The older you get, the more unlearning you have to do in order to have a life that is healthy and fulfilled. You have to unlearn so much of what society teaches you in order to make sure you are able to live a life that is happy and on your own terms. At 31, there are many things I’ve had to unlearn, from the serious to the superficial. I’ve had to unlearn the desire to live up to respectability politics created by a system that upholds and worships whiteness. Just this week, I’ve unlearned that tanning isn’t for black women. I definitely believe that as you get older, what makes life more interesting and fulfilling isn’t just the knowledge you pick up, but the knowledge you let go of.
One thing I’ve had to unlearn is that being tired and being seen to be working all the time is a sign of success. Whoever said it was right, there is no gold medal in being tired all the time. As a woman, I feel like I am constantly battling against this idea of having the capacity and capabilities of doing it all. Doing it all in terms of keeping on top of my health (mental, physical and emotional), ensuring that I have time to see friends (via Zoom of course), staying on top of current affairs, reading the latest book, keeping a house in order and of course, that pressure to soar high in my career. I’ve spoken about this before but this constant pressure to not just have it all, but do it all, is so detrimental in how we see ourselves, the things we accomplish and it diminishes our ability to enjoy the journey of life.