I’m finally on vacation. I should be excited, right? I was certainly excited leading up to this week. But right now? I’m burnt out.
Ever since I entered the professional 9-5 realm almost a decade ago, I haven’t had more than 10 days of paid vacation per year (and some years, I didn’t even have that). It’s a luxury — paid vacation. But as someone whose independent nature lends itself to a career of freedom and autonomy, the structure of the 9-5 can be a struggle. I mostly stick with it for the benefits (so far, it’s been the only way I can afford my diabetes).
But some things happened this past week that made me question how I’m spending the majority of my time and whether I am actually on a path to self-fulfillment. And then I realized just how exhausted I am from all the pressure — pressure from my body (diabetes), my bank account, my career, my relationships, etc. I know that I will be leaving in a few days to a mountain getaway, free from worldly distractions. Yet, I feel I am losing momentum and motivation.
That is, until I wrote all of this down a few minutes ago. A mentor once told me that those who write about their pain points are more likely to process the feelings associated with those pain points sooner than those who don’t, so that they can heal and move on. Today, I wrote: I’m not sure this is how I want to be spending my life.
And as if my future self miraculously traveled through time and descended from the dusty ceiling, I told myself this:
Be open. Keep your mind engaged. Build relationships outside of work. Be ready for opportunity. Take care of yourself. Let the world around you evolve on its own. As long as you’re ready to evolve with it, you won’t be stuck being a robot forever. There’s always an escape hatch. Just know that when you find that escape hatch, you will have to leave some things behind. You can’t take everything with you, so enjoy what you have now. Treasure those relationships. Then, never look back.