I had an epiphany this past week, and it’s forced me to slow down and clear my head. I wanted to share this more personal experience here, as I’m sure many of you over-achievers can relate!
Since I became a licensed esthetician, I have been going non-stop. My goal with work is of course success on several levels. I want to change people’s lives for the better, to be a positive influence, to instill confidence in those that need it, to be comfortable monetarily, to be the most educated and up-to-date with technology and skincare industry advances, and to eventually create my own brand someday. With all of this in mind, I have been pushing myself to network more, to refine my skills, to use any extra time I have to research new information and learn as much as I can. There’s always more I can do and know in this field because it’s constantly changing. Since I got back from my trip to Thailand in February, I really haven’t spent any time doing ‘nothing.’ I know it sounds silly, but I’m seeing how important it is to relax from time to time. Whenever I do have downtime, I spend it on my computer researching, reading, writing, social media, blogging etc. If I don’t, I feel guilty in the pit of my stomach, that I’m wasting precious time. What I’m beginning to realize is that’s not true at all. Balance is key in life folks, and if you don’t mix up the hustle with some chill time, you’ll lose your mind. Literally.
My dad has always been a big influence on me and my work ethic. He started with little and has helped build a very successful business and grinding for years to make it happen. I admire that so much that I have taken on that very same go-getter personality. This weekend though, I felt like my body hit a wall. The momentum of endless energy I had seemed to dissipate into complete exhaustion. When I would try to think of an event, place or person, I could feel my brain rushing to create the connections and gather information but I couldn’t recall all the details, only a single image of what I was thinking of. And then poof, it was gone. Like those neural pathways were short-circuited and my mind went blank. The frustration to follow left me feeling immensely dizzy, flushed and nauseous. I would need to take a few minutes to close my eyes and try to center myself. It was terrifying feeling out of control and not being able to make sense of what was happening to me.
On Sunday I hung out with my best friend who witnessed this glitch happen mid-conversation several times throughout the day. We went to a spa (much needed) and as I laid down on the warm, damp floor of the quiet steam room, I began to cry. I started thinking about all the things I’m so grateful for and how easy it is to take those things for granted when everything seems to be moving along smoothly. At any moment, you could lose it all. I thought about my family, my amazing boyfriend, my friends, my cute dog, my great job, and of course, my health. What am I without those things that love me and keep me going? And more importantly, what am I without my health? I wouldn’t be able to enjoy any of those without it.
The next morning my doctor called me to check in, and matching the very same words my boyfriend told me, he said “If it’s one thing I know about Rochelle, it’s that her brain is always ON. When was the last time you turned off your phone or computer and just spent time alone reading, exercising or doing absolutely nothing?” I told him I couldn’t remember. This alone made me realize I haven’t turned off my brain in months, and it’s taking a toll on my body which is trying to tell me to slow.. the.. hell down. To breathe deeper. Laugh longer. Drink more water. Think less, listen more. Allow myself to truly relax and be okay with disconnecting for a while. I forgot these things, but they’re so vital to mental, physical and spiritual health! I encourage everyone to take a moment of pause in this crazy life, to remember what you’re grateful for and to always listen to that little voice inside your head that knows what’s best. Balance is key.