Life Lessons Straight from the NICU

One night at work, I was drawing newborn labs when I had a realization. Newborn labs are a mandatory procedure that we do on all babies where we stick their heel to obtain a blood sample. While most babies usually let out a little cry, they are normally easily soothed. However, on this particular night, my baby was screaming to the top of her lungs! All the other nurses were looking at me like I had done something wrong and looking at the baby wishing she would be quiet. I continued drawing the blood while she continued to kick and scream. I thought I’d comfort her by saying, “It’s okay baby girl, it helps to cry it out sometimes.”

I instantly stopped what I was doing and realized I was talking to myself. I realized that I was pressing through life so hard; I was stuck on being this strong, unemotional, black woman that I had portrayed myself to be for so long that I was numb to my own needs. I had given so much to other people that I was loosing myself. Those that know me know I cry over everything, but rarely over myself.

That morning I came home, sat out on my balcony and allowed myself to cry it out… and it felt so good! I was able to be vulnerable and get real with myself about all the things that I had been holding in. The older I get, the more I am starting to realize that suppressing emotions is NOT healthy!  I’ve recently started seeing the negative effects of holding on to emotional baggage and I vow to never do it again. As I reflected on all the things that life threw at me last year, I realized I never gave myself time to cope with them. Last fall was rough for me, but it was also very busy. I was working relentlessly behind the scenes for my blog release in January while preparing to step out on faith and start my new job in February. I never gave Tanisha time to work on Tanisha and my life was starting to reflect it.

So I did what any #girlboss would have done; I took control over the areas of my life that I could and let go of the things that I couldn’t. I took one month off to focus on myself and it was BEAUTIFUL. I was able to spend some much needed time alone figuring out what I needed to do to make sure I was happy. I worked out more, I got more rest, I drank more water, and wholeheartedly practiced self-love. I no longer allowed negative situations to harden my heart, I simply dismissed them.

Taking a step back from life gave me clarity on the ugly characteristics of myself and the strength to work on them. It also allowed me to fall back in love with the beautiful characteristics that I almost lost in the process of pleasing others. The biggest lesson I learned was that it’s okay to be both a masterpiece and a work in progress at the same time!



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