This is gonna be a little all over the place, but there’s a thread so stay with me:
I didn’t get home till about 1am the morning after Christmas. I was part of a deep discussion at my uncle’s house and one of the things that stuck with me was this quote: “As I get older, I blame my parents less and less for the struggles of my life”. I’m paraphrasing, but that was the general idea and it prompted an audible oof from me. Now I’m not here to go into the traumas of my past, but I have done the most healing work on myself this past decade. As a result, my blood pressure is managed, my skin is (relatively) clear, I’ve jumped 2 full letter grades higher in emotional intelligence and I’m better at knowing what I like/don’t like/what I will/will not stand for. “Self-care” we call it. And yet I still feel so far off from who I want to be. Thus, my new decade’s (ok Omono calm down), my new year’s* resolution is to stop using “self-care” as an excuse to not start running the race of my life. Even writing this is making me uncomfortable. “The race of my life”, so dramatic! That drama prompts an eye roll, but really it prompts internalized pressure which prompts anxiety which prompts feelings of inadequacy, which prompts letting up on myself, which prompts the justifications I’ve started to call “self-care”.
Back to my parents. In case you didn’t know, I’m an immigrant. In case you didn’t know, I live in the United States. In case you didn’t know, the current president has bred quite the xenophobic climate. While I’m f̶o̶r̶t̶u̶n̶a̶t̶e̶ gattdamn blessed to live in Los Angeles, I am still affected by said climate. As is typical of many of us, as the years pass, I find myself reflecting back on my life. On the life I’ve lived, but also on the one I might have lived. I think often of who I would be if I never moved to the states. Or who I’d be if my journey here had taken a different path. And I’ll be honest, I’ve blamed my parents for what I called “the state of my life”. For the struggles, the stressors, the fears and so on. Very validly, I’ve had to self-care hard to overcome some of those hurdles. Not so validly though, I’ve begun using that label to limit myself. I said earlier that I wondered who I’d be if I’d never moved to the states. The honest to blog answer is that we will never know. But I do know this: I would not be afforded the same level or the same quality of opportunities that I’ve come across living in the U.S. I can decide to be an actress and very soundly pursue that dream. I can wake up, decide I want to dance and without much effort drive to a world renown dance studio. I can say I want to go back to school and enroll in a class that very same day. I can have a work from home job that allows me to live in New York for the summer. Like what?! And so I say no more self-care. Now that’s dramatic. I clarify: no more indulging* in self-care. Yes, I need to and will continue taking care of myself. But for the opportunities I’m afforded, and for the millions of people who aren’t even given a playing hand, it’s my duty to hussle. Let’s pray I keep this energy throughout 2020.