Right Now with Kevin Teater
- What I’m Listening to – Even Here by JJ Heller
- What I’m Reading – Starsight by Brandon Sanderson
- What I’m Watching – My dog licking her feet like she’s not supposed to do
- What I’m Doing – Sure feels like I am writing a lot these days 😊
“I’m just tired,” I told my counselor a couple weeks ago.
“And I mean, I feel good. I am proud of myself. I’m working hard. I’m doing the right things… But I can tell that I’m tired.”
As I started opening up, I knew that I needed to dive into this more deeply.
“I’m running a nonprofit, and I feel like I’m really growing and taking on more and more with that. I’m new to Planning Commission, and that’s definitely challenging. There’s a steep learning curve. I’m helping people run for elected office. I’m writing blog posts for my blog. I read a whole book in about a week. I’m still able to play occasional video games. I watch movies. And somehow, in all of this, I am still doing well prioritizing my relationship and friendships.”
Ah. So. So maybe that’s why I’m tired. That’s a lot.
But it’s almost as if my passion won’t allow me to stop. I do all of this because I think it is of critical importance. My passion is my city. I want to fight with all I’ve got for it… for the people whose voices have often gone unheard and for the generations who haven’t even been born to see it yet.
How can I slow down when I can tell how hard so many other people have to fight just to be seen? They are trailblazers for entire communities that have been marginalized for far too long. I don’t want them to be in this alone.
“I’ve been given so much,” I told my counselor. “I have a healthy family, a good and loving childhood, a great education, and people who genuinely value my opinion. I don’t want to waste it.
“My grandmother paid for my grad school education. It was unexpected. ‘Kevin, an investment in you is an investment greater than any other I can make,’ I remember her telling me. I am not going to waste it.”
I’m grateful. I’m grateful that my new roles with Planning Commission and as a blog writer allow me to share my voice more boldly.
But it’s a delicate balance I am finding. I wear many hats, and in all of it, I don’t want to forget the hat that I can never remove – my own.
I told my counselor that even self-care hobbies haven’t felt like self-care recently. And I think it’s because it’s all been squeezed into little boxes with short time constraints, and what I may need is more freedom to live simply.
I want to keep pressing for a better city, but I need to admit to myself when I need to slow down. I need to allow myself to disconnect and breathe.
And then pick myself up and continue the journey. It’s worth it.
Kevin Teater is the executive director of the Beaverton (Oregon) Downtown Association, founder/contributor of Beaverton Perspective, and an ELGL member since 2017.