Choosing yourself doesn’t seem like it would be a difficult choice, particularly because the decision is clearly centered on what’s best for you. But time and time again, I have found this “choice” to be one of life’s challenges. And I still don’t have an answer to the question, “why?” But, I do have the answer.
“Don’t set yourself on fire trying to keep others warm.”Penny Reid
When I came across this quote, it was truly a gut-punch moment. Its message could not have been more timely. For weeks, I’d been grappling with a “choose yourself” decision, so much so that I’d actually become physically ill. But for some reason, it took this simple quote to help me visualize the decision… and how utterly ridiculous it was to even consider not choosing myself, let alone struggle with the only obvious choice–me.
A few weeks ago, I announced my resignation as Managing Director at the Antiracist Research & Policy Center so that I can focus on being an author and advocate for culturally-responsive children’s literature. The Antiracism Center was my dream job but one that I could no longer manage effectively as the demands on my writing career continued to grow. And so, I chose me. (My last day is May 3rd and it’s bittersweet!)
I received an overwhelming amount of support from my team as well as personal messages of concern from family and friends (I was wondering how you were doing it all!) And some people were quite surprised the decision was such a struggle–I was clearly headed towards burnout and a breakdown. (Apparently, my social media life is an accurate portrayal of the madness of me trying to juggle it all. hahaha)
I’ve made a promise to myself that the next time I have to choose, I will choose me. Every single time. Without apology. And without guilt.
I am grateful for the lesson. (And, of course, I wanted to share the answer so the test will be easier for you!)
Have a wonderful weekend!