yours, tiramisu

⭐ hanging on in quiet desperation

I'm back in Bumpkin County for work, after a weeklong vacation in the Caribbean. I arrived in the airport this morning expecting to see my coworkers as usual, but even after a long wait they were nowhere to be found. I panicked a little, fearing that I might have traveled on the wrong day, but it wasn't that bad—as it turns out, we were supposed to travel up in the evening today, not the morning. Lost sleep aside, I didn't really mind, but I think this miscommunication is symbolic of bigger issues. Nobody tells me anything, and I often feel invisible, like I could disappear without anyone noticing.

That being said, it was actually quite nice being up here without my team. I got to have the whole empty office to myself (people only work in the office from Tuesday to Thursday), and I was able to leave at 5 instead of 7 or 8 as we normally do. Leaving the office with the sun still in the sky does wonders for my mood, and I'm once again reminded how transformative three uninterrupted hours of leisure can be.

I also got to eat at my favorite restaurant in town, a casual Mediterranean joint kind of like CAVA. I rarely get to eat here because my coworkers are card-carrying vegetable haters, and the restaurant is one of the few in town with palatable vegetarian options, so I took advantage of my unexpected freedom by eating there for both lunch and dinner. While eating alone in public is not typically my idea of fun, I savored every bite knowing that the alternative was listening to my coworkers drone on and on about things I don't care about. I got to go when I wanted, eat at my own pace (fast), and take advantage of the extra two hours I normally would have spent attempting to socialize with them by going to the gym and writing this.

Coincidentally, that restaurant is actually the first place I ate at in this town, the eve before my first day of work a few years ago. I went with a coworker I'd met on the flight here, and we bonded over the buzzing excitement of starting our first full-time jobs. We were so young back then; she's long since left, quitting after not even a year, and the years have jaded me beyond belief. In the office I daydream about anything that might earn me a reprieve from the never-ending flood of work: getting hit by a car on the way to lunch, jumping out of the fifth floor window, really anything. I know, I know—I need to get out of here. It's a work in progress.

Upon learning that I was (accidentally) in the office today, one of my coworkers came to keep me company after lunch. I was touched by his gesture, especially because we're not particularly close. He's technically my understudy, the guy they hired to replace me when I leave (either when they deem me competent enough to join a project or too useless to stay). I've taken a liking to him, so I do my best to give him the mentoring I never had. It breaks my heart when I see fresh-faced college grads join the company eager to impress, and I always hope that they don't suffer the same bleak fate I (and so many of my now ex-coworkers) have.

The week away has been okay to me, I think. I wish I'd made the time to write when I was there1, since now I have so many jumbled Thoughts the prospect of untangling them fills me with dread. I tried my very best to avoid exhaustion during vacation, and as a result I feel slightly less burnt out than I did before, even though the restfulness is already starting to fade. A week away isn't enough for the kind of crushing hopelessness I feel; I need a long sabbatical, maybe for life. The worst part is, I don't have any more trips to look forward to for the near future, and I don't know how I'll muster up the energy to keep going without something to look forward to. My mind keeps thinking back to the Pink Floyd line that goes, hanging on in quiet desperation is the English way. If they can do it, I can too, right?

I watched this poignant Life of Riza video recently. I like the video, but the comments are what stood out to me, especially these two:

"Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass, it's about learning how to dance in the rain."

"You can't wait until life isn't hard anymore before you decide to be happy."

I think I've gotten oddly comfortable being depressed this year, so much so that it feels unfamiliar leaving my cocoon of misery now. I can't pinpoint exactly what I find comfortable about my unhappiness: is it that it gives me an excuse to not do the things I know I should be doing? Is it the last way I have of clinging to lost love? Or all of the above, perhaps? Whatever the reason, those quotes are right: I can't just wait for life to pull me out. I'm not doing myself any favors by holing up at home and neglecting my responsibilities.

I want to end this on a good note, so I want to say that it's really good to be back. I missed a lot of things when I was on vacation, like fresh fruits and vegetables, my electric toothbrush, and the chilly autumn weather, but above all, I missed the quiet restorative feeling of writing these wordvomits. I'm proud I got this post out to break my drought, and I'm glad you're here with me for the ride. Fate permitting, I'll see you very soon.

  1. It was tough, since I wanted to spend as much time with my friends as I could, and also because I packed for an entire week's worth of travel in a single backpack.

#english #journal #life #travel #wordvomit #work