Black Joy Parade, Oakland, CA (2020)

I take my rest as seriously as I do my hustle

Carlie Jones

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On my best Sundays, the most mundane chores feel like milk and honey.

I wake up ready to spend my morning, my afternoon, and the top of my evening on my feet in the kitchen. Usually, the session starts with a grandiose fantasy that i’ll cook a “resturant style” 3-piece breakfast. But, before I know it, I’ve progressed. I’m blending smoothies for the week, experimenting with a new dish, cleaning out the refrigerator, cooking entrees enough to last me through Thursday, and scrubbing the counters clean. My fancy breakfast has grown room temp. Somewhere between the sound beating through my speakers and the swaying of my hips as I drip down to the tile I’ve transformed into a Tasmanian multitasking queen.

Simultaneously, the joy of a hundred ancestors lights me up.

Now this is what I call restoration.

A bath with epson salts, floating candles, and Norah Jones. A hot oil hair treatment and face mask. Shaving my legs. Drinking water with chia seeds, a squirt of lemon juice, and two whole strawberries. If I’ve played my cards right, I can press pause on my less sexy responsibilities for the day. My self-care won’t surrender to the confides of the kitchen or the pressure of an impending Monday. Instead of spending another restless night swimming in a sea of stress-sweat, I go to sleep Sunday smiling at the affirmation that I’ll manifest another fantastic week.

I take my rest as seriously as I do my hustle

because, as a Black woman, Our money hungry society sure doesn’t. Black women have to overcome more, struggle more, worry more, and, in general, be more — for everyone. But, to be honest, it’s not even a bright line Black vs White phenomena. Over the past month, for example, I’ve become engrossed with the Britney Spears conservatorship issue. Capitalism and sexism aren’t racist or classist; and, let’s face it, they don’t treat majority of idenitites with diginty.

Throughout February, I tend to reflect on Blackness, feminism, and the intersection of the two. I come from a multi-racial family, and was primarily raised by my White mother. At eight years-old, she dropped unconsiously to the downtown Seattle, Washington, streets from a heart attack. She was in her late 30s — but, she was a single mother, a full-time employee, and a woman working in a budding technology industry. There was no time for rest.

You think burnout won’t ever happen to you. Until, all the sudden, you’re waking yourself up via strangulation. Until, all the sudden, you don’t know who to call on your days off. Until, all the sudden, you don’t know the lyrics to your favorite songs. Until, all the sudden, you feel guilty for waking up on CP time on a Sunday.

My mother’s heart attack was almost twenty years ago. Yet, this nuggest of my Black herstory reveals two relevant morals. First, you are more important than your production for the rest of the world. Second, killing yourself softly is not what it takes to succeed as a woman in the (insert profession) industry.

Invest in your passion projects. But, remember to sleep, rembemer to bathe, and remember to cook yourself food that isn’t Maruchan. Remember that it’s OK to make the space for you to clean your room, your apartment, your house, your corner of the world wherever it is. Having work that fulfills you is a blessing, but don’t forget to create the space to be mindful. Intentionally making space to enjoy the mundane activities that make up life — e.g., grocery shopping — is important.

It’s funny how day by day nothing changes, but, when you look back everything is different. So, enjoy the in-betweens.

This month, my family grew +1. I have a new nephew! A first born birthed by an amazing, intelligent, beastly, courageous, strong-willed, Black woman — my baby sister. This month, I celebrated my mother’s virtual year around the sun — with her mother (thankfully). This month, I hosted a Black History Month event and was featured in an article by my job.

Black herstory at the intersection of Black Girl Magic.

It took a while, but I finally feel like I can genuinely say it — Happy New Year!

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Carlie Jones

Carlie is an advocate, activist, and artist dedicated to manifesting the future she wants to leave behind for others. She loves yellow, pig latin, and puppies.