oglinda din baie îmi spune că sunt frumoasă acum. armistițiu accidental, ani de război mut la care s-a uitat de pe o margine închipuită, atentă să nu-i scape nimic.
ochii mei se ridică spre cer. caută timpul în care s-au rătăcit de ei înșiși, privind prea mult în exteriorul străin și aspru. azi văd lumea dinăuntru și oglindirea-i în afară, suprapuneri imperfecte ale lumii lor cu toate celelalte lumi cu care iau contact, aborigeni într-un simulacru barbar
plăcerea, dreptul meu din naștere, interzis prin convenții, descoperit pe furiș, vanitatea, păcatul pe care mi-l accept, prințesă mulțumită de ea însăși, care iartă azi mărunțișuri pentru care ar fi pierdut nopți și zile în rând strălucitor. dulceața atingerii se gustă fără vinovății sterpe, aristocrata s-a-ntors la ea însăși înainte să-i poți citi pe chip ezitarea
mâinile, partea din corp cea mai dragă, mereu gata să dea, să primească, s-atingă, s-ofere ajutor, hrană, atenție, plăcere, gardieni mereu fideli, mereu tăcuți, mereu lacomi ai tuturor simțurilor, texturilor cunoscute și necunoscute, familiare și neexplorate încă
singură. drum întreg spre altceva, atributul de care am obosit să fug într-un maraton fără de început și fără capăt, azi o stare. singură. eu cu mine. fără intervenții din afară, necerute. liniște și abandon în propria viață
întregul bate partea. războiul dinăuntru s-a încheiat cu imaginea perfecțiunii. undeva între albastrul cerului și verdele ierbii, amândouă egal inumane, vezi drumul. drumul tău. drumul pe care l-ai uitat. te-ntorci fără s-o iei de la zero, doar de la alt capăt, un capăt neștiut al potecii. mergi mai atent când nu te sperii de ce vine dinăuntru spre tine, noaptea și spaima nu-ți mai sună în urechi a apocalipsă, liniștea-i căldură, nu jale, și tu ridicând ochii spre același cer cu trecutul, o întâmplare
It’s again that time of the year when the days become shorter, the nights become longer, and the weather becomes colder. It is, once again, the time to sit and look backward, to the good, the great and the terrible things that happened. To be grateful for the lessons, for the good times, and to note down our questions that are still looking for an answer.
So I’m gonna do what I feel like would be my share of gratitude and understanding, and will say a story. This is not meant to be a diary page. It is just a story about which I know it’s relatable for a lot of people, as 2020 came with such an emotional struggle to manage.
I remember a talk I’ve had with a guy in a moment when I was feeling really tired. I knew it’s about the burnout, yet only when he told me You’re being way too hard on yourself, you need a day to do literally nothing. Just to be lazy and stop thinking about all the things you are thinking about daily. And you’ll see how many things you’re actually doing.
That was a revelatory moment for me, the moment when I’ve understood, in the end, that my exhaustion was rooted in my incapacity to relax. It was a hard pill to swallow, the idea that I forgot how to relax. Yet, it’s true. I got all caught up in the craze of showing that I am willing to do things as good as possible even if the possibilities are rather low and…I forgot. I forgot to put myself first, above the Social Media numbers, views, shares, aesthetic or content ideas. And this got right back at me.
I’ve started, in a short time, to feel tired. Really, really tired, and the never-ending to-do-list of the day. I was enjoying less and less what I was doing, and I was always finding flaws in what was already done. That talk was what I needed to hear at the moment, that I’m doing enough things at once, and I gotta loosen up a little. To slow down the rhythm.
And… I tried. I started to post less, to stop worrying that I don’t know what to post that day, or that there is X thing that could’ve been done better. I tried to do things at my own pace, one day at a time. But there is a secret to all these. The mix between a brain so overwhelmed that it refused to cooperate anymore, and my willingness to actually talk about this, to go to people I look up to and tell them I’m tired, I forgot how to take a break from all this, and I need to relearn it, otherwise, I’ll be over and done.
Having external support is a huge deal because no one can do it alone. No one can escape the ropes of their own mind. You can’t shut up that voice telling you day after day that you didn’t do enough by yourself. You can’t escape the guilt trips by yourself. You can’t get rid of the productivity rush by yourself. No one can, no matter how strong their mental is.
The tough part is the journey before that breaking point. The exhaustion, the work, the feeling of not being enough. The internalized voices of all your critics. That ugly carousel you get a free ride into.
Because there is more to toxic cultures than diet culture. The hustle and productivity culture is just as toxic for individuals, as it reinforces the mindset that one has to be 24/7 busy and productive, to stay relevant. You don’t. An individual is not a business. An individual is not a brand either. An individual is a human being, with human needs.
And human beings need breaks. They need periods to stop thinking about what’s done already and what should be done afterward. Denying yourself the time to rest will only harm you. That’s the thing felt by all those promoting hustle culture. Felt, but never gone public about them, only talked in small circles.
I can’t say that now I’m doing things in a totally different way. Or that I am done with the burnout, even if, to some extent, I’ve overcome a lot of struggles. I’ve understood that looking at myself like I’m some kind of content-creating machine is not the way. That my value isn’t the quantity of the things I am doing daily, but their quality. That I am owing to myself to be alright in the long run. But most importantly, I’ve learned that the moment when something I enjoy doing becomes a source of worry, more than a source of joy, it’s time to let loose.
There is still a lot to be thought about and done, but the most important part is becoming aware that whatever you do, you have to find balance, as the smallest things impact your mental health.