When I was a little girl, my mother told me that you always had to “rise to the occasion.” There was this idea that no matter how you were feeling, when you had somewhere to be, you had to pull yourself together and act like nothing was wrong and be entirely present and accommodating.
Growing up, I judged other people when I saw them call off plans or not meet standards because of how they felt. I considered them weak. I was angry because I had always been expected to be able to be 100% myself when the situation called for it, to deliver regardless of what I was going through.
"But who’s really expecting that of you?" my therapist asked me recently.
I’m learning more and more that sometimes it’s just okay to retreat into yourself and that it’s not always the best idea to just put your face on and go. I was supposed to go out for a party tonight. I’ve just felt off all day. So, I’m having a burrito and staying in and taking care of myself. I offered to buy the host a drink another time and I’m not going to linger on it anymore.
Here’s to - sometimes - not rising to the occasion and making yourself the priority.