If you know me, you know I like to talk. I like to voice my opinions. If you are Black, especially a Black woman in America, you might have been in these same situations. Situations where you advocated for yourself and others, situations where you “had to be” the speaker and let your voice be on the frontlines for the greater good, situations where you came up with action plans with deliverables on the top of your head, situations where you were the voice of reason and situations where you were holding things together for others. Do you know how exhausting that is? It’s like being in a tag team match and you have nobody to tap you out. Fighting rounds and rounds and rounds with no rest and no partner. It becomes very tiring, very fast. I felt like I was finding myself in these situations too often. Sometimes you have to stop talking and rest. Sometimes you have to pause “fighting” and rest. It isn’t a forever thing. It isn’t failing. It is letting you gear up for the next round. It is giving yourself a chance to study new tools. One tool I am practicing is active listening. Not listening to respond, but listening to understand. It’s okay to shut up.