Lost In e-Motion: The Burnout
No solutions here, just emotions…
There’s a familiar sinking feeling you get when you notice the first drop as it falls to the kitchen floor. Your heart skips a beat, but it’s not the good kind. Your mind does a few too many backflips as you analyse and over-analyse all the possible scenarios.
Now your step is cautious and slow as you proceed with care, trying not to poke the bear. Whether it’s a little bear or the more intimidating type, you are yet to find out, however, one thing you do know for sure is the first drop that caught your eye will not be the last.
If you’re lucky, it will form a tiny puddle on the floor, but if the gods are not on your team this time, you may soon end up with a swimming pool for a kitchen. It’s a moment I’m sure everybody can all relate to; returning from the store only to discover the bag in your hand is leaking from somewhere.
You quickly but slowly proceed by placing the bag in an area that wouldn’t pain you too much to clean afterwards and hope for the best.
First, you mentally scroll through the half-hour that led up to this moment. You cannot avoid trying to pinpoint which of the substances you added to your cart was THE bad decision. Then, you gather all the strength to dive in headfirst into the bag on an annoying search for the liquid culprit.
It could be the milk – that darn spilt milk – or perhaps it’s the drink you bought cause you thought the bottle was too cute to not belong in your cart. Well, that bottle may not look as pretty on the kitchen floor as it did displayed on a shelf! Recalling that moment of weakness makes you want to cuss at yourself. The feeling of sticky fluid as you attempt to save the magazine you picked up absentmindedly from the corner of the last aisle before checkout leaves you cussing some more. You still cuss some more as the liquid drops from the counter to the shoes that you just washed the day before, and you also swear off unnecessary purchases or even better, liquids in general. Might be a bit delusional, but in that moment, it’s catharsis – all that noise, lamentation and confessed frustration.
I feel like there’s a part of me that has been leaking for some time now. Perhaps, it’s not just one leak or one culprit to blame. I recognise I may have smashed a few too many bottles when I placed the bag on the concrete to free my hands as I twisted the key in the hole. Or maybe, there were already cracks in odd places when I picked the items off the shelf. Regardless, now there’s a leakage and I can’t quite figure out its source.
It’s the kind of fluid I can’t quite feel to the touch. As it flows away, I can’t catch its direction or trace its form and patterns no matter how hard I try. It could be a puddle or a pool forming quietly. Perhaps, by now it would be the size of a deep ocean, the kind that wants to expand and explore and touch ground with strange lands. The kind that feels at home everywhere, except for within me.
As it escapes me, I feel drained. Exhausted. Burnt-out.
Running around in circles trying to find the cause of the leakage doesn’t help much either. It leaves me weak at the knees and out of breath at the start of a new lap.
Cussing and swearing may take the edge off a brief moment, but nothing changes after the big pile on.
The burnout pushes me in the very opposite direction I want to go in. When I’m climbing up, my feet drag, as if being pulled down by gravity. When I’m holding on to a full bar of energy, the drainage is swift and painful – straight into a lethargic state of mind, a lethargic way of life even.
I’m always good with the first step. A bit too self-aware for my own good, a little too conscious. Being able to hold up a mirror to my drowsy reality is a good first step. I see it clearly for what it is – a problem. But what does that do if I keep failing at the second most important step – fixing the problem. It’s hard to clean up any mess when it’s on the inside.
A part of me tells me to work smarter, not harder. Maybe it’s not physically possible to quench multiple fires all at once. Maybe, you stop for a moment to gather your thoughts, look around, and if necessary, ask for help.
I know for I fact I don’t want to be that person; trying so hard to freeze the roaring ocean instead of hopping on the lifeboat.
Your restless romantic roamer