I wanted to practice mindful eating at work. As someone with binge eating disorder, mindful eating is a practice that keeps me from stuffing my face excessively. When I realized that work related stress was triggering those gateway habits once again, I knew I need to extend my practice outside of my home.
All I could think about is how this could inconvenience others who work with me. My thoughts included a disgruntled coworker or an irritated boss who couldn’t wait for me to finish a meal.
Despite the mental resistance, I did it and guess what? Nothing happened. No one came looking for me. And if they were, I was right next door to my office. For those 15 minutes, I focused on my food instead of multitasking. It shifted my energy for the rest of the work day.
I find it so funny how I was willing to sacrifice. How I’m always willing to sacrifice my wellness in order to make space for others when they didn’t ask for it in the first place. I’m so forward to serve others but always hesitant on serving myself.
Other ways I push myself to the wayside to accommodate others:
I don’t fully speak up in fear that I may offend someone.
I don’t sing in fear I may disrupt someone.
I squeeze and contort my body in order to not offend those with my size.
I curb my blackness in order to make others feel comfortable.
I control my queerness in order to make others feel comfortable.
I tone down my spirituality in order for people to be comfortable.
I introduce myself as “Mykie” instead of “Mykalee” to ease tongues from saying my birth name because it sounds too foreign.
You’ve probably done it too.
You ever had the thought on whether you should do something in fear of looking too black?
Maybe you code switch depending who is on the phone.
Or maybe you switched your first outfit choice in fear of looking too “out there”.
How many times? How many ways have you controlled your expressions in order to please others? Others that frankly give zero fucks about the internal conflicts you face because of their presence. Others who never asked you to quiet yourself in the first place.
It makes me feel like I’m not worthy to be loud, to expand, to express.
I think about my ancestors a lot.
I think about how the eradication of our cultures, gods, ways of life because of their bodies, their skin, their tongue. People fought and died for me to express. People are still dying due to expressing themselves.
I have enough privilege to be able to express fully. Who am I to say no to myself when others never had a choice?
Maybe assimilation is apart of my epigenetics. Once used by my kin to protect us from harm is no longer useful in my present*. As time moved, humanity has changed and I am free to do as I please without much fear*. Like I said, I have privilege compared to others in this world, this country, and beyond. Why not utilize to its fullest capabilities?
It’s what my community fought for. I should fight for it too.
For myself. My future seeds. My community and beyond.
Self care is a revolutionary act. – Audre Lorde.
I am no longer sacrificing my wellness, my expression for others.
Now, how to do that?
I don’t really know.
But I’m gonna take it one step at a time.