As you are reading this, you're probably multitasking four different projects, agreed to squeeze in your best friend for lunch despite your hectic morning schedule, and are in the process of finalizing the finishing touches on your new business venture, which you do in your "free time". You do it all and make it look easy, but we know it's a skill – a gift, to be exact.
Some may say the sun makes the world go-round, but it's really us.
We are the emergency call when our friends need someone to review their resumes, the people our co-workers turn to when they need a second look over a presentation, the people who stay up until 2:00am making chili to bring to the church potluck, the moms working full-time jobs and still double checking homework problems, the "I remember today is your birthday" people, the "Don't worry, I gotchu" people, the hands you high-five on a good day, and the hands you hold onto on a bad day.
We are superwomen in a world that constantly needs saving…and we are tiredt.
Far too often, black women are regarded as some kind of magical medicine for societal issues. Time and time again, particularly on social media, I see posts suggesting that the problematic independent decisions of irresponsible people can be cured with a black woman's touch. Our country is a mess? Oprah for President! Kanye is acting a fool? Where's his black mama?
Black women are not your blanket.
The same pedestal that has branded us as being reliable and emotionally invested in always bettering the world around us is the same pedestal from which we can fall to our demise by juggling too many things at once. Right now, we're the coach, player, and referee. Running up and down, down and up, and feel like if we said, "No," the world would fall apart. But, who dries our tears when the pressure becomes too much? Who is our emergency call?
Have you ever stopped and taken the time to think about what would happen if you said "no" for a change? Believe it or not: life keeps moving forward. The same people we have taught to call us 24/7 will find other sources and maybe even step up to the plate every once in a while. I promise.
There is a big difference between being a "yes woman" and "yasss woman".
If it truly excites you, gets your juices flowing, and adds value to your life, say "yasss" to it. But, if you are only saying "yes" out of obligation or fear of disappointing others, say "no" and don't look back.
My grandma loves to say, "Someone who is drowning will pull others down with them."
Translation: You can't help others without helping yourself first, and it's the gospel truth.
We can't save the world if we are constantly running on E with our edges falling out. It will not be easy, but it will be for the best.
Focus on self-care, prioritize your responsibilities, save the world, but k(no)w yourself – say "no", so you can say "yasss" to things you truly care about. Go, girl.
Your Fellow Overachiever & Newly Converted Yasss Woman
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*Featured image via Raheel Yanful courtesy of the writer