I don't know who needs to hear this but self-care isn't selfish. Contrary to popular belief, sleep is not exclusively for the rich and the hustle will hustle you out of your peace of mind if you let it, but Kelis isn't about to let the grind, grind her to death.
In a recent interview with SSENSE, she reminded us that our happiness is a national treasure that should be protected at all costs, even if that cost is packing up all your sh*t, selling your home in Glendale, and purchasing a 24-acre farm 80 miles outside of Los Angeles. She told the publication:
"It feels like I earned this. I can walk outside butt naked."
Although she, her husband and two children are still settling down in their new home, Kelis says that her recent move was a much-needed transition.
"We just moved, so I felt unsettled for a while. Now, we get up in the morning and I have my own personal routine. I pray, take some time to myself, and then the kids get up and I make breakfast."
While Kelis has spent much of her life in the spotlight, she says that with maturity, comes an appreciation for seclusion:
"You've got two decades [of that] and you're like, 'I'm okay being 30 minutes away from a store.' It's good for me. I'm able to sit there in the mornings before anyone wakes up and I'm able to pray in silence. When I look out the window and I see these massive dogs playing and my kids are chasing them, it looks like a freaking commercial."
As women, we spend so much of our time taking care of others that self-care becomes irrelevant but it's impossible to fill from an empty cup and you can't help anyone until you help yourself. In the interview, Kelis also reminded us of the importance of finding joy in life's simple joys (without feeling guilty about it).
"There should be no guilt in it. It's the little pleasures. It's about me, for me. I do enough for everybody else. It shouldn't bother nobody. My life is filled with all these little things that I love. Even my little ones, like the littlest, something would come on the TV or on our drive and he's like, 'Mama, you're going to love that. You love that, right?' He's four. And I do it for them. I want them to take notice of the things that they love and the little joys."
Kelis says that although her newfound lifestyle may be inconvenient for some, she sees the change as a "reclaiming" of her rights as a Black American:
"It's inconvenient for someone who cares and wants to be in the mix. I have no desire [for that], so it's everything I've ever wanted. When I started to do research, in the 1920s, black-owned farms in the United States were at 25, almost 30 percent. We are now under two percent, because we were bamboozled into giving up this land. That happens so much in our history. But that's part of the reason we're even here, because of the skills that we inherently have to grow, understand the land, and use things to benefit our health. There's an essence of reclaiming your rights that I love."
Featured image by Juan Veloz for SSENSE.