Chapter Four: Choose Fewer Battles

We have the ability to choose who and what to fight for. We can choose which people, situations, and conversations to put energy in. 

Here’s the kicker: because we can choose, we should choose less. 

You don’t have to attend every argument or engagement, nor do you have to engage in every person’s existence. 

Choose fewer battles. 

I read this once and it stuck with me because I get invested easily. You could tell me about what your expectations are for the coming week and if I see you again I’ll ask about it, ready to give encouraging words and help. This leads me to be in situations I don’t too much care for and then I have the greatest internal struggle trying to let it go or reconcile the fact that I get invested without trying. 

But we have to choose battles that are worth it. We have to choose battles that make sense. We have to choose battles that will help us be better people for ourselves and those we love. 

The most important thing we need to learn is when to no longer invest in a battle. 

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about getting another job. After obtaining clearance to start I had made up in my mind that I would work two jobs. Let me just tell you now that my mind was made up but my body was ready for the fight. 

After working an eight hour shift, getting nearly four hours of sleep, and going through an entire 13 hour day (twice in one week by the way), my mind had to let go of that dream. 

I enjoy staying busy. But I don’t enjoy not getting rest or time to myself. 

Today I put in my notice for a job I love, but does not allow me to do what I love. Today I decided that I had to choose fewer battles. I was unprepared for days a time, not getting enough rest, and even forgetting to eat. These are all essential things. 

With everything going on within the last week, somehow I still found time to myself most mornings. I found that having that time allowed me to function better, even if for only ten or twenty minutes. 

So in addition to choosing fewer battles, take that extra time and meditate or just do something that brings you joy. 

Choosing fewer battles doesn’t mean you’re giving in. Doing so means you’re setting yourself up for better. It means you’re saving that energy for things and people that matter. It means you’ll never regret the time and energy you put forth by thinking it was wasted. 

Choose yourself. 

Chapter Three: Occupy Space

I’ve always considered myself to be an introvert. Over the years I’ve adapted to the term ambivert because I’ve never fully gone over to the other side of the spectrum. Only when I’m with close knit friends and family am I over the top and mistaken as an extrovert. 

Tuesday night I attended a great event. The beautiful ladies of Party Noire came out and partnered with Open TV Tonight to throw one of the smoothest events I’ve attended in quite some time. It was all about #BlackJoy and being comfortable in spaces to express yourself. To be you, unapologetically. 

The feels!

They put together a great mini documentary that perfectly portrayed who they are and why they do what they do. The amount of brilliance, happiness, peace, positive energy, and hope in the room full of POC and Queer people was… incredible. 

Occupy space. 

One person asked how do you create and occupy the space to be yourself like that of Party Noire. 

The answer was simple. If you have a hand full of friends, ask them to invite a handful of friends and so forth. Use the space you have- your living room, basement, backyard- with like-minded people to evoke those feelings and energies. 

Occupy space. 

I attended this function alone. I was quite unsure of myself. I was unsure of how to occupy space in that space. I find that in these cases I attempt to make myself small. Instead of occupying whatever space my body and energy feels it needs, I take from whatever space it already has. 

Occupy space. 

Had I allowed myself to completely relax and not worry about space, I would have enjoyed the event even more. 

Don’t fight the space your body and spirit naturally occupies. Because by the end of the event or day you’ll find that you’re physically tense and angrily trying to unfold yourself. 

Don’t put yourself in tight spaces. Occupy space. 

I could give up. I could say, hey I went and  it was great. Even afterwards I found myself wishing I had allowed myself to be. I longed for a do over and even talked myself out of future events. 

I’m an ambivert and I don’t know how to occupy space. But I’m learning. I needed this to learn. So as I expose myself to different situations and people, each time I will get better at being. 

Occupy space. You’re growing in so many ways, in so many directions. You need to allow your body and spirit to do what they want.