In xoNecole's Finding Balance, we profile boss women making boss moves in the world and in their respective industries. We talk to them about their business, their life, and most of all, what they do to find balance in their busy lives.
Myriha Burce is no stranger to working hard towards getting the things she wants. As a black woman, born and raised on the southside of Chicago, she understood the importance of the grind with big dreams to make it to the top. Since college, Myriha has been navigating through the marketing/advertising industry. But, she later realized that she needed more beyond her 9-5 to fill her cup. Currently, she is the Head of Product Marketing for a tech start-up, but she wanted to do more for the community. With that, Myriha tapped into her creative side and launched her very own podcast called "Black Women Talk Work". "With my podcast, the impact is to amplify these stories of black women and their professional experiences. Earlier in my career, I feel there weren't a lot of conversations around the experiences black women tend to face at work. So with my podcast, I want us women to express that, the good and the bad." she told xoNecole.
For Myriha, in order to live a more satisfying life, it helps to tap into other outlets outside of work. Your job helps pay the bills, but is it really your passion? Do you have more than one passion and if so, how are you making time for it? These are the important questions Myriha asks herself while navigating as a working black woman. Myriha values not sticking to one title to find her balance. She believes it is important to make room for other areas to get to that level of peace and joy, we all aspire to reach.
Courtesy of Myriha Burce
For this installment of "Finding Balance", xoNecole had the chance to speak with multi-hyphenate Myriha Burce about tapping into her creative side, her love for making an impact for black women, and the importance of self-care.
xoNecole: At what point in your life did you understand the importance of pressing pause and finding balance in both your personal and professional life?
Myriha Burce: I just left a job at an advertising agency and I had a really awful experience working there. When trying to explain my experience to HR, I remember hitting a wall and them telling me, "This is what it is." This wasn't my first experience, so I was really just fed up. Starting out in my career, I was all about the grind. I was so eager to get everything right. But after feeling fed up, I started to understand that this idea of complete fulfillment from work is not healthy. I was looking at work as a way to bring impact, to completely love the work, to love the people I work with, and just love everything. I feel like that is not completely realistic. I realized it's important to fill other areas of your life with things that you love, so you're not putting all your eggs in the work basket.
What is a typical day in your life? If no day is quite the same, give me a rundown of a typical work week and what that might consist of.
So I have my 9 to 5. But let's be honest, a job doesn't really go from 9 to 5 (laughs). Sometimes, it goes from 8 to 7. I am fortunate to be working from home, so I can take breaks in between. After work, I work on my podcast and record a couple of episodes.
"Starting out in my career, I was all about the grind. I was so eager to get everything right. But after feeling fed up, I started to understand that this idea of complete fulfillment from work is not healthy."
What are your mornings like?
I like slow mornings. I know other people can get up and work out and that is not me (laughs). I like to ease myself into my day with a cup of coffee or tea and a quick flow of yoga. Since quarantine, I have also made it a habit to get fully dressed every day. I literally get dressed as if I'm leaving the house. I even do my hair, makeup, [the works]! For me, when I feel good about how I look on the outside, I feel I perform better at work.
How do you wind down at night?
I have a space in my apartment where I do not do any work. When I sit in my space, I grab a glass of wine and read. I love mystery novels. I will admit I try to take it easy with the self-care books. Don't get me wrong, I think they are great and a lot of them are amazing. But with all the heaviness in the world, I have been trying to get back into reading for fun. The ability of a book to take you somewhere else and to experience something new is a necessary escape.
When you have a busy week, what's the most hectic part of it?
I think staying inspired and staying creative can be a little hectic. It can be very easy to feel drained with everything going on, including working a 9 to 5. Keeping your energy up has become harder during this past year.
Do you practice any types of self-care? What does that look like for you?
In the evenings, when I'm not working late, I generally start to cook. The last couple of years, I've started to really enjoy cooking for myself. For women, a lot of times, we are told this narrative that you have to be able to cook for your family or husband. Which is great, but I think there is something really beautiful about learning to cook for yourself as a way to take care of yourself. Being intentional about cooking a meal for yourself can be a form of self-care.
Another type of self-care that I do is allowing myself to process my feelings more. I allow myself to literally sit with my feelings. We use some of the more popular types of self-care and it can possibly become a crutch instead of actually dealing with what's wrong. Sometimes it's easy to take a bubble bath and zone out. But for me, I think sitting with my feelings and not finding an immediate outlet has been a great tool to understand myself better.
What advice do you have for busy women who feel like they don’t have time for self-care?
This woman said to me once, "The world is not going to stop or crumble, if that project does not go perfectly." As women, when we are focusing on our career, we want to give it our all. The fact of the matter is, nothing is permanent and nothing is guaranteed. It's about trying not to tie up your self-worth in what you are producing in your job. I mean I still have my moments where I fall back into I need to do this and I need to do that. But we must ask ourselves, if this job goes away, will I still feel like myself? Ask yourself, "What else have you done to fill the other areas of your life, if this job is gone tomorrow?"
"Sometimes it's easy to take a bubble bath and zone out. But for me, I think sitting with my feelings and not finding an immediate outlet has been a great tool to understand myself better."
How do you find balance with:
Your 20's are very interesting with friendships. They start to ebb and flow and it's such a weird time. I try to approach friendships by letting them navigate organically. When people come into your life and they are adding value, allow them to do that. But if life sends them away, allow them to leave. Sometimes we feel like we have to control our friends and hold them accountable. But everyone is struggling, so it's hard to put that pressure on people. Being able to give people grace and not forcing expectations is the lens I have taken.
I try to work out at home two to three times a week. I recently invested in a personal trainer and it has been fantastic. I was a cheerleader in college [and] in college, you work out as a team. So it has been a little hard getting into the rhythm of working out alone. But I took a leap and it has been great focusing on my health and wellness in all its capacities.
Honestly, what does success and happiness mean to you?
Success for me is impact. I am still seeing what that looks like. But bringing something to the community, especially the black community, is so important right now. I have always gravitated towards projects where there is an opportunity for some sort of positive impact. Looking back on my life when I'm older, I want to be able to say I made an impact in such a way for my community. Now, with happiness, happiness to me is my freedom. I feel like the happiest I will be is when I am able to completely indulge in all of my interests. I do think I am constantly getting closer and closer to that too. Not feeling confined to one lane, or title, or space is what happiness feels like for me.
For more of Myriha Burce, follow her on Instagram here.
Featured image courtesy of Myriha Burce