It’s freaking September! What was supposed to be a short break turned into a three-month hiatus. Whoops! And no, it wasn’t the antarctic temperatures that froze my banter-producing fingers. It was a series of events that unfolded earlier in the year that slapped me out of my false sense of invincibility and into a very ugly human state – a state that I needed to experience in its full form before I could make the decision to turn my life around. Don’t worry, I haven’t joined a cult or anything in that realm of crazy.
For those of you who are up to date with TBP, you’ll know that earlier this year, I experienced a pretty gnarly case of burnout which left me unfit for work and play. It also took a huge toll on my mental wellbeing – a component of my health that has taken me a long time to build and strengthen. That being said, I know that it could have been so much worse, so I’m counting myself lucky and grateful that the universe chose to slap me in the gut with gastritis instead of something far more menacing. There were a number of lessons I extracted from my episode of self-inflicted pain, the most of important of which is this:
Stop signs are vital, especially in the age of hustling. The sad thing is, even with a strategic set of stop signs erected for us – the flu, the persistent migraines, the emotional meltdowns – we still find a way to ignore and defy its invitation to pause burnout-inducing behaviour. We embrace the busy with every single one of our limbs and soldier on because we are hard-wired to believe that burning out, compromising our health – that’s the price we have to pay for anything resembling success (and all the things we aspire for) – so we might as well get on with it.
Well, I reject that. So, I quit the hustle. The OG version anyway – the kind that demands personal sacrifice over personal wellbeing. I refuse to participate. I refuse to subscribe to a culture that will inevitably damage my sanity (more than once) and bleed me dry of energy and motivation.
Thanks to my gut-kicking experience, I’ve grown to accept that without our health, we have nothing. It’s an asset we should be actively protecting and nurturing – not abandoning and jeopardising because we’re too bloody busy. It’s an excuse I’ve voluntarily surrendered, forever extracted from the brain box and taken to a faraway tip to decompose alongside other dead-to-me habits.
This isn’t some eat, pray, love adventure. I’ve had a hella big wake up call and I’ve decided to make a permanent change to my lifestyle because life sucks when you’re sick, but it’s pretty damn good when you’re physically and mentally fit – this shouldn’t be a huge revelation.
SO aside from embracing my inner hippy and promoting my mind and body to #1 on the agenda, I’m entering a new level of adulthood… I’ve decided to launch a business that shares the same mission. And no, this does not mean a longer list of to-dos and a “busy” status quo. I’m not exactly approaching this the conventional way. More details to come soon! It turns out, there is always a silver lining amid the cloud of physical and mental chaos.