to be African, to be Woman, to be Creative, to be Fashionable, to be Intelligible, to be be IMARA

imara by Mshana

This is the canvas and the pages on which I curate and display the life I wish to create for myself and other liminal hu-women like myself. I explore here my passion for fashion, present my literally inspired visual arts, write my visual arts inspired written works, share my linguistics, travel diaries, show my finding comfort in food, and heck, whatever else I feel like... Welcome and enjoy!

How I feel about self-preservation

on choosing yourself

Some muesli in low-fat plain yoghurt and coconut sugar later I reflect on how I've been feeling about self-care in the past two weeks.

Context: The past week had about 5 assignments and 2 of them were major assignments. In simple terms, hella hectic. For those of you who can relate to college madness to that level, you understand how stressful weeks like these can be. 

I always hold myself to extremely high standards and so on days/weeks like these I push myself to the extremes to function at the same rate as I would when I only have one thing to do. This usually ends up meaning long days and sleepless nights. When I get to that breaking point, I realise I need to practice a little bit of self-care to be able to continue without dying in the process. However, every time I chose self-preservation this past week, I found myself feeling really weak and guilty and a complete failure. 

Isn't life funny like that? How taking care of yourself is a good thing but when you need it the most -i.e. when you are literally about to burn out- you feel bad for doing so. 

I understand that I am to be held accountable for having not planned ahead enough to avoid that moment, but that is beside the point. I speak for myself when I say this is a problem of caring too much about what others will think or say than how I would feel, and comparing my energies to other people's energies. I often say to myself, "other people are keeping on so why can't I." Well often times I just can't and that's brain knows it yet, I still feel bad! 

However, I would rather feel bad at that moment than jeorpadise my health. Mama always says that you only have one body, and after hearing so many stories of people who pushed their bodies to grave illnesses, I accept my bodies limitations and the momentous feeling of failure. 

I don't know where I am really getting at with this. I guess what I am trying to say is that you shouldn't feel bad for taking care of yourself. And I say this to myself as much as I am saying it to you. You are not weak for understanding what your body needs, you are simply sane. So, next time you feel like you need to give yourself some TLC, please do. You are better off being alive and healthy the next day than having outdone yourself on an assignment and dead. But that is completely your call. I just choose me. I choose me every single time. 

I hope you choose you too. 

Much love!