Survival mode: off

I remember hanging at my friend’s house late last year right before I moved into my new apartment. She could tell I was holding onto a lot and that my environment at the time wasn’t conducive to my healing. Before I left her house to head back home that night, she spoke some life over me – that this big move, although scary and with a lack of support, would holistically help me to grow.

That I would be able to truly learn who I am as a person, breathe, and just have the freedom to unravel and process everything I’ve kept inside of me these past few years. I couldn’t see it in me that night… but fast forward several months later, I’m now starting to see the light. 

Logically speaking, it was probably the worst time for me to move. Post car accident, post knee injury (which both are still on-going situations) – it would’ve made sense for me to just stay put. But also, during that time, I finally started putting my mental health and inner peace first. If I were to embark on this long healing journey, something had to change. 

Being in my own space and being mindful of the people I invite over into my space has made quite a difference for me so far. 

Another personal revelation for me has been shedding the weight of perfectionism + my expectations of others and self. Thanks to God and the great benefits I have with my current job, I was able to take a short sabbatical back in March. I first was worried how the request to my manager/HR would come off as – but ultimately, they were supportive of my decision and approved my request. I was also worried about if I really needed the time off. I was very hard on myself at the time and rationalized how I was feeling multiple times throughout the process. But eventually, I came to my senses.

During the last week of my sabbatical, I discovered a little walking trail not too far from where I live. I visited twice that week, when the weather was tolerable, to just walk, pray, and meditate a little bit. I was sitting on a bench to journal when it hit me – yes, I’ve been through a lot of traumatic shit in the past 2-3 years but my expectations to thrive during such a sensitive, dark time has put more pressure on myself.

In other words, I was trying to carry all this mental and emotional weight that was never intended for me first place. I had to check myself on several reoccurring issues and made a list of “reminders” for if were to go down the mental rabbit hole again. Here’s a few that I’ll share below: 

  1. Don’t force things. Be at ease and allow good things, experiences, people come to you.
  1. Not everyone will like you, choose you first, and/or forgive you and stick around – and that’s okay. You’re not made for everyone. Just make sure your intentions are pure.
  1. Your expectations for yourself shouldn’t be the same for others. Grace and awareness are key.
  1. Stop being a perfectionist. You will fuck up from time to time. Be at ease with life.

I’m now in a space where I can look at devastating situations like my accident and season-ending injury as blessings. I believe I wouldn’t have arrived at this point mentally if it weren’t for these drastic situations. I’m still learning and unlearning a lot of things (S/O to God and my therapist), but I’m a firm believer in “what’s for me is for me.” I wish I could be out there with the rest of the track and field world competing right now. But I can accept that it’s just not my time yet. Healing is a lifelong journey (one that I think will not be fully complete until I reach Heaven) but healing shouldn’t deprive you of the joy of life itself.

Not being in survival mode 24/7 also helps me not to take everything, including myself, too seriously. I have the freedom to receive and give healthy love as well as speak up for myself if a situation or relationship is not best serving me. 

Don’t forget to enjoy life, be present and take up space in your journey to wholeness.

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