Parts of me feel bad about being so burnt out with social justice work and taking such a long hiatus. I’m nearing a place of pure ignorance. Aside from the shooting, I honestly have no idea what is happening in Ferguson right now. And I have no interest in finding out. Not because I don’t care, but because I just don’t have the energy to get so invested in such a hyper-personalized way—as has been the case in the past. That is incredibly draining and I don’t have the support system to recover from that time and time again.
These past few months of my hiatus have been the most peaceful times I’ve had in years. I’ve been able to learn to take care of myself a little better and treat myself more kindly. I’ve learned to support myself because others can’t be relied on to do so. These things are crucial to survival. I was on the social justice grind, nonstop, for nearly five years. I deserve a break; time to compose myself, get myself back on my feet. But we’re so often told that this work never stops, that to stop is to quit and not be “bout that life.” I don’t buy it. We have to take care of ourselves, even if that means “ignoring” the world around us for a summer.
All I know is that when I return, I won’t be as I was before. My activism is beginning to take a new shape, and it looks a lot more like self-care and community building. There has to be a way to balance the grind with the survival in a way that doesn’t leave you either drained or disconnected. Right?