yours, tiramisu

burnout and black friday

There are only two tragedies in life: one is not getting what one wants, and the other is getting it. ~Oscar Wilde

It's been a week since I lost my job, and my mom seems to think I should be applying for open positions already. I get where she's coming from, and I've started working on getting back there myself, but I feel a serious aversion any time I think about anything remotely career-adjacent. One of my close friends kindly sent me an internal job posting at her fiancée's company which seemed to suit me this week. I was so touched she thought of me and wanted to thank her, but every time I thought to respond I just couldn't bring myself to look at the job posting. Perhaps this is something I could unpack in therapy this week...

I throw the word 'burnout' around sometimes to describe how I'm feeling, but only recently did I realize that I have no idea what it really means. I found a definition on and I've certainly can identify many of these symptoms (lower productivity, feelings of hopelessness and resentment, withdrawing from responsibilities, isolating from others). But knowing the definition doesn't help me with drawing the line between taking time off to recover and being plain lazy. I don't feel many of these symptoms anymore (at least as intensely) now that I'm free from work's clutches, but how do I know if I've properly recovered? I know this is one of those questions nobody can really answer except for me, but I suppose posing it here can't hurt in case anybody has answered it for themselves.

I'm continuing to be decently productive in my time off. Not productive in the harried way my boss wanted me to be, but productive on my own terms, which means getting one or two key tasks done a day and leaving the rest of the day to think, read, and write. I spent a few hours before noon crafting a new résumé in LaTeX (since I don't have Microsoft Office on my personal computer and I'd lost my original when I got locked out of my work laptop), which was surprisingly quite enjoyable. It feels nice to see tangible results after working hard on something, and I haven't felt that way at work in quite a while. I was definitely getting lots of tasks done there, but I was given no time to breathe before I was thrown something else to work on, and it felt like my effort was seldom appreciated and never enough.

It's funny to me that now that I have all the time in the day to write, I don't feel nearly as compelled to. I just don't have as many thoughts building up pressure in my head as I used to when I worked. I don't know why this could be—is it a reflection of how poorly suited I was to the work I was doing? Or more generally, an observation on the fickleness of inspiration? It's almost as if my brain responded to the prohibition on writing during working hours with more thoughts, and now that that restraint is gone, whatever idea generation engine is stifled. The same happens in other areas for me too: when I'm away from home I do anything to get my hands on a piano, but now that I'm at home with all the time in the world to play it, I hardly do.

I saw a Black Friday ad the other day, and much to my amazement, a bunch of Black Friday sales have already begun, despite it only being the first week of November. (Black Friday isn't for another three weeks?!) Way back when there was a huge uproar when companies started sneaking their Black Friday sales earlier and earlier on Thursday (because they were encroaching on the sacred Giving of Thanks!); sales could start in October and nobody would bat an eye. Something something about capitalism ruining everything, mmmph.

One year for Black Friday I camped outside of Sports Authority in a freezing cold tent for the doorbuster deals at midnight, and another I waited hours outside Best Buy for a Macbook. I used to say Black Friday was my favorite holiday for thrills like these (and of course getting the cool things afterwards didn't hurt), and now as a (slightly less un)conscious consumer it's become the holiday I most try to ignore. I hate being bombarded with ads for things I don't need, feeling them sap at my willpower and attention, and seeing parking lots fill up on the only day of the year they're designed for. I made it through last year without buying anything, and I'm hoping I can carry on that good momentum this year.

yours, tiramisú

#anticonsumerism #english #journal #life #minimalism #wordvomit #work