Editor's Letter: Beating Burnout in the New Year
Leaving Manhattan this past October was decidedly one of the most terrifying decisions of my life so far. Now, a few months in, I feel incredibly thankful and blessed that Erick and I took the leap, but, FOMO, man; it can really cripple you. After a near-decade in the city, it was impossible to picture a life without weekly Friday night karaoke and Sunday BBQ in Koreatown.
In those moments of uncertainty as we built up to the big move, I began to find much solace through something I’d already done for years— talking out loud to the great, wide universe. A work-from-home silver lining to the incredible quiet of being alone with yourself, you can talk aloud without concern for what others may think— I’ve practiced this habit frequently throughout the years, and still do— just a little less maniacally now with a husband at home, too.
Many days, in my beautifully antiquated East Harlem apartment, I’d simply speak aloud to the silence— from exasperated pleas for help to reflections of gratitude for my many blessings. And alas, those musings always had a serendipitous side effect, complex ideas that would stick with me far beyond the momentary conversations that I was, yes, essentially, having with myself.
The most intense created from these brainstorms was at beginning of the last New Year, I started texting with my younger sister, a filmmaker in Los Angeles, lamenting and letting her know that I’d finally fixed my iPhone after an unfortunate Halloween demise earlier that year. I knew people were upset that I was so much less reachable for so long, but I was much happier that way.
I explained to her, and then subsequently shared with my friends on Facebook, after a brief 'Sorry I was M.I.A.' segue, the following on January 10th, 2017:
“I’m not going to keep feeding into a machine that I don't support, including the importance of my iPhone, a corporate job or any of the like; I'm on this planet to live, breathe, do good and learn lessons that take me to my next realm and that's it. And in doing that, I no longer so deeply care about others’ opinions because competition is fruitless when it focuses on bettering yourself. And best? You develop the most keen, and accurate depiction of the traditional world that you choose to bow out from in all of its indoctrination.
TL;DR: Do you; do good; be kind and live the way that makes you the most happy."
Diving into an uncertainty can be paralyzing, but many times it saves us from something even more destructive— burning out from not living our most authentic existence possible. I learned the most valuable lesson of my year in that one conversation— I know what I need and I need to trust that knowledge. My autonomy outside of the traditional work/life paradigm that we’re expected to entertain is a gift— I can’t let that fire extinguish. I'm so stoked to be on this new journey just a year later.
Self-doubt will always still exist. No matter how many productivity hacks I practice or how in-the-know I am on the latest digital dalliances, sometimes, I’ll feel like I’m failing or falling behind my corporate compatriots. But then I remind myself, I do know what I need, and as such, life is incredibly sweeter. I'm captain of my own destiny, even if I’m not sure where it will lead me just yet.
Happy New Year!