Quantcast
Every Major Win In My Life Came After A Breakdown
Shutterstock

Every Major Win In My Life Came After A Breakdown

Breaking down is a sign that you're about to build yourself back up.

Her Voice

I was 22 years old and jobless when I stepped out of a taxi cab in Brooklyn, New York after leaving my California life and relocating to a city I had never even been to.

My college friend had secured an apartment for us and I had three interviews lined up for the week. It was November, cold and rainy. The coat I bought at my favorite shop in Oakland was the only New York weather-appropriate item of clothing I owned. I didn't care. I was riding on a high and I had no plans for that high to go down. I was young without a single tie to anyone and now I was 3,000 miles away from everyone who knew me.

My life was finally beginning.

The next night, I cried so hard in my shower that I almost threw up.

This became my nightly routine.

All of it was so overwhelming. A brand new place, a brand new culture, and with only one friend in my east coast roster, suddenly it all felt like a terrible decision. I called my mom a week later and confessed that things weren't going as well as I thought they would and she immediately offered to send me a flight back home. I grappled with the idea of heading back, tail between my legs, my attempt at adulthood a short-lived failure. I couldn't do it. So, instead of packing my things and moving back home, I learned one of the most important lessons of my life:

Breaking down is a sign that you're about to build yourself back up.

As women, we're all very familiar with the feeling of breaking down. It may come in the form of depression or anti-social behavior or intense procrastination or just uncontrollable weeping. Usually when we're on the brink, we do our best to prevent it.

"I need to take a vacation because I'm on the edge of a breakdown," is something we've all said at some point. But, since breaking down is an inevitable part of life, maybe it's time we changed the way we approach it.

Instead of tapping out or avoiding it completely, try this instead: do your best to embrace the breakdown.

We walk around all day showing our best face to the world as we encounter things like intersectional oppression and constant criticism. Not to mention the addition of life's little gems, like break-ups, financial strain, friends letting us down, or injury and illness. When life feels really heavy and you think you're about to lose it, take a moment and allow yourself to lose it. Cry in the shower, cut off the world for a week, sleep for an entire day, scream into the night.

Why?

Because letting it out makes room for the glow up.

It's in there, hiding underneath the pressure and stress you've been holding onto. It's waiting for you to deal with all the emotions that are simmering just below your surface.

Once you admit to yourself that you can't handle what's in front of you, the next step is to forgive yourself. You're not superwoman, you can't do it all and you've been trying your best. Say it in the mirror, "I can't do it all, and that's okay."

Back when I was crying in the shower, the thing that pulled me through was not some magical solution that fell into my lap. I admitted I was overwhelmed, forgave myself for being weakened by a new situation, and decided to change my step. I started going out more, met new people, and began building a new circle of friends. I got a job that I liked and started having more fun. But those actions would have never been possible if all I did was sit under the feeling of being overwhelmed pretending everything was ok. How could I walk into a room and make an impression on new people if I'm awkwardly trying to smile through unresolved pain?

Freeing myself was key.

Now, when I feel a breakdown coming on, the narrative is different.

I cry or sleep or run away for a weekend but then I tell myself that it's time to make some life changes. I forgive myself for needing to shift my plan based on my emotional health and I'm reminded once again that I'm my closest ally. Life will inevitably get to be too much sometimes, especially for a woman of color.

Take the time and space to allow yourself to feel it, and know that another shining moment is waiting on the other side.

Did you know that xoNecole has a new podcast? Join founder Necole Kane, and co-hosts Sheriden Chanel and Amer Woods, for conversations over cocktails each and every week by subscribing to xoNecole Happy Hour podcast on Itunes and Spotify.

xoNecole is always looking for new voices and empowering stories to add to our platform. If you have an interesting story or personal essay that you'd love to share, we'd love to hear from you. Contact us at submissions@xonecole.com.

Originally published on December 29, 2017.

Featured image by Shutterstock

5 Tips To Survive SAD Season
The fall season promises us many things: cool crisp air, warm scented flavors ruminating throughout, and cozy cable knit sweaters. For many of us however, the fall is also the beginning of Seasonal Affective Disorder, or simply SAD.
Keep reading...Show less
The daily empowerment fix you need.
Make things inbox official.
A Cancer Diagnosis Before I Turned 30 Taught Me The Importance Of Surrender

I've spent the past five years of my life learning to love myself and striving to be at peace. After being in a constant state of learning and unlearning, I was ready to breathe. I was ready to be free and live. So, when I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer last July, I didn't know how to feel.

Keep reading...Show less
Queen Latifah Reveals The Woman Responsible For Her Laid Locks & Perfect Color

Queen Latifah has received many accolades over the course of her career such as a Grammy, BET Lifetime Achievement award, and an Emmy. But one category she continues to slay in is best hair, in which we can all agree she gets 10’s all across the board. Whether it’s a red carpet appearance, advertising, or acting in roles such as The Equalizer, Queen Latifah's, born Dana Elaine Owens, hair is always laid.

Keep reading...Show less
Style Forecast: 6 Spring Trends That Are Fresh From The Runway

New York Fashion Week has come and gone, but the fashion moments will remain forever. After getting an up close and personal look at a few of my favorite collections, I spotted an array of exciting spring trends coming down the runway. From emerging designers such as No Sesso to CFDA winner Theophilio and Luar, these were just a few that set the tone for what is soon to come.

Keep reading...Show less
Tia Mowry Is Reminding Us All About The Power Of Setting Boundaries And Self-Love

Tia Mowry is choosing self-love as a path to happiness, which may be the reason behind her glow. While she announced on Instagram that she was divorcing her husband of 14 years, Cory Hardrict, she is focusing on herself. In an interview with Access Hollywood, which took place days before she announced her divorce, the mother of two shared the secret behind her recent glow.

Keep reading...Show less
Exclusive Interviews
Latest Posts