I am awful at being mindful. Just awful. Do you know how hard it is to be in the present moment ALL THE DAMN TIME?
In any case, it’s a good thing to strive for, but if you’re anything like me, you’ll stress yourself out more if you try to live it.
But back to me. I am trying to be better about being mindful. Last year, I was doing really well. Focusing my on my current emotion, not getting too far into panicked thoughts about the future or what I did wrong in the past.
But then I started a business. A business that women aren’t really welcome in, no matter what values the store starts out with. I was immersed in micro aggressions, off-handed comments about murdering a female character simply because they preferred the original male character, comments about me being an employee and expressing doubt when I stated I was an owner of the store.
I stopped being mindful because I started to fall into depression. The odd thing was, I didn’t realize it until months later. I had put an air of everything being fine. I had begun to believe the lie myself. I lied to myself every day because I thought since I own a business, I can’t be a person any more. I can’t have bad days. Everything must be “Great! How are you? How are the kids? How was your holiday?” I gave more of myself than I ever had before, and ended up losing myself in this persona I created.
Ironically, last year was the year I realized I deserved respect. Not from myself, of course, that’s the longer road I have to travel. But from others. Random customers who barely recognize my existence to people I should be able to trust. It’s taken me a long time to realize I am really good at my job, and while I still pass people along to Brandon, now it is because I know he has specific information about a comic series I may not have read, instead of fear.
As I try to be the best I can be in my work, I will circle back to being mindful. I’ll see if I can actually appreciate the small moments, like when a 7-year old tells me I’m the reason she comes to the store, when a woman tells me I’ve made a safe space for her to shop, when a friend tells me I’m doing great things for the comics community. It can be really difficult with all the crappy moments and casual sexism I see literally every day, but I will try and focus more on the positive. The moments that don’t make me feel like I should just wither, give up, cry, and disappear. I’m sure there are a ton of people that wouldn’t even notice I was gone, but it’s not for those people that I stay(seriously though, fuck those people), it’s for everyone I mentioned previously, but mostly, for me. When this job is good, it’s amazing. It brings me such joy to see people happy to read.
I’m going to keep fighting. Even if it’s only with myself.
Danica LeBlanc // Twitter