I was looking for a quote about productivity, since we have been quite busy producing and living and working. However, all the most “famous” quotes are from white males and it just feels like they have it easier than everyone else.
You were born to win, but to be a winner, you must plan to win, prepare to win, and expect to win. – Zig Ziglar
The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing. – Walt Disney
Start by doing what’s necessary; then do what’s possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible. – St. Francis of Assisi
These all feel like a double standard, given the obstacles Brown girls must face just to get through a day, success looks different for us, it looks different for all non-men, especially Black and Brown non-men. We were not “born to win,” nor is it ever as easy as, “begin doing,” and “what is necessary,” for a Black and Brown non-man in this world is very different from what was for St. Francis.
Constant disparities make productivity in a white supremacists world, extremely difficult for Brown girls and non-men. The “rat race” was designed by white male capitalists for white male capitalists. In order for us to enjoy the same type of success they see, we must practically kill ourselves to get there and when we do we are subject to a different set of rules, the definition of “productive in society,” is extremely different for them as it is for the rest of us.
For white males, productive looks simply like “trying harder,” and practicing until perfect or it looks like kissing your uncle’s ass until he gives your that cushy Directorship at his company.
For us, productivity looks like facing every micro-aggression, while still maintaining a healthy sense of self and perspective of the world around us. It looks like living through another day, like finding a way to feed ourselves and our loved ones on half of what white folks make in less time. It looks like surviving without letting despair cling to us, heavy like, soaking wet clothes. It looks like finding the energy for work/life balance only to be too exhausted in your soul to really enjoy any of it. It looks like getting to work. On time is not an option when the only privilege you have is that you woke up this morning while some didn’t.
My point is productivity is different for everyone. I want to congratulate every Brown girl who found a way to check off even a single thing on the to-do list and congratulate you even if you didn’t because chances are, the reason you were unable to get it done was because you were putting your needs aside for someone else.
We consistently sacrifice ourselves to keep others in good spirit. I love you, Brown Girls. You don’t have to be “productive” to matter. You don’t have to be “winning” or “killing it” in anything but waking up every damn day and getting yourself through!
If you manage any other thing on top of that, you are killing it! You are 100% killing it. Here is hoping you have enough spoons to accomplish all your goals this week. Remember you are loved and there are folks who want to help. Tune into healing and center yourself. Don’t be afraid to ask for help and gravitate towards folks who don’t need you to ask. Gravitate towards folks who are as generous with their spirit as you are because you deserve that. Productivity looks like healing, it looks like loving, and resting. It looks like any damn thing you need it to look like!
I say all this to say, you are enough. You are enough for exactly who you are in this universe. Here’s some self care
inspiration if you are in need. Treat yourself as much as possible!