Why is it that when someone asks what you’ve been up to your mind instantly goes blank.
It’s like those exact words magically create some sort of white space in your head and you instantly forget every damn thing you’ve been doing in your life.
There’s no doubt that I’ve accomplished things throughout my daily hours. And at the end of the day (on a good day) I can aptly check off a few things from my dynamically growing “to-do” list. I’ve rocked out at work and completed (or made strides on) projects, made it to the gym, knocked out some homework assignments, cooked dinner, did household chores, made social engagements, played with the dog, got a few self-care activities in.. Productivity.
And even though my mind is essentially a big bowl of mushy hot grits at the end of it all because I’m hovering between being generally pleased with what I’ve accomplished and still kinda pissed at what I haven’t, I’m usually in a good place by the time I’m able to lean back with my herbal tea and call it a night.
But as I said before, when you’re standing there and someone is smiling broadly into your face.. having been thoughtful (or simply polite) enough to ask about what’s actually been going on with you.. the typically, humbling response that’s uttered is “nothin much.”
Now sometimes there isn’t anything going on interesting. And the hohumdum (yes that’s a word.. say it how it reads friend *side eye*) of life is just beautifully moving chaos that isn’t worth mentioning.
But if you’re anything like me, you’re muttering these two little words for one of two reasons.. 1) There’s so much going on that you don’t even know where to begin or 2) It’s Personal.
Case Number 1.
Remember that mind racing situation you usually have at the end of the day when you’re tallying up the dones and need-to-dos.. yea. It’s something like that.
What have I been up to?..
You mean today?
Do you start with what’s been taking up most of your time or what’s taking up most of your heart? Are they the same things?
Sometimes, I know people see me as an easy, breezy kinda person. I go with the flow of life and don’t seem to have too many worries or cares..
And I work hard for that image.
It’s true that I see life through rose colored glasses on most days. I am the epitome of positive thinking and typically manage to see the light in all things (and people). But I work my ass off everyday to have that privilege.
I’ve seen what happens to young, Black women who let life get the better of them. Who are lazy, unfocused, and misinformed.
Negative and energy drained.
Lost and unhappy.
So I am constantly and consistently using my days to better myself and create a life where I have the ability to live in the sun. I involve myself with people and activities that expand my mind and open my heart and soul to new ideas and perspectives so that I can craft my own how-to manual for life..
It’s difficult to try and explain the intricate movements needed or millions of steps that I take to get there.
So I don’t.
I usually end up letting people think I’m breezing through life because that makes it easier to mesmerize them.
Case Number 2.
Although there are times that it is hard to pinpoint the information that I would like to share because there is so much going on, I think the biggest thing (with me at least) is evaluating how much I should.
Sort of like finding the level of security people should have with my personal information, if you will.
It really all comes down to identifying how much insight I’m willing to give someone. And the answer is always dependent on my comfort level and how much I trust this person in my personal space.
Because let’s be real..are your job description and duties really that complex?
Sure there are some specific intricacies that come along with it, but there is always a layman’s way of explaining to someone outside of your field what you did today.
What you’re really trying to gauge is if you’re going to disclose how difficult it was to figure out how to solve that problem you faced this morning. How, because you had to work on it until late afternoon instead of the couple hours before lunch, you are now behind on the deadline of another project you needed to be working on. How the task was manageable but difficult and thereful left you feeling vulnerable.
And will you share the microaggressions your coworker gives off subtley and DAILY that you are becoming more and more exhasuted with addressing and have now chosen to not speak on everyday but feel that it gives said colleague the permission to keep issuing these problematic statements and actions..
And of course your home and personal life is huge step in vulerability and trust. How open are we about feeling overwhelmed in our position in our family structure (or lack there of).
I know I’m typically not.
It’s very rare that I disclose my romantic relationship status or how I’m feeling about not having children in a world that expects me to. Letting people know that I struggle almost daily with both of these things is scary as fuck.
But you know what we have to make sure we’re not doing..
In the process of being private and keeping yourself safe don’t let yourself be a secret.
Don’t dim your light because it’s easy and less likely for you to get hurt.
You have to let people in.
I’m telling myself this more and more each day. I’ve always been someone has been good at listening and more comfortable in silence. And with the added training from my background in psychology and counseling.. I thoroughly appreciate the art of hearing people rather than speaking.
But in the words of someone very wise (probably me *shrug*) ..Don’t live life small.. Give yourself permission to live a big, Beautiful life.
and let people know what youve been up to. Because you’ve been doing Amazing things..
And they care.