Self Care is important. I forgot about that in this process. I let go of me. I gave them more of me. I did not see me. Everything was coming at me. I kept working. Still, I did not see me. Now, I see me. Who am I; How did I forget me? Sudden freedom happened in an instant. I accepted it. I (want) wanted it. My self-care – me.

Moving to another state was one of the best things that happened at the ending of my thirties. I stepped into new horizons and it was the beginning of my professional career as a librarian. Where I lived, the city decor – historic. The stories that derive from the history – disturbing. As time went on, I never allowed myself to become a part of what I was experiencing as it pertains to chaos and anarchy: Missouri is the beginning of the North (despite popular opinion). The Missouri Compromise – still has energy (living and breathing) and is unbearable at times (the history) if you identify as a person of color regardless of where you live in this state. That energy was a force that propelled me to resign from my place of employment this past week.

Everyone has their own way of dealing with transition. For me that place of limbo feels surreal. Abstract, even. Here are my stream of consciousness reflections at this time of transition.

Gratitude – I am thankful for the opportunity to have started my career at a historically Black institution. The beautiful chaos finally had (has) an end. Every movie has an ending; hopefully what you thought would happen did occur at the end. And, then there are times that the ending does not turn out the way you expected. Everything that I thought would happen during my stay here did happen, but life steps in and places a few things on your plate to see if you can handle the taste and then the aftertaste. Whew. I think you may have felt that just like I did.

Self-Care– I need to see me (again). I took the freedom route. Sometimes details are not needed. Just know that I have arrived at a new place in my life and I am all in. I am ready to accept what I have to do to have the success that I deserve and life that I want in my 40’s era. I can acknowledge that where I am now is in a state of really understanding what it means to know what self-care means in the grand scheme of your life as a Black woman and a professional. (Sidebar info: I will always talk about my culture with the masses, it brings context to my thought process and cultural DNA.). Fighting for what is right for your life, your uniqueness, your creative self, and individuality should never be up for sale.

Photo: kreativeyoungmillionaire

The process of knowing what you have to give and offer should be massaged in the self-care regime – You can’t always give it all away.

Some things should be created or manifested in another place or time. Never give all of your magic away in one place or setting.

Discovery – I read The 48 Laws of Power during all of this. I recommend that you read it too. I think it gave me balance, and I will be reading it through this self-care regime that I have no title for but that I want to be healthy again. I think that stress is real and to be my best self – choosing self-care is always the best option for my life. I have always been a realist. In this process, this new-found freedom route that has embarked upon my life gives me the opportunity to let some baggage go, exercise, get back to eating healthy, and writing! Facing all of this has not been easy being a creative person, conditioned to always give rather than receive. Not having access to culture: art, bookstores, museums, and institutions (within driving distance) -which feeds my soul and helps to release a lot of stress – has been dismal to say the least . I welcome this exit. But, life is easy. I take it at face value. Living is easy. I take it at face value.

Legacy– You have to live every day regardless of what is happening in the moment. I will always be Black and a woman  – my DNA is a part of a legacy that began in the fields of North Carolina. My 4th generation grandfather was a Black Farmer and my grandmother was a housewife – both literate. The Sherrell family migrated from the Carolina’s to the great state of Texas after the Emancipation Proclamation was signed and were married in 1878. I take pride in the fact that I know this much about my history; I will always have a freedom route.

I was built for this life no matter how challenging it can be at times.

I am ready for what is next. Every door that is closed – leads to another door that will open. Now on repeat: self-care regime and maximizing the art of being free. #iamthefuture



KYmberly Keeton
Writer | Academic Librarian | Creative Mixologist