Do not be afraid to disappear from it, from us for a while, and see what comes to you in the silence
“Do not be afraid to disappear from it, from us for a while, and see what comes to you in the silence".
These are the words of Michaela Coel as she accepted her Emmy Award for her tv show that was based around one of the most difficult experiences of her life. While sitting in the silence, she was able to create something so brilliant, awe-inspiring and life changing for thousands of people, out of her deadly and traumatic experience of being sexually assaulted. What could happen, then, if you disappeared for a while? If you paused to see what comes to you in the silence?
This has been heavy on our minds because lately, we have been trying our best to transition, readjust, and get reacclimated to ourselves and the world around us. In a world that forces us to constantly produce, constantly show up despite our hardships and constantly view the supposedly ‘glamorous’ and ‘carefree’ lives of others through social media, disappearing seems, or seemed, impossible. What does that actually look like? Well, Sierra and I have been forced, in a way, to figure that out. Life has been nothing but a rollercoaster, full of ups, downs, sideways turns, and flips, never knowing what the next day would look like. So, for us, disappearing meant turning inward, and focusing on upkeeping our physical and mental health throughout all of the changes.
The next blog post will be about death and rebirth of self and how difficult these are to navigate without sinking into a hole of despair and staying there. But for now, just know that navigating constant change and transformation of circumstances means your first line of defense against the hole is trying to keep a healthy mental state. And this was how we managed. And no, we’re not talking about Self-Care Sundays where we just sat in bubble baths and drank peach smoothies (though, now that I’m typing, it doesn’t sound like a bad idea, lol!). Upkeeping a healthy mental state meant making sure we ate everyday. It meant making sure we were showering often, keeping our home clean and staying in touch with our spirituality. It meant we were intentionally doing things that brought joy into our lives. It meant that we were intentionally letting go of habits, people, spaces, and things that did not make us feel like our best selves. And focusing on these caused us to disappear.
We weren’t on social media. As a matter of fact, we both went several months with those apps deleted from our phones. People didn’t know our business, either. If they weren’t people who absolutely needed to know what was going on so they could help if we needed it, friends or acquaintances didn’t know what we were working on. We spent our days upkeeping our physical and mental health and adding in joy whenever, or wherever, we could. I started an indoor garden, Sierra and I were painting and decorating our home with art, we went on walks, and comforted and confided in each other when we needed it. And I know what you’re thinking: what if you don’t have anyone? Don’t fret, this is the case for most people.
If you don’t have anyone, that’s OK. Whoever is in your life during these changes that are supporting you and bringing you positivity, means they are meant to be there. And those who are not being positive or not adding any value to your life or severing their ties with you while you disappear, means they aren’t meant to be there. And if you look up and find that all you have is yourself, this means that you are all you need.
So where do you begin? How do you start this process? You start by reflecting. It is essential that we reflect, and that we acknowledge all of our experiences, traumas, and transitions without judgement, and without the pressures that are placed on us to constantly have our progress or achievements be displayed. Understand that the only validation you need is that from yourself.
While you’re reflecting, listen to what comes up for you. Pay attention to your body and your emotions. Write down what you feel as you think about certain experiences. Or paint it. Or sing it. And be compassionate with yourself; your reflections won’t always be pretty.
Also, add joy into your life. Life is not meant to be spent hounding over work, or school or the opinions of other people. Life is meant to be enjoyed. So while you’re dealing with the mistakes, traumas, disappointments and hurts from the past, it is essential that you forgive yourself for whatever guilt or shame you may be carrying with you from those past experiences and give yourself the happiness and care you deserve. Add joy into your life everyday, even if it’s watching funny videos on YouTube or singing in the shower.
Don’t be afraid to take a step away and truly examine how much has truly changed about the world and your life and how much those changes have affected who you are now. We all need to retreat to ourselves so that we can create moments of silence for us to create room for our newest and highest version of ourselves.
We ask you when was the last time you took a real break? A break that even the heavy gaze of the world couldn’t penetrate or impact?
What changes in your life have impacted how you view the world and how you view yourself?
If you have already taken a true break, what new insights have you learned about yourself?
What have you been grieving? What parts of yourself have been shed? What has become anew?
We’ll be here while you figure it out.
Azé and Sierra