I would hope at this point that I wouldn’t have to offer any further critique, analysis, or interpretation of Beyonce’s, “Formation.” As usual, Bey went wig hunting and did not return home to Blue Ivy empty-handed. She got ALL of us and the message was well received. Slay, in all things you do. My teeny addendum to that is to take care of yourself first.
I have friends all over the world who are killing it. Some are professors in Paris, graduate students, doctors, writers, filmmakers, actresses, musicians, activists, politicians, and mini moguls in the making. I like to think of myself as the Taraji to their Viola because I celebrate ALL of their wins. I’m proud of them, hell the world should be proud of them too. They’re pouring their lives into a craft or a public service and at the root of it all, uplifting people. It’s beautiful to witness. But I’ve seen the underside of ambition as well. The brushing off of mental health issues, the not sleeping or eating properly, the functioning on no sleep for days at a time, the crying, the loneliness. Not to say the end goal is not worth moving through those things but there’s a difference between suppressing them and moving past them. One is about management, the other avoidance.
As woman of color we are often taken for granted and written off. Good isn’t allowable because great is the only way we can get our foot in the door. We make a bevy of sacrifices but it’s time we stop sacrificing ourselves. Make yourself a priority. Turn off social media and turn on the bath. Read. Take a walk and clear your mind. Meditate. Find healthy ways to manage your stress. When the loneliness creeps up (and it always does), call your friends. Laugh, cry, emote, and cleanse your emotional palette so you can be the best you. You are your biggest advocate, ally, and tool but if you don’t take care of yourself you can become a self-directed weapon. Take the time, no, MAKE THE TIME to check in with yourself.
Although a lot of us were raised to grin and bare it for the sake of accommodating others’ needs, you don’t have to. If something is wrong, say so, even if it’s just to yourself. Invest in something therapeutic. Find a zen ritual that puts you at ease and don’t forget that you have people who love you or are probably going through the same shit. It’s easy to get lost in the need to prove yourself, the desire to prove a point, and uplift an entire community. Just make sure you can find your way back to center and if you feel you don’t have anyone to reach out to, reach out to me! You know I’m always happy to listen.
Part of feeling better, doing better, and being better is recognizing that your needs are just as important as anyone else’s. Don’t forget it. Until then, slay on queens.