I want to admit something to you that my PR team (if I had one) would probably advise against. I’ve messed up! I’ve overworked myself this year in a way I’m feeling deep in my bones and heavy on my heart. A few Saturdays ago I had intended to do some holiday shopping (of which I’ve still done none) have a productive day and catch up with a few friends. Instead, I never got out of my pajamas and never left my apartment. I don’t quite remember what I did that day other than sit in my living room chair, look out the window while drinking coffee and browsing through cookbooks. A part of me felt guilty! I’m not the sit at home type. I’m always doing something. I’m always motivated to begin something, but on that day I couldn’t seem to muster up the strength to get out of my night clothes. I just needed to rest. My energy was depleted and I needed to sit still and recharge. I’m trying to take it slow until our upcoming holiday break. I’ve even canceled a few projects that would require too much of my time and effort I don’t have in my heart to give. That's a big deal for me.
I hope it doesn’t sound like I’m complaining or attempting self importance from my assumed “big and busy life.” I think I’m recognizing one significant fact I often overlook as a caretaker to many. I forget myself a lot of the time. I forget taking care of myself is crucial to my family, friends, business, my team and you. I don’t know why I forget this, but I do and this year I really screwed up. I didn’t take much time for a proper vacation. I was stretched thin with several projects and in between those times I didn’t recharge. Recharging is so fundamentally important to my mental health and the lack of doing it caught up with me in the fall. I also made big life changes, found a new home, ended, readjusted and reevaluated a few relationships, dealt with loss. The latter was long overdue. I had not taken the time to grieve the loss of someone whose life ended abruptly and I found myself inconsolable one morning because the sadness and reality of it had finally sunk in at an extremely inappropriate moment. Suffice it to say, 2018 hasn’t been my favorite year.
Here I am deep in the final weeks of a year that has been challenging, albeit a whirlwind of my life and I need to slow down, take deep breaths, long walks and invest time in myself. I know taking more time to nurture my wellbeing is more than the simplistic “self care” talk thrown around in the beauty industry. I know it’s about the state of my mental health and remaining positive and energetic. If I’m being frank, this business isn’t always as kind as it appears to be on Instagram. There is a lot of rivalry, backstabbing, lying, deceit, stealing, jealousy and inflated egos that burst in your lane and spill onto your goals with bitterness if you allow it. I know many other business owners who have admitted to feeling burnt out, overwhelmed, depressed and at their wits end. There’s isn’t enough focus on a person’s mental well being in our culture. It seems to imply a weakness in character or strength. So many people are afraid to ask, “I’m wondering how you’re managing with all that’s been going on?” It’s such a farce to constantly reply, “I’m fine” when clearly one is not. I'm not always fine. I'm not always a rock. Neither are you or anyone that is human. We falter, we become exhausted, we fail and yes, we recover too.
Keeping goals and perspective is necessary in order to proceed. My goals are aimed towards the future with new ways of connecting with people, but they’re also aimed at my own personal happiness. Being driven shouldn’t mean that your personal goals for love and happiness can’t be achieved or aren’t as inspirationally valid. I see or read a lot about powerful, successful types that hardly mention what they’re working for in the first place. I have a lot more to do so I need to make myself the priority every single day. Why on earth it’s taken this long to figure out is beyond me. I guess I'm teaching myself right now.
I hope if you’re struggling, if you’re trying to measure up or knocking yourself down because you gained a few pounds, lost followers on social media, didn’t cross off all your new year’s goals, you also give yourself one hell of a break. You are doing the best you can. Be gentle to your soul and give yourself some credit for what you have done. Enjoy a good hair day and take a million selfies if it makes you happy. Kiss your puppy and buy him new dog shoes if that makes you happy. Climb mountains, sit by the sea and stare at stars, spend an afternoon with a teenager and enjoy their enthusiasm, be bold and say hello to the handsome stranger sitting alone at the coffee shop, get a new tattoo, drink your diet coke (in my case non-diet), be sincere, fierce, forgiving and live your one and only life with authenticity and fervor. Most of all, cherish yourself and let the guilt go. Better yet tell the guilt to F%@* off! In the end what matters is that you know you lived your life without so many regrets and the guilt you harbor melts away because you are just human and we all deserve to forgive ourselves and move on. And then move on. Go ahead, I dare you.
Always with love,
This blog post is dedicated to Jonathan Lizardi. Jonathan was one of the first kids I babysat regularly as a teenager and who became one of my "kids." Jonathan died in a car accident on his way home to his young family during the holidays. He had the brightest smile I've ever seen and I don't think I've ever met anyone with more hope in their heart than my dear, sweet Jonathan.