Yesterday, I collapsed and passed out — or fainted — in the 34th Street K-Mart while doing some household shopping. This is not the first time this has happened to me, but it does serve as an important wake up call. To be clear, I am in impeccable health and am very vigilant about getting routine check-ups and monitoring my diet (despite pictures that would suggest the contrary :-)) and exercise regime. I am starting to see, however, that even though many of us are very serious about our health (i.e., closely watching what we eat and how much we exercise), we often compromise our well-being (i.e., sometimes forgetting to eat and sleep at all). Or, at least, this is true for me. The customers and employees who came to my aid strongly encouraged me to go to the hospital and offered to call an ambulance. I was adamantly against this, as I didn’t want to “make a mountain out of a mole hill,” so to speak (though I am well aware of the flawed logic in this sentiment). And, again, because this has happened to me before, I knew I just needed to eat and drink something.
In all likelihood, I was probably just dehydrated and exhausted (still, my father made me promise him that I would go to the doctor first thing Monday morning). In fact, my mother was appalled when she discovered that I had engaged in a pretty strenuous workout yesterday morning in my favorite gym class, having only consumed a few gummy bears, a bottled water, and nothing more — very irresponsible of me, I know. Also, I had had a very long and sleep-deprived week (why, I don’t know…well, actually I do — in any event, this should not be the life of a second semester 3L). But, again, this drives home a very crucial lesson.
We are all in grind mode — doing what we have to do now, so that we can do what we want to do later (you know you’ve heard or said this one too many times). This is admirable, as there is no substitute for hard work and a hustler’s ambition. And, truth be told, I’m not sure why my mother was so shocked that I would find myself suffering the consequences of being overextended — it was she who instilled in me the whole, “As a Black woman, you have to work twice, or three times, as hard your counterparts to get the same results” spiel. In fact, it’s because of her that I never missed a day of school for the entirety of my K-12 education — even when confronted with the chicken pox, flu, a strained neck, etc. (you name it, I fought through it — or at least until I stayed at school long enough to be counted for a full day ha!). I’m proud of that, and feel very blessed to have a mother who understands the type of work ethic that success necessitates; but, I don’t say it to brag. More than anything, I think it demonstrates the extent to which people of a certain mindset — for example, the young Black professional who carries the weight of a not-so-distant tragic, yet celebratory, history on her shoulders; or, a first or second generation immigrant whose parents (or who they themselves) came to this country with nearly nothing but the clothes on their back — will literally and figuratively run themselves into the ground in pursuit of the proverbial pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.
What I have described is not necessarily problematic (although there are some important caveats). I just think that sometimes we need to breathe, stretch, shake and let some things (and people) go. *Drops mic and steps off soap box.*
In other news…
I bought a cast iron grill pan yesterday at Macy’s (they had a ridiculous “home sale” this weekend — I got mine for 50% off). This grill pan is different from your typical cast iron skillet due to its deep ridges which, in addition to giving your meat lovely grill marks, serves the function of separating out excess fat while the meat is cooking.
I was so excited that I had to put it to immediate use. So, I decided to make sizzling chicken and shrimp fajitas.
And made from scratch sweet potato pie.
All in all, a delicious and extraordinarily simple meal.