Burn Out

Reader beware! Here begins a stream-of-consciousness post:

Today I was aware of how burnt-out I’ve been.

I’ve known that I’ve needed a break for a while now, hence my plan to finish my program in December and take the next 9 months off from school. Still, today was the first time I ever seriously considered taking off for more than 9 months.

It’s weird because this isn’t really the first time I’ve considered it. I’ve been planning to apply for a few fellowships and job opportunities that would be at least a year. I’ve planned to do some of these things for weeks now. But it feels like now is the first time I’ve really connected one idea to the other. Now is the first time I’ve realized that it may be a good idea to do a year-long fellowship because I’m tired and burnt-out.

Burn out can lead to many confusing emotions because it sometimes feels like you should never feel tired if you’re doing what you’re supposed to be doing. I know that’s what I was thinking earlier today. And I don’t think that’s necessarily a wrong thought. Sometimes, it’s good to take a break so that you can reevaluate the situation and decide whether you’re doing the right thing. Sometimes you just need a vacation, but you’ll pick up where you left off when you come back. As of now, it feels like I’m just in need of a good, long, worry-free vacation. But who knows, maybe I’ll totally change the course of my life. Maybe not.

Burn out is always ill-timed and this couldn’t really be a worse moment for me to feel exhausted. I’ve just been thinking deeply about relationship stuff, I have a thesis to write, I’m the head of a ministry at church, and I’m basically trying to step back and see what’s been working and what hasn’t. I’ve had to do a lot of mental and relational gymnastics and I’m feeling kind of weary.

This is best described by what happened to me a few hours ago: as I walked across the street to buy some ice cream, I thought about calling someone. There was no one in particular I wanted to call, I just felt like I wanted to talk to someone. After I made one call (to a friend who recently moved and whom I didn’t get a chance to see before the move) and she didn’t answer, I put my phone away and kept walking. I still wanted to talk to someone, I just didn’t have anyone else that I could muster up the social skills to talk to.

Being back at school tends to amplify this side of me but I think I’m just naturally this way. I’m probably the most optimistic/friendly/socially-normal/introspective/bleak/lonely person you’ll ever meet. Or maybe that’s just what it’s like to be in your mid-twenties. My personality does tend toward sobriety and mellowness, so, either way, it’s not a huge surprise.

Maybe I’ll write more on this stuff later, maybe not. It’s hard to see patterns in your life that you don’t know how to change. One of them is this blog.

When this blog started out  (and especially in its glory days) most of my posts related to faith or God in some way. There are some posts from two years ago – probably one of the best times of my life spiritually – that I still read today. I know it’s silly to try to recapture something from the past, but I wouldn’t be the first person who ever wanted to try that (see: Jay Gatsby).

As always, life is tough. Sometimes painfully so. But maybe I’ll wake up tomorrow and everything will be different.


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