The last five or so months of quarantining has really made me reflect on the very Puritanical ideal of constantly working to prove your value and the capitalist concept that your worth is inseparable from your output. But the stress of that was unsustainable pre-pandemic, and now, in the midst of a global crisis and homegrown racism, it feels impossible. In those moments when I just can not, does that mean I don’t have any worth?
It’s been very easy for me to say yes, and try to force myself forward. But that’s also led to a debilitating bout of depression, anxiety, and existential woe.
Make space to learn who you are outside of your work.
So my parting wish to the Girls in Tech community isn’t work related, it’s a wish that I have for myself: Make space to learn who you are outside of your work. Sit with yourself and figure out who you are when you’re not doing anything (or feeling like you should be doing something). And then pour into that person. Give that person all the things they need to feel good. Be gentle with them because they’re existing in “unprecedented times” and need all the kindness they can get.
The most important work you do is the work you do on yourself.
Melissa Kimble of #blkcreatives recently told me the most important work you do is the work you do on yourself. What a time to be doing any work, but that personal discovery is so worth it. It lets you be present and passionate for the work you do that will change your community and the world for the better. It all feeds into each other. But it starts with you.