Don't Be Like Me

Dear Sis,

I had 45 minutes to spare.

That meant less than an hour to blow dry and maintain my hair, put on makeup, pull together an outfit and make an on-time arrival to a fundraiser for a cause very close to my heart.

"Ok, girl", I told myself. "HURRY UP!!"

Before I knew it, 40 minutes had passed -- my thick hair was being uncooperative -- the outfit I wanted to wear didn't fit, and I had just discovered I was out of foundation AND eye liner.

I glanced at the clock -- looked myself in the mirror and confessed, "I'm not going to make it."

That's when it happened.

I broke down.

I mean -- a full blown, I-can't-breathe-because-I'm-crying-too-much meltdown. I stared at myself as the tears fell with great self-disappointment.

"Are you seriously crying right now?!?!", my inner voice yelled. "We don't have time for tears!"

Just as I was in the middle of chastising myself, my phone rang.

Me: "Hello?"

Her: "What's wrong?!?!"

Me: "I don't know. I'm having a meltdown..."

It was one of my closest friends, who I'm pretty sure {until that moment} had never really seen or heard me sob.

I expected her to respond in shock.. or at least be utterly confused.

She wasn't.

In the calmest voice said "Valencia... take a deep breath. You're overwhelmed. And, that's okay."

She kindly, yet honestly reminded me of how tired I had been that week... how I had stretched myself too thin, and complained about being exhausted and not feeling well.

She also reminded me that I never took the time to rest or get better. I just did what I always do.... I kept going.

In that moment, I realized my breakdown wasn't about the hair, or the makeup. It was the result of yet another loooooong stretch of days where I consistently piled way too much on my plate.

Sis -- DON'T be like me.

Don't be the woman who pushes herself to be so strong and so resilient, that she doesn't allow room for recuperation. Don't be the woman who punishes herself for showing signs of fragility.

Instead, be the woman who understands that she is human. And, while you want to take on everything for everyone -- please know that you cannot.

So, if the tears well up for no reason at all... let them fall.

If your responsibilities become too overwhelming... ask for help.

If you feel sick... stop and take care of yourself.

If you're exhausted... go to sleep.

You're allowed to be vulnerable. You're allowed to start over. And, guess what --- you'll still be the Bad-Ass Powerhouse you've always been!

(By the way... I made it to that event. I was an hour late, with no eye liner on...

But, the woman who greeted me at the door said: "My goodness... you are stunning!"

Ha! Imagine that.... )

Until next time, V

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