I haven’t felt like myself lately.
I used to always be there for everyone around me with a pep talk for every situation. I listened to people’s problems, authentically gave them an ear, and told them that it was okay to not be okay — but that they were great and deserved great things.
I used to check in on my Facebook page asking if people had taken their meds, eaten, and had water. It was a nice reminder for my friends and for me to practice these basic tenets of self maintenance.
I used to laugh, a lot. I shared funny posts on Facebook and made people laugh at parties or when we were out at the local geek bar playing board games. I loved being the funny friend who always got a laugh.
I used to write every day. I used to work 8+ hours a day at my full time job and then work on my passion project developing my course or writing my book.
January wasn’t that long ago, when I hoped to get two book deals, run my course three or four times, and launch a full time coaching practice this year.
Now, I rest. I sleep in past 8am. I eat when I’m hungry, nap when I’m tired, and work part time at a job I truly enjoy.
I write when the words need to come out. Like they do now, when I thought to myself, “I haven’t been myself lately” and the response that floated back up from inside me was “Yes, you have.”
I’m always myself. My self is the part of me I need to take care of, because I didn’t used to do a very good job of it. My self has been subjected to a lot of beliefs about what I needed to achieve and how I needed to behave in order to deserve love and support and a salary.
My self, right now, needs to rest and recover from burning out at that full time job. My self is processing the fact that my social circle has been tinier than ever for the past eight months. My self is understanding that the shiny, happy, warm, cozy, family parts of the winter months aren’t happening this year.
My self has always been here, and is not measured by how frequently I give of myself to other people.
Looking at the list of things that I thought made me who I was — listening, encouraging, checking in, writing, working — those things are all still happening. Just slower and less frequent than before. And that’s okay.
My self is here. My self is growing stronger, I can feel it.
Last night I applied to a dream job and I woke up feeling peaceful and content. Because my self was peaceful and content.
I sleep better when I’m next to my partner, because my self is safe and loved and warm.
I can write a new post whenever I feel ready to put the words onto the page, because my self is not defined by how often I write. (Sometimes my job is defined by writing, but my self is not).
If I don’t feel like myself, it’s probably because I’m focusing too much on things outside of me instead of my actual, inner truth of knowing my self.
So if you don’t feel like yourself lately, it’s okay to not be okay. We’re going through a long-term, no-end-in-sight, global trauma together. We have no idea when we will feel safe again. Our collective mental health is touch and go.
But your self, the deep down parts of you that make you who you are inside, they’re not gone. They’re resting, being slow, and they will be there when you are ready for them again.
Support My Writing
Hey, I have a book. It’s full of my sassy pep talk mojo and I’d love if you read it! Buy The Gaslighting of the Millennial Generation and let me know what you think! (It also makes a great holiday gift for every human under 40).