STOP! Give Me A Break! Why It’s Important To Say Time-Out

It’s been a while, you might say. I’ve been pretty much M.I.A. in the blogosphere and while I apologize for the long silence on my blog especially, I have to say it was a very necessary time out my whole being needed.

Two weeks ago, my last day at university came and went by in a flash and all of a sudden everything felt different. I woke up the next morning without the sound of my super persistent alarm clock to wake me up and no plans or programme in store for the day.  My initial reaction was to instruct my google home to play songs on Spotify while I pretended to have my name in lights above the grand stage in my imagination and practice my awkward dance moves in my room. Rather than a concert, it was more of a Tom Cruise style underwear dance in living room type situation (you know, the famous one), and in my head for a few minutes, I guess I was living my best life.

And then… then came the silence.

I abruptly asked Google to stop the music and after a second attempt, she decided to comply. I sat there. In silence. A few minutes went by and yet I couldn’t get myself to carry on with my pretend Hollywood movie star iconic moment.

I hate the Silence. I hate it so much it freaks me out and makes me feel vulnerable and exposed. My mind runs like crazy and I can hear every single thought in my brain and sometimes that not a great picture. 

For the first time in my life, I had no plan, no next thing prepared or in the works. I knew this moment would come sooner than later, I was already kinda mentally preparing for it and wrote about my fears and thoughts and desires in my previous post, however, I didn’t know I would handle it as bad as I did that afternoon.

No matter what I did in life, in the past, I’ve always had education leading the way. It was kindergarten then elementary school, moved to Italy, then middle school and high school, and then university in Manchester. Whatever turn my life took, I was always sitting somewhere with a desk facing a blackboard or a screen and although I would always look forward to life after education, I’m not sure I fully realised the reality behind that aftermath I so much craved.

My anxiety took first place that day leading me to question and mentally investigate all the things I had done prior to that particular moment. In other words, I had a full-on existential crisis, to say the least; like I was a lost child in the middle of nowhere. I’m in no way trying to sound dramatic, but it was a type of feeling I couldn’t easily describe with words. 

Just to be clear, I’m not trying to say I don’t feel ready to graduate or that I don’t feel like I’m ready for the ‘real world’ to kick in. I feel like somehow I am, I feel like over the years, life has prepared me for ‘adult’ life in so many ways and when I find myself in the nitty-gritty of it all I’ll know exactly what to do, but right then and there I had no tools at hand and no idea of what the hell I was supposed to do with myself at that point.

There were way too many questions in my head; like when you receive messages from a group chat and everyone in it is replying all at once in real time, giving you no time to actually make sense of the words you see flash through your eyes. It was an overwhelming feeling and the worst part was I was the one making me feel that way. For hours.  Nonstop.

In that period, I couldn’t really write anything I actually liked or anything I thought deserved to see the light on the internet or anywhere as a matter of fact. My thoughts were as messy as an unrecycled bin and that was definitely translating in the words I was scribbling on the page.

Write, see the potential, change my mind, erase. That was the process I went through for a few days. I felt like I was pretty bad at the one thing I actually love doing, which just fed into my crumpled-up thoughts on whether a degree in journalism was the right one (a bit too late for that question, I might add). That was the moment I realised I needed a break, I needed to stop for a moment, hit the pause button and get away from my current environment to gather my thoughts again before moving forward.

I booked the cheapest ticket I could find from Manchester to Coventry as I knew I could go visit my sister at her dorm for the first time since she left for university last September. A few clothes in a hand luggage style suitcase and that was it. I rode a straight CrossCountry train passed Birmingham and eventually got off at Coventry. It was a two-hour long journey and I slept through most of it, to be honest.

Time away was sort of therapeutic; I didn’t find all the answers to my dilemmas, in fact, I don’t think I specifically found any if I’m honest with myself. My time there, while being a fun experience, also had its disastrous moments that I couldn’t escape from and although I packed a suitcase to go, I couldn’t necessarily unpack the internal baggage I was carrying or life’s tendency to throw unexpected things at you. I guess that’s what I took away from the whole experience in the end.

I’m an advocate for getting away and clearing your mind for a while in order to come back to look at things from a brand new perspective. I don’t see it as running away from a situation, but rather realising the fact that you are struggling is already a form of strength. Just because I went away didn’t mean I wasn’t thinking about the things that bothered me in the first place and I still found myself stressing about new things in the city I escaped to.  

I’m back now and while not much has changed, I do feel like I’m living day by day with a clearer mindset due to the fact that I was able to pull back from my usual reality even just for a few days. I still have no answers to all the thoughts in my head and I still don’t know what I’ll be doing in the near future or in a few years time. Nothing is solved, and everything is still up in the air, but now, when I do my awkward embarrassing dance session in my bedroom, the awkwardness comes from a genuine part of me having fun rather than the desire to convince myself that I’m unbothered.

Your restless romantic roamer



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