I don't know if this week was just a test from the cosmos to see if I truly learned from my past lessons or not, but these last few days have been rough. By day, I work as a case manager for one of the many homeless assistance programs where I reside, and since the beginning of 2020 the demand (not need but demand) for help increased. Trying to stay on top of my cases has been a struggle while dealing with the day to day needs of those who step into my agency's doors. And don't get me started on the paperwork...and the notes.... which for the most part has not been a problem. But this week, I will admit, I stretched myself too thin. One of the biggest challenges I am facing is that I care entirely too much for my clients and those who are not assigned to me. Getting people to care for themselves is not my responsibility - that I know - yet, every single day I've made it my mission to try. To inspire those who've never experienced a strong foundation of love; to empower those with the recognition of the unlimited capabilities of self and to remind people that everything begins in the mind is what I strived to do. When it comes to humanity, I take the responsibility to serve seriously. But as a result, unfortunately, I may have burned myself out. A candle can only burn as long as the wick stands...
And then on top of that, every time I logged onto my social media accounts, I'm seeing my peers being recognized for their work- the same work I put into every single day almost for 7 years. Some of them have been publishing for longer than I, while others not quite as long. Some of them have catalogues with 20+ books while others have less and this week, it really hit me hard. My thoughts were damn. How many authors have I supported on my pages and groups and yet, it seems like I have to fight harder for a seat at the table. Why am I not receiving the same recognition if not more when I know for a fact that the passion I have for this craft is unmatched. Then in the same week, I saw Tomi Adeyemi (author of Children of Blood and Bones) and three other authors (of color) were being celebrated for their contributions in the Sci-Fi fantasy genres which is great, but again damn.
Damn. Am I missing something?
It felt as if I am being intentionally looked over and forgotten about by both peers and readers which really left me questioning if I should continue to publish. Quietly I had been struggling with my pen for a year now because a writer with a broken heart is actually ore dangerous than a toddler with a gun. My pen is everything to me because I am the pen. But you know, life happens and as I fought to heal and move forward, creatively I was the equivalent to the fits and starts of an old engine. It took several attempts to get me going and then once I'm started, I am on a roll.
Yet here I am still, with my laptop open and writing away because this is just what I was born to do.
This morning, I reminded myself to get used to not being included, to not be considered a seat at another's table. It saddens and strengthens me knowing that I am not meant to eat with everyone. I just have to focus on building my own table and then I get to decide who sits and eats with me. Truthfully, its hard to see others win when you haven't gotten a break and at least I am honest enough to admit that. And it is even harder to celebrate others, when you are losing faith in yourself.
But I can do this. If I have to push out another hundred books to build a table to feast on then so be it.
Meanwhile, I have to be vigilant probably more than ever with protecting my space and my peace and taking time for myself - especially at work. If you find yourself relating to this blog, remember that you are not alone and if you want something bad enough, fight for it. Keep going, because that is what I am going to do.