I’m near that burn out. I can feel it. I should slow down, right? I feel like it is getting more and more difficult to react rationally in certain situations. That means I am due for a change. That’s fine. I like change. Plus, I’ve had it pretty easy recently and that only ever lasts so long.

I know I need a change but I don’t know what to do about it, yet. Or I’m scared to do anything about it. Instead of slowing down and doing something, I try to speed up by doing things that I know won’t work. Like eating a million Dove chocolates. Watching five straight hours of Breaking Bad. Adding everything I want to buy to my Amazon.com shopping cart and then removing them one by one. Taking the extra long scenic route home. Creeping on craigslist all day for a new job. Preparing my tax return a second and third time hoping for a different outcome than the $1000 I owe. Awkwardly avoiding invites to hang out with the guy I like because I’m so stressed and distracted by all the above. None of this is going to get me where I wanna go. Why can’t I just do the damn thing? Oof.

I wish it was easier for me to tell people what’s going on. Sometimes I think that if I talked more, I wouldn’t get so stuck in my head. I would think less and do more. But I don’t always like to talk. A woman I work with recently decided to end her marriage. She openly speaks about it. Not in a woe is me, needy way. Just in a way that is open and honest and real. It must be incredibly therapeutic. I want to be like that. But I guess that’s why I write here…right? David Ogilvy said that if you want action, don’t write – go and tell the guy what you want. I’m working on it. Right now I want a really good cry. Like, an uncontrollable, I-can’t-breathe baby cry. Did you know that stress hormones are released whole through tears? Otherwise they have to be broken down and processed by the liver. I’d like to give my liver a break. Nothing will come out more than a tear or two at a time. I’m sorry, liver. I try long walks. They help. I want a really good hug, too. One like my Dad gives. Or one from that boy I like. My Dad is 3,000 miles away right now. And I don’t know if I’m ready to hug the boy I like that way. I take other hugs from other people when they come my way. They aren’t the kind that I need, but they still help.

Sometimes when I feel like this, I look through old blog posts and notebooks to gain some perspective. Usually it brings me some focus. I grabbed an old notebook to take with me to the coffee shop. Its a few years old. I think I bought it around the time I started my job as a health educator. I brought it to Thailand with me, too. It is heavy. Not weight heavy. Emotional heavy. Its full of quotes and magazine cutouts. Little notes, to-do lists, workouts, songs I wanted to remember to download. I found a hand-made valentine from a former student of mine. People who make these things never know how special they are.

Then a bunch of notes from the Universe. Just what I needed to remember that it is all going to be OK.

After that I got to the pages of notes from  my Thai lesson classes. I got a little choked up. Right after those pages I got to a passage that says:

Well, I asked for it. I am such a bitch. “Other people can feel your energy.” So how do I stop? I just have to stop, easy as that. I’m so thankful for people who will tell me the truth when I need to hear it. Or ask me how I am and actually mean it. I know I can fix it instead of just wallowing. It’s not about me anymore. I’m affecting other people in a negative way and that’s just not cool, and it just isn’t me. 

Damn. Just what I needed. There isn’t a date on the page but I know the exact context of what I wrote. I was miserable in my teaching job and taking it out on all the people around me. There was another teacher named Shannon. She was the only one at the school I had any sort of connection with. I asked her for feedback and she laid it all out there. We barely knew each other. It takes a pretty rad person to be able to be that honest with you. She was never condescending or judgmental, either. I will always be thankful to her for thatI remember it like yesterday. I had already eaten dinner and she was starving. I bought beers at the store and we went to a little restaurant on the corner. I asked for ice for my Singha beer, and she ordered some stir-fry. They brought ice, a glass, and two meals. I can’t even tell you how many times language barriers and Thai culture got you something you didn’t want.

 I wrote those notes in response to our conversation. Even two years later it is a little hard to read that about yourself. I never want to be someone who negatively affects other people just by being around ever again. What a terrible thing to be. I am very sensitive to other people’s negative energy…maybe that’s why it is so difficult to face. I don’t know. I do know that everything that I am going through right now is something that I said yes to. I also know that I am in complete control of my attitude and choices. I know that I don’t ever want to be the person that others don’t want to be around – regardless of what I’m doing, how much money I make, how many bills I have to pay, or how many dishes my roommate left in the freaking sink again. I took me too long to realize that when I was in Thailand. You can never fully get the lesson from something like that when you’re in it. People must have been so relieved when I left. That is painful deep, deep down.

So I just keep breathing. Feel the love and be thankful whenever I can. Smile and laugh once in a while. Watch the sunset, knowing there is going to be another one tomorrow. Everything is going to be OK.