It is finally summer of 2018, and I am typing this editor’s note while in downward dog position! Inspirational right?

It’s July and the theme of the month is freedom, but I’ve never felt more like a captive inside of myself. I’m starting to wonder if my subconscious purposefully picks themes that I cannot relate to.

So, why do I feel like a bird with clipped wings?

I feel like I haven’t had a say in my experience for a while now. I’m pushed from work to schoolwork to friend/family commitments to sleep because *oh, I have to be at work again in five hours*. I thought when I began to enter adulthood I could choose how to spend my time more than I was allowed in childhood. Nope!

I’ve invested in more highlighters to cross off things on my to-do list than I thought was fiscally viable.

Jokes aside though, yeah, I’m tired. I thought being a young adult would be more glamorous than getting excited about having the time to sweep my room. But I think I may have the idea of the freedom of adulthood wrong in my fried egg of a brain. Maybe it’s not freedom in the sense of time or less commitments, but the freedom to say “no.”

I’ve always been a “yes” grrl. Yes, I can take that extra shift and pull a double. Yes, I can just do that group project on my own. Yes, I can make it to that social function even though I already made another commitment for the same night. I was always willing to “make it work”. God bless you, Tim Gunn.

I did this to make life easier for those around me, but no one was living to make my life easier. That wasn’t anyone else’s responsibility and it shouldn’t have been mine either. So, now I say no.

“Are you able to stay a few hours after your shift ends?”

No

“Can you answer the questions for the assignment and we’ll just provide the images?”

Uh, no

*Phone rings and I don’t want to talk*

Nope! *Silenced*

Then rinse and repeat because utilizing this freedom takes a little practice. Now, while I’m encouraging you to, somewhat, throw caution to the wind, this doesn’t mean you can be a complete ass about taking time to yourself. Like most things, there is balance. If it means helping your coworker out when they’re really in a bind and you don’t have anything else to do, yeah, maybe take that shift. It’s not bad to pull some extra weight in aspects of your life, but moderation is key.

So, this month, when asked if you’ll do that *thing* you don’t want or have time to do… say it with me now… NO.

Our wonderful staff members have some amazing articles and artwork to share with you this month. Check in daily to read and take some time to yourself.

Also, one of our former writers for GP, Kiki Whartenby, is currently interning with High Ground News and interviewed me about GrrlPunch for a series she started with the magazine called “Women Working It”. So proud of our grrl, Kiki! Check out her article here!

Much Love Always,

Lucy