Like most teachers, I usually dread returning to work in August. But my positive outlook on this upcoming school year can largely be attributed to the fact that I did things on my own terms this summer. For the first time, I did not have a set schedule for clients to book hair appointments. I scheduled them as I saw fit. As much as I enjoy it, I didn’t take on my extra job as an ESOL instructor at Lone Star College. For the first time in a long time, I did not fill my schedule to the brim with “obligations” and work. I rested. I took long walks with my dog and cuddled with her on the couch. I cooked my husband’s favorite meals and enjoyed time with him on the weekends. I took two awesome, spontaneous road trips to capture some amazing photos. I had the time of my life at a friend’s wedding, which had delicious Shipley’s donuts. I cut my hair! I visited Mexico for my honeymoon. I finished a good portion of the book that I am writing. I read two amazing books that truly inspired me. I spent time with God. I kicked back and had fun with my friends. I took my mom to the Essence Festival in New Orleans and showed her a great time. I reflected on my business and set new goals. To cap off my amazing summer, I get to double date with my New Orleans bestie and her fiance at a J. Cole concert next weekend.
I took time for me. I needed that.
I am sure many people may think I took a step back because I just got married. That’s a very small fraction of why I did this. Honestly, it came down to this… I have finally learned how to do things with my best interest at the core of my decisions. Am I adopting an attitude of selfishness? No. Am I saying that I am no longer willing to be sacrificial? No. So many people have learned to depend on me for some many things. I get it. I love to be needed … I would be lying if I said I didn’t. But I also had to take a hard look at how much I have overextended myself for others… sometimes for people/clients/family who would never even dream of doing anything for me. But this was necessary for me. A good friend of mine, Shalonda, recently posted about how she took a mental health break for herself this summer. I read her post and was like “Look at God reassuring me that I am on the right track.” I’ve read once or twice that you can’t pour from an empty cup. Taking care of yourself is vital for everyone around you. Maybe I have heard this in some variation from my husband, but I don’t want to admit he was right. Ok… fine… he was right. I pray I carry this same mentality into motherhood. My future babies and husband deserve a mother/wife who loves them… but loves herself enough to know when to hit the reset button.
P.S. I did not bring home a little Warfield from the honeymoon. In due time…. in due time.