When encouraging self care onto a friend this weekend I discussed with them a story from my past.
As a child, I took a whole lot of dance lessons. For around ten years, I spent 4 to 5 days a week navigating the worlds of ballet, jazz, tap and modern, along with drama and vocal classes. I thrived. I love performing – whether it is musically or politically – and it’s a desire that I’ve always needed to channel.
However when I got into my early teens, I became very frustrated with my dance lessons. I wasn’t getting picked, I wasn’t being allowed to take proper exams and I was finding myself endlessly frustrated with how I was no longer enjoying the activity that I loved so much previously I had continually asked for more more more.
So I quit, with immediate effect and never looked back.
At first it was pretty devastating, knowing I’d no longer have the activity I loved in my life. But I realised that it wasn’t really the activity I loved anymore and it had slowly become more of a chore than a hobby. So I found something else. In the end, I went to musical theatre classes somewhere else and after that started getting into alternative music and learnt to play bass and ended up joining a series of bands and clubs to feed that desire. And then came politics – I joined youth council and then youth parliament and suddenly I’d passed my A Level exams and was at university, where I fell even deeper into politics than ever before.
Today I’ve realised that this analogy also applied to me. I am finding politics very stressful and bad for my mental health at the moment and thus have made the decision to take a break. I’m going to read some fiction and drink tea and play with my kittens and maybe even un-neglect this blog. Maybe in that I’ll find a new hobby, but I hope its just an appreciation for what I do usually.
For now it’s a reminder that sometimes we all need to take our own advice and we all need a break. I hope you all have a good week.