Feeling burnt out is weird as fuck. Have you ever felt like that? When you can’t seem to bring yourself to do anything because your mind is so polluted with your feed (social media, whichever platform you prefer, no judgements on all you seasoned Twitterers). But yea the burn out, it becomes hard to switch off, get motivated and actually do shit.
I quit my job a couple of weeks ago now. I lost count of the actual time because I’ve been too busy running around the city pretending I don’t got bills to pay, but ultimately I did it to take some time for myself. A “break” if you will, to figure out what was next. It took me a while to get here but I think binge watching Chef’s Table with bae, dreams of moving to Brazil teamed with Bourdain’s death really left a sour taste in my mouth: like what the fuck am I doing if I’m not happy? And I don’t think you have to be happy every day, but at the very least I wanna be able to get out of bed in the morning with some sort of purpose.
I got to this point where it felt like I kinda hit all the goals I came to New York to reach and now, this strange nothingness. For a while, I wondered if it was just fatigue; weary of the daily chase, thirst and hunger to make it in this crazy city mixed with the cocktail of evenings that has become my social life. On paper, I had it “all”: the man of my dreams, bomb-ass friends, an over-priced Bushwick loft (which I rent with roomies, duh), an all-black wardrobe, a liver with a high-tolerance level and a job. Even still, something just didn’t feel quite right and I started to feel imprisoned in my own American dream, cue insomnia and the first time I'd really ever experienced anxiety.
The next part I only recommend to people with balls aka those who are highly risk tolerant or believe in the universe to carry them through as opposed to actual logic. Pick up your rose quartz now, JK. It was mid-June 2018, I had no back up job and only enough money saved up to get me through the next couple of months yet I knew it was time to leave. My biggest learning lesson here is to trust your gut immediately when it tugs at you and tells you shit isn’t right.
I had only just taken a new job four months earlier and was completely drained. My poor mum must be wondering what the fuck kind of lazy person she raised because she’s managed to stay put in one place for over 15 years yet here I was, done and dusted before my health insurance even kicked in. The truth is my heart wasn’t in it and the more I pushed my mind to concentrate the harder it pushed back at me whispering, “you need a break babe.” The thought of even admitting defeat left me feeling a little heartbroken. Note to self: This is not defeat. I only quit my job, I didn’t quit on myself. My job does not define me. THIS IS VERY FUCKING IMPORTANT.
Just to be clear, I’m not saying leaving work is something everyone can and should do. Planning what’s next is key and have some financial backup is a bonus, coz we all know rent ain’t gonna pay itself. And what I think helps most of all is hearing first hand about someone who has done it and exactly what they're going through, aka me. We’re all quick to share the good stuff, it’s time we talked openly about the shitty things too, where real life isn't just a pretty filtered picture you share with the world.