Chapter 25: Making you a Priority
Empress and Her Spectacle: Making you a Priority
Writing in a state of agitation is complex. Partly because your body feels the heat of your emotion.
Hands might be unsteady, eyes might water, and biting your lip can lead to a little bit of bleeding. All of this is to say, I’m writing in a state of agitation. I reflected recently on severed friendships, and now I choose to reflect on placing yourself as a priority. Kindness is not without limit, and even I will find my patience sour faster under intense stressors. I don’t look sour for just anything, its well earned I think.
The Importance of Placing You First:
Oh its extremely difficult to put yourself above others sometimes. I struggle with this a lot, jumping through hoops, making magic happen, and then doing it all over again for someone else. The moment I consider a bit of self-care, I think about what I can do for my community, how I can help a friend, or support my family and loves in life. It’s a race to see what I can do to help someone not feel alone, or not supported. Sounds a little psycho, but I have my reasons for being like this. What about you? What drives you to think of others first?
The reason I put others before myself, is because I don’t want people to feel like an afterthought. There is something about that feeling that stuck with me to the point I don’t want anyone to think that within my space or circle. That desire, that motivation, and internal experience is one that keeps me from putting my needs before others a lot. It’s not always a bad thing to think of others, but in some cases it is. I’m not saying stop your advocacy or check in on friends. I am saying, that every now again take some time for you. It’s hard to help someone else if you’re running on empty.
Another thing to consider is your life is in a constant state of flux. Situations will happen that require different amounts of energy from you, and even I, a queen of contingency plans cannot account for emotional turbulence throughout the week. Its the next mission impossible. Life happens faster than anime fight scenes, and while I might wish things occurred more episodically and over an entire season, that doesn’t stop the cliffhangers from happening.
The important thing is to set aside time for you. It’s the part of self-care that is lost in sheet masks, bubble baths, and a glass of wine. Sure, a bubble bath is decadent, and bath bombs and time to relax is nice. In that time are you processing whats happened to you, are you navigating the path you find yourself on? There is a lot that can happen in 24 hours, and this is where meditation, journaling, or even talking with a friend is good.
Anything to process, and just understand where you are emotional. Are you happy? Are you sad? Are you angry? Are you lost? Wherever you are, are you really in a position to give some of your energy to someone else and devote that time in a healthy manner.
You Need to Know You, Matter:
I can offer up many examples of where I’ve exerted myself, emotional labor, and my time. I can also say I probably will still give a little more than I should going forward in life, my care for people, for mental health, and art will not change. Now, at 24 I’m really processing what it means to step back, and just let myself be. While I’m doing my thing and growing as a human being and artist, I still have lots to learn about navigating social spaces and community. It starts with admitting when I’m tired. I used to never ever admit I was exhausted or drained. Pride perhaps, telling me that I needed to maintain the strength I was told I had. It was naive of me to play strong when I was at my lowest. It was also foolish to think that the help I provided at my lowest would really do what I intended. These days I step back, and I admit it. I admit I’m tired, I’m exhausted, I’m sad, or I’m angry. I admit when I’m drained, when I don’t have pink energy, or operating at 0% praying that those in my life who truly care will respect that I need time to recharge or recuperate.
Understanding that you cannot be the best you while at zero is so vital in growth and interacting with others. There is so much work that we put into interacting with others, that in the process of care or even nurturing we forget that we need a little bit as well. A little bit of TLC from ourselves to ourselves is important. I’m using this funky app called “Remente” for building habits, and one habit is for positivity mentality.
The exercise they have me do is list three things I appreciate about myself. At first, I thought it was silly. I know what I like about myself, or so I thought. I actually struggled the first few days doing this, and I really did not understand that at a low, I simply could not conjure the energy even to appreciate or love myself. In some ways, it frightened me, how prepared I was to help others but lose myself and the time to care for myself in the process.
Placing yourself over others is not always selfish. It’s a part of self-care that is lasting and better for navigating community and social spaces. I forget to care for me all the time. Thus why I am here to remind you about placing yourself first so that the consequence of not doing that doesn’t bite you later on.
My song choice to leave you with, something to meditate on and consider.
Till next time loves, - Jade