During the first half of this year, there was one question everyone kept asking me (besides “how does it feel to be married?”) and that was “how do you do it all?”
It’s a question I’d asked celebrities in my previous life as a journalist, but I was a bit taken aback when people started to ask me … regular ol’ LT from the block.
So how did I balance a full-time job, volunteering and mentoring with three different organizations, freelancing for various publications, working out three to four times a week AND being a newlywed?
Honestly, I didn’t. While it seemed like I had it “all together” on the outside, the truth is I was constantly dropping the ball somewhere and I’m ashamed to admit most of the time, that was at home.
Somewhere along the way hustling became a way of life (thanks a lot, Rick Ross) and living a quieter, simpler, more balanced life was frowned upon … especially for young women. There is tremendous pressure to be constantly “doing.” Because, for some reason, our society makes being busy a badge of honor. Just living your life isn’t “enough.”
And, for better or worse, I got caught up in the hype. I leaned in wayyy too much and now it’s time for me to lean back. #FatJoeStyle
With the exception of a few publications near and dear to me, I’m scaling back on freelancing to focus on my own blog/brand. No, I’m not out here trying to get a million views and go viral. And I cannot tell you how to amass 1k followers on Instagram overnight. That’s not the point.
My goal here on this blog is to simply share my journey and my stories in hope that someone (maybe you) will benefit from them in some small way.
And instead of spreading myself thin, I’m focusing on just ONE mentoring/volunteering opportunity as the 2015-16 Programming Fellow for Polished Pebbles, a nonprofit for young Black girls on Chicago’s South Side. I’ve been volunteering with this awesome organization for almost two years and I’m excited to spearhead the Second Saturday program for the upcoming school year. Because Black girls rock and if you don’t know, you better ask somebody!
Last, but not least, I’m implementing a new personal rule: only one activity or event per evening. So I either work out or write or attend a networking event, but not all three as I’ve been known to do in the past. “Do less, focus more” is my new mantra.
And I have to say, not being busy all the time feels great! I feel like I’ve reclaimed ownership of my life again and, above all else, I’m happy. I’d take that over “doing it all” anytime!
(Images via CreateHER Stock)