person's page to post on their wall a "truth is." Like most things on social media, some posts would be filled with praise & love, some would include a memory of a closer relationship with that individual, and some would air people's business. For me, it was a cool way for folks to lift the curtain of their "social media" persona and bring their full and real self into the picture. To have a really honest and really vulnerable moment publicly.
Whenever I have dreamed of creating my own content, I have always thought about it from the lens of being vulnerable and honest - to share the good, the bad, and everything in between. To remind me and everyone else that life's messy and we deserve love, grace, & gentleness through all of that, so here is a little truth is for you all.
I just had an extended leave from work for March. I did a lot of reflection during that time, which I am really excited to dig into with you guys - but I was very aware that the amount of work and the number of work hours I was typically working needed to shift if I wanted to stay in my current job. Although I can make space for that - most days, I am still carrying a lot of guilt and shame around that. This just further reminds me how I measure my value in the work that I do - not in the person that I am.
One of the ways I have found feels like a really safe way to be with myself is by journaling. It's a page that gets whatever is rolling around in my head. It's been a regular pattern of mine to sit down to journal and 10 minutes later, I look and the page and think, "huh, I had no idea that was in there".
My break from work made me aware that I was dead in the middle of compassion fatigue, but now, I very much want to make the necessary adjustments to continue in my current role. I am really struggling with finding new and different ways to balance professional, nonprofit management Rachel with outside work Rachel. I know I need boundaries - but I am beginning to recognize that boundaries, as I have been taught about them, is that they are hard and non-negotiable. That doesn't work with the work I do.
I am on a very rocky journey of furthering my understanding of self-worth. I have very little understanding of what that looks, sounds, and feels like to me. There are days I feel like the world's biggest hypocrite because I preach a lot about self-care, self-love, and self-worth, and still don't know what that is for me.
I have a very small but mighty circle. One of my closest friends moved away, and that had been really hard for me. I cry about that usually once a week, but it feels like an inconvenience to tell her that right now cause she's transitioning her whole life to a different city.
Throwing myself into my work was a way that I have survived the last couple of years. My family has lost all four of my living grandparents since May 2019. Work is something I am good at. It's something that makes me feel accomplished and proud. It became a way to cope with or lessen the grief.
I have a lot of personal habits and routines that I need to figure out because I deserve them. Most days that feels overwhelming and impossible - so I haven't started yet.
People keep saying I need to think about hobbies. I hate that. Instead of hobbies, I am going to start thinking of things I want more of in my life. More time with family. More time with my nephew. More time to keep my house organized, clean, and tidy. More time to write. More time listening to music. That feels more manageable - that I don't hate...
Over the last two weeks, work has been a major source of pride and joy for me, and that makes this whole, I am supposed to put you in a box except for 40 hours a week thing feels very confusing. I love my job. I have helped to create a nonprofit alongside a woman who it feels like a privilege to work for. I have colleagues who teach me things CONSTANTLY and have some of the best souls I've ever met.
Truth is, I feel like a big mess lately. Truth is, I can feel like a big mess and still be okay. Truth is, I can do hard things. Truth is, I am going to continue to show up for myself bigger, badder, and better. Truth is, I am going to work on forgiving myself for when I didn't know better or simply trying to survive.