I’m tired. This isn’t going to be a sunshiny post, and I may not have any effective words of wisdom at the end.
But bitch, I’m tired.
There are things that I used to accept as compliments – things people have said to me about my ability to carry burdens, persevere through obstacles, and deliver the goods. Those comments used to make me smile and feel seen, but I reject them now. I feel increasingly invisible the more I’m buried under them – so what is there to smile about?
I’m tired of feeling valuable to people simply because of what I do for them. I’m tired of my skills being “rewarded” with additional tasks siphoned from people who get paid much more than me, because I’m “so much better at it.” I’m tired of getting a kiss on the cheek and a sheepish “Thanks for taking care of that” after cleaning up someone else’s literal or figurative mess. I’m tired of saying “No problem,” thinking that they’ll realize I didn’t say “You’re welcome” and maybe realize that there is a problem.
I’m tired of putting in 100% for people who dig in their couch cushions and offer me a measly 50%. I’m tired of showing up on time and prepared to give my best to people who are late and raggedy. I’m tired of seeing that same raggedy, mediocre work get pushed to the forefront and heralded as greatness, knowing that if I ever dared to be raggedy or mediocre, there would be no second chances.
I’m tired of saying “I’m sorry” first. I’m tired of putting down an invitation that isn’t picked up. I’m tired of being too available for some and not available enough for others.
I’m tired of always feeling like I have to be smarter, faster, better, the best. I’m tired of feeling like my smart isn’t smart enough and my best isn’t good enough. I’m tired of wondering which step to take next, which door to knock on, which doorway is meant for me to build on my own.
I’m tired of being asked to educate people who don’t really want to learn. I’m tired of being expected to reason with the unreasonable. I’m tired of my mistakes being magnified and of not being allowed a modicum of grace.
I’m tired of wearing the “Strong” mask, the “Everything’s Fine” mask, the “Don’t Worry About It, I’ll Do It” mask. I’m tired of wondering when it’s safe for me to take them off. I’m tired of people acting like something is wrong with me when I do. Au contraire – that’s when everything starts to feel a bit more right.
All I have left is a bit of energy to change the trajectories of what exhausts me. I’m going to get some rest. I’m going to remind people how to treat me. I’m going to live as authentically as I can. I’m going to dust myself off and try again. I’m going to go get what’s mine.