Crazy or Courageous? You Decide

I’m bent but not broken! That was the title of a meeting I attended a couple of weeks ago. My first thought was who are these CRAZY leaders sharing their very personal stories about mental health, depression, and work-life struggles AT work. I thought to myself, “I wonder if they forgot we are at work. Are there leaders on this call? How will this impact their performance ratings?” As I continued to listen to the many heartfelt stories, that my mind shifted . These leaders weren’t CRAZY they are COURAGEOUS. And I was even prouder to know one of them is my direct report. Then I started to do a little self assessment and think about how I was I really feeling at that moment.

What words would I use to describe how I was feeling if someone was to ask? And I would respond honestly and not my normal, “I’m good let’s talk about you.”

Exhausted.

Stressed.

Anxious.

Unfocused.

Conflicted.

All came to mind.  So, now what? I have had a feeling for a few months that I needed to take a real break from work. To be honest, I needed a break from life and just focus on Shana. No work. No cleaning. No cooking. No obligations. CRAZY right? It would not make sense to take time away from work in the busiest most unprecedented chaos in the history of the company and definitely in my life. Now, is not the time. My team needs me. Some of them are struggling with adjusting to this unUsusal time too. They have personal problems that make mine seem so trivial at times. They need me. Right?

When the call ended, I sat in my office and cried for a couple of hours. It was time. I was going to do something CRAZY. I was determined to do something for Shana that I desperately needed. I was going to take some real time off of work. It’s easy preaching to others about self-care, rest, eat healthy, exercise and take time off for yourself no questions asked. But I realized I was busy impacting the lives of others and neglecting my very own. Even the strong gets tired. I’m tired!

My mind was made up that I needed to leave but how? What would this CRAZY decision do to my career? I’ve sat at the table when so-called leaders BLACKlisted (pun intended) leaders for promotions, high profile projects, and higher raises who had valid reasons for taking a leave from work. I have only been with the company a little over two years and I’m not sure about the culture and hidden values(if any) exists. Nor can I care more about a job than myself. And then my mind shifted to… what if I take a break and am able to receive a full restoration: healthier physically, mentally and spiritually! That would truly be an inspirational story to others! Romans 8:28 reads, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” And at that moment, I decided June 1 I would take the next step in my journey to #BecomingMe!

The discussion with my leader was tough but mostly because I had feelings of guilt and embarrassment. Yes, I felt embarrassed to explain that I needed to take time away from work at a time where everyone’s role is essential to keep the engine running. But I was simply out of gas. The conversation was well received and supported. No, it was encouraged. I had unnecessarily applied stress and pressure to my request that wasn’t warranted.

I felt compelled to have a conversation with my team to explain my CRAZY decision. Again, they were nothing short of compassionate, supportive and understanding. One of them even said, “Shana it’s not CRAZY it’s COURAGEOUS.”

As I sit on my porch watching the sun rise this morning, I am grateful that I may have been bent but I am definitely not broken. The journey to becoming me is uncomfortable yet exciting but I am not alone. Who is with me? Comment below #IamUnapologeticallyMe

 

In full restoration and trusting God,

Shana

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28 thoughts on “Crazy or Courageous? You Decide

  1. Shana, One of the most important things in life is a rested, uncluttered, stress- free, unpressured, sound mental health and body. When your profession and calling in life is the very essence of a continuous pouring out of yourself for the building up of others, then replenish is not an option. It’s called running on empty. In order to be a refresher, one must be refreshed. Great decision Shana. This is the very best thing that you can do for ” YOU” !!!!!

  2. Shana, thank you for sharing, your story touched me in such a way it made me reflect on my own life. YOU are courageous. My prayer also is for God to continue to help us and heal us as a nation. To quote my Pastor; ” Be Hopeful, Be Healthy and Be Helpful.” Love you! ❤🙏🏾

  3. Thank you so much for sharing this is yet another courageous step in its own to be open about work-life. It takes so much for a person that is expected to perform highly all gas, no breaks, to say hey..you’ve used all I got, let me recharge. Keep on keeping on!

      • Shana, this message and your obedience is so powerful. So many of us feel the urge to press pause, yet are conflicted with the need to be, “The Little Engine that Could”…push a little farther. What we’re missing is that even engines have to turn off; get tune-ups and oil changes. Thank you for listening to your true needs… thaaaaaank you for being transparent…thank you for being, “Unapologetically You”!

  4. Thank you for sharing. We all need to evaulate when we need to take a break. We could be hindering versus helping when we dont take some time for ourselves. I think my biggest struggle that a lot of women can relate to is finding the balance between being selfish and selfless.

  5. Thank you so much for being so open and leading by example! Seeing you be so transparent and courageous shows me that it is ok for me to take care of myself too. Thank you for teaching me to allow myself to take care of me.

  6. Prayers sent!
    I have struggled with stress from grief for years. I could never explain it, it was just an emotion that sometimes took my breath away. I know that work related stress is a different kind of beast. I self isolated to avoid being a burden to others. I prayed, I slept, I cried, I exercised, read books, and I focused for a lonnnnng time. I did not know how to explain it and I feared I would be misunderstood. I am sure no one understood. Heart Mind and Body (golpes) STROKES THE SOUL! God knew It was what (I) needed for ME. Life is Fantastic and incredibly Beautiful.
    Every-Everything is full circle.
    Thanks for sharing.
    You have a huge heart, take care of it. You are so Loved and I want you to know I LOVE YOU too❣🙏💪👑

  7. Great article Shana! I appreciate your transparency and agree! You are courageous and can appreciate your leadership’s support and understanding. A mistake in one’s life should not be a summation of them as a person. That’s when biases take place. Then accountability is inconsistent and it depends on who you are not what their history and actions have shown. Keep your head up. Take the time you need for self care. Much respect to you. ❤️
    #BLACKlisted

  8. Other than God, no one can hear you better than you. I know, because I am just learning that lesson as well. Listen to your body, it speaks, listen to your heart it drives who you are. Listen to your mind, it is the library of your experiences. Then act!

    • Yes, God requires us to just Do it!! I think Nike is on to something bigger than we originally realized. 😂

  9. I’m sure this is relatable to a lot of people, men included, health is true wealth take care of yourself so you can take care of others

  10. I really enjoyed reading this. I needed this for me! I am dealing with a lot of stress and my job of course adds to it. Thank you so much for sharing your courageous move with us. This will help me think about my next moves in life. Thank you.

  11. I am so glad you are resting and sowing into Shana. You know Jesus reclined and rested, he would always go to the garden of Gethsemane to relax and pray. It is good that you have created your own Gethsemane for rest and relaxation.

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