Musing About Being Thirty

Day 2 of my stay-cation is here and I wonder how it’s going. Writing things a week ahead of time and trying to reference the actual days that pass or will pass makes for some odd verb tense problems at times. I usually catch them all in editing, but it’s easier to avoid the problem by not writing about the day the post is going up. Today, though, as I’m going through my last full day of work for the week prior (I have a 4 ten-hour day schedule at work, with some overtime on Friday if I need/want it), I’m imagining being able to rest and relax. To sleep in. To lose myself in a game coming out on the day this posts…

I have been under a lot of stress, lately. I’ve also been under a lot of stress for the past decade. Especially so these last five years. Growth is hard. Grief is hard. Both together sent me on a journey I never would have imagined being possible back in 2016 when I hit rock bottom in my previous job and knew that I had to leave or it would kill me.

I’ve been burned out for so long that I’ve forgotten what it feels like to not be burned out. I’ve also discovered that there’s not much of a bottom to burning out since it seemlessly transitions into various mental/physical breakdowns. I’ve pushed myself through burnout, collapsed and rested due to burnout, and even tried to manage burnout so I never really needed to rest and never really collapsed.

I’ve also had some of the most productive, fulfilling years of my life. Prior to November, 2018 was an amazing year, even if I did have a pretty unfortunate breakup following a relationship I probably should have left much earlier than I did. I’ve learned to value myself and advocate for my own needs, even if I’m not always successful at doing those things. I’ve learned how to manage my day-to-day life so I’m not burning myself out by the weekend and then needing the entire weekend to recover in time for Monday and the chance to do it all over again.

A lot has happened in the past five years, the past decade, my entire life, though only in the last five years have I truly begun to grapple with it and hold my past (and the people from it) accountable. I don’t know where the rest of my life is going to take me, or even where the rest of this year will, but I’ve learned to be okay with that. To not just accept it, but to live it. As much as the pandemic has made my life worse and stressful in more ways than I can succinctly quantify, it forced me to learn patience in a way I never had to before. Not that I’d say that this is some good that came out of the pandemic, though. Fuck that. It was horrible and I’d be better off if it had never happened, no matter what skills I’ve learned because of it. The whole idea that adversity and pain is valuable because it teaches you things, makes you who you are, is bullshit. No matter what else might be true, I’d be better off if the pandemic had never happened. We all would be.

Anyway. As I imagine myself resting or eating breakfast or waiting for that new game to install, I hope I’m also taking the time to actually pause and reflect on the past decade of my life as I enter into the next. I hope I’m spending time thinking about what I need to have prepared for the journey ahead. I doubt it will be more difficult than the past year, but I’ve thought that for a solid three years running, now, so maybe it wouldn’t hurt to fortify my position a bit more. To take what peace and rest I can get in hopes of being better prepared for the trials ahead.

Even setting aside world events, politics, and economics, I know things aren’t going to just magically get easier for me. I’ve done some things that might make my life easier, some healthy things that are growth-minded if painful and difficult, but there’s probably more work to be done before I’m really through this. After all, it’s only been a few days since I did those things. By the time this posts, as I’m resting and gaming and trying to find a place within myself where I can feel at peace, it will have been over a week and I’ll have some idea of what lies ahead for me.

Whatever that winds up being, I’ll be ready for it. I just hope I’m enjoying the quiet while it lasts.

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