Being on vacation for a month is undoubtedly a luxury, so before I lament my frustrations, I want to acknowledge that.
I don’t know the last time I had a month “off;” where money wasn’t an issue, and I wasn’t obligated to be anywhere—perhaps never, because of the money aspect. We’re taught, especially as Black folks, that our worth is determined by our productivity. I don’t need to get into the historical roots of that. So not working for a month has made me see myself outside of my ability to produce in exchange for money. And it’s driving me up a wall.
I’m the child of a West Indian immigrant, so that incessant need to work may as well be genetic. I’ve been viewing myself as a failure for not getting up and immediately preparing for a job. I wake up longing for a sense of purpose.
And yesterday, all of that stress got the better of me. I had a small panic attack before falling asleep, completely depleted and exhausted.
And today, I’ve had no less than five people reach out to me with opportunities, reminding me that my work matters but it’s not the end all be all. The work that I do do is noteworthy. And it’s not all that I am.
It’s okay to relax. To take a step back, however brief, and exhale. We can only control so much. We could all use a break.