“Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.” – Winston Churchill.
I want perfect execution and results in everything I do. I wasn’t joking when I wrote about my daily, hourly, struggle between actions over intention in the very first of my consecutive blogs. If I’m going to cook something, I will order fast food until I can buy all the ingredients for a complicated dish. If I want to work out, I will wait until I have an hour and a half five times a week to dedicate to the gym. If I want to reconnect with a friend, I will wait until I have half a day free. If I need to catch up on one or two blog posts, I will wait until I have something worth writing about. And wait. And wait. And wait.
The tl;dr of the 38 blog posts I missed between my last upload and now?
I got a new second job and barely made it through a month in tact. I woke up at 3am four days a week, went to school three days a week, and worked at my evening job four days a week. I can’t even count the number of times I was falling asleep while driving to and from work and school – drifting into the other lanes, waking up and swerving away from the ditches, getting honked at during red lights. It’s no surprise that a ‘half hour’ afternoon nap led to sleeping straight through until the dreaded 5am phone call: “aren’t you supposed to be opening?”
15 minutes late is an automatic job loss for the opening position, and I handed in my key and drove home and slept. I slept at every chance I could for the last 10 days since this all took place. I fell into a dark place where I was wondering if I have depression and was looking up symptoms, listening to TED Talks, and wondering what the conversation would look like with my boyfriend if I decided to go on antidepressants.
I haven’t felt invested in anything in what feels like a very long time. In the job that I didn’t sleep through, and still have, I sell ethically sourced handmade cosmetics. Every shift, I interact with people who genuinely want to know how the bees are treated from our honey suppliers. I see their eyes light up when I talk about cocoa butter from Ghana and they ask questions about things like parabens and what SLS is and poke jiggly shower jellies in awe. A side of me really wants to truly and entirely care about things like that. When I was a teenager, I was passionate about ingredient sourcing and animal rights. I became a vegetarian, and then a vegan. I strived for minimalism. I was fully committed to fitness and overall health and improvement.
Now, I just want enough energy to wake up in time for a shower before work.
However, here we are. 10 days later and I feel like I’m finally emerging from a place where I’ve been just trying to function. I’m in my fourth consecutive semester of full time school, three of which were with 40-60 hours of work each week. I moved out six months ago, had two cars break down and took a huge financial cut with buying a third one when that wasn’t in my planned budget. I started two new jobs, a new relationship, and absorbed an extra 15+ hours of driving time each week (now down to 10).
I’m not depressed. I’m burnt out. Like really, really burnt out. But there’s an upside to this whole post. I woke up yesterday feeling angsty. Angst is good. It’s great. People who have been burnt out or depressed probably understand the relief of feeling that ‘claustrophobia’ over life choices. It means that you’re able to care again. You’re able to look around and see that your floors need sweeping, you actually want to leave your bed and go for a run, you’re not turning off your phone, you’re sending your friends messages.
I made promises I couldn’t keep at the end of January. Maybe I will slowly backlog those missed 38 posts. I don’t know yet. All I know is that I’m going to start engaging with a world that has exhausted me for so long.
I start a new second job on Monday morning. Near the beach, morning shifts that start at 10am. After getting used to waking up at 3am, I’m finally going to start building some soul-wakening habits in the early mornings before my shifts. I’m going to feel alive again.
And that, my friends, is something I haven’t truly believed in months.
“When you’re lost in those woods, it sometimes takes you a while to realize that you are lost. For the longest time, you can convince yourself that you’ve just wandered off the path, that you’ll find your way back to the trailhead any moment now. Then night falls again and again, and you still have no idea where you are, and it’s time to admit that you have bewildered yourself so far off the path that you don’t even know from which direction the sun rises anymore.” – Elizabeth Gilbert.