Let’s Go Back a Few Years

It was summer 2018 when I first joined the BI after 18 years working in the non-profit sector in what felt like nonstop and at full speed until my body was shutting down. At this point, living this way felt like all I knew, so when I sent out my first emails as an employee and started to get return out of office messages such as,

“I’ll be taking the month of July to be with my family.”

“I’m taking some time to rest and recharge.”

“If your message is important, please re-send in September as I won’t be sifting through all my old messages.”

I actually felt thrown every time I read one. If you’re not sure why an OOO auto-send might be jarring to me, let me put it another way.

I imagined my former colleagues wanting to kill me if they got a “I’m in Hawaii, y’all!” while they were suffering and barely hanging on.

And now that I’ve been here 3 years, I can unpack what this all was. Here are just a few questions and revelations that come to mind:

  1. What were the tacit agreements that would make these messages not work in my context?
  2. What persona(s) of mine are at play here?
  3. What systems and structures might be genuinely oppressive and what aspects do I have agency to change?
  4. I know back then, nothing felt more scarce than time.

Right Here, Right Now, Today,

I can easily say in the summer of 2021, when I get one of these out of office messages, I have a completely different experience now.

I feel happy. I am celebrating and wishing you the space to play. I don’t carry the weight of fear and scarcity but of hope and anticipation of what is to come from you all taking care of yourselves and those you love.

What we all know inside (even though we may stop ourselves is),

“Taking time for me to reset is going to get my creative brain flowing.”

“My family needs me. I want to enjoy my kids right now and doing this will make me better at my job.”

“If I fully celebrate that I’m on vacation, I can come back with appreciation and my whole self, to solve some of the biggest problems we are facing.”

We have a lot to do friends, and the crises we face day to day may even be worse than they were before.

But sometimes we need to slow down to go fast.

Many of you are on the wave of slow down at the moment and I am feeling that with you in this community and looking forward to the hundreds of out of office messages I will likely receive after this message gets shared with our newsletter.

Hoping that in the moments you do take the time, that the minutes stretch long and you are savoring each experience.

– Selena

p.s. In case you’re actually feeling left in the dust and NOT here in the spaciousness, check out this workshop we’re doing in August. Also, don’t hesitate to reach out. Happy to help where I can (now that I think I can unpack some of this stuff) or simply just to listen.

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