Forgive me if I sound like a broken record, but this week I’ve continued to Not Feel Like Myself. And it isn’t hard to see why. From more confusing announcements from the British government to the continued injustice towards Breonna Taylor’s family and legacy, 2020 isn’t letting up. Thankfully Matt Lucas’ GBBO bit on Tuesday managed to brighten my week, if only for five minutes! I suppose this week I’ve mostly been getting a little introspective; about my career, my online presence, my life balance… And it’s been a LOT. But, Rome wasn’t built in a day, and so I’m not rushing anything.
The crisp autumn air has finally arrived, though, and I’ve really enjoyed taking a few moments out each day to step out into the garden. Mostly I’m in my dressing gown, nursing a cup of coffee, but it’s great nonetheless. Not very Instagrammable, I suppose, but none of my personal favourite moments ever are. The palpable seasonal change has jump-started my need to find change too, so a journalling session or two will definitely come in handy.
Justice for Breonna Taylor
When the news broke on Thursday morning that the policemen responsible for killing Breonna Taylor would not be charged for their crimes, only for the shots into neighbouring homes that missed, I felt disgusted. But, it doesn’t end here and it cannot. We must continue to fight to hold the police department accountable, and seek change for the future, similar instances. Although it might seem unimaginable that change can come about, my one voice joins with yours, then with another’s, and there’s strength in numbers.
The ‘work hard’ mentality
I’ve started working on a new long-read for the blog, which I’m super excited about. It sparked from a Tweet I wrote:
<center><blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Why am I only just realising that my recurring burnout is probably related to this whole hard-working immigrant rhetoric I've been spouted at my whole life? "You'll be successful like them if you just work harder!" 🤦🏻♀️</p>— Michelle Chai (@winyeemichelle) <a href="https://twitter.com/winyeemichelle/status/1307745829810298880?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">September 20, 2020</a></blockquote> <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script></center>
For years and years, both online and offline, I’ve been praised for being a hard worker, for being the girl that manages to do it all, for being a superstar for getting so much done. But at what cost? Losing a third of my head of hair by the age of 22? Recurring burnout? Realising that my spare time is funnelled into social media platforms that don’t see me as a person, only numbers?
The moment I realised that, was the moment I finally woke up to this dangerous system, stereotype and mentality. It’s infiltrated almost every corner and crevice of my life. I must always multi-task or I’m not enough. To this date, the constant hard work and overworking hasn’t once resulted in a promotion, a non-statutory pay rise, accolade or award. So, it’s time to take back my time and stop overworking so hard. Long-read comin’ soon.
In much, much more frivolous news, I took myself out on Friday afternoon for a little ‘me’ date to get my nails done. This once-monthly ritual has brought me so much joy, and I don’t think we should underestimate just how great it feels to pamper ourselves. I read a Tweet earlier in the week that said something along the lines of how personal grooming shouldn’t have to fall into the vacuous bracket of self-care, and I’m wholeheartedly making that my mission. In the wake spending more days than ever not getting properly dressed, not brushing my hair, not completing my usual skincare ritual… it’s probably about time I stopped this ‘working very hard’ thing, eh?
Links I’ve Loved
- The incredible Uju Asika (of Babes About Town) wrote a book and it was published this week!! Bringing Up Race: How to Raise a Kind Child in a Prejudiced World should be compulsory reading, not least because she kindly asked me to contribute a few words. Pick it up here.
- I adored this post on Chapters of May about a slow summer stroll. I’m really leaning in to creative writing lately.
- This Vegan Broccoli Cheddar Soup recipe sounds delicious – I can’t wait to make a batch of it for lunch, served with fresh tiger bread.
- ‘Black women are invisible’ – how a new survey on journalism diversity told us what we already knew via gal-dem
- Although I don’t currently keep a book journal, I really enjoyed this post on Simone and Her Books about how to keep a digital book journal.
- You all know I’m a sucker for a list of little joys – Michelle’s makes a soft, cosy, joyful read.
Posts This Week
Hope you all have a restful Sunday!