This post has been on my mind for almost a year now. For no rational reason tonight was the night to write it.
It was just over a year ago that I submitted my final grades for the first class of BBA students I taught, celebrated the completion of my MBA, and boarded a plane for Thailand. As many of you know, I decided to take myself on this trip because I was tired and needed a breather.
But what I didn’t realize until I was thousands of miles away and near the end of a beautiful, but emotional week of yoga, meditation and sleep was that this was not the case. I was not simply tired. I was not even burned out. I was beyond that. What I discovered is that I had completely disconnected from myself; emotionally, physically and spiritually.
To put it simply, I had lost who I was and the true purpose of my life to a schedule. I justified the craziness in many ways. I told myself I was giving back, giving to others; that I was being productive, ambitious, and that it was necessary for me to work this hard. People would often ask me how I did all the things I was doing. How did I keep all the balls in the air. So I named it: compartmentalizing. I even wrote part of a paper in my MBA about it. It sounded so smart at the time.
It’s funny to me now how we can so easily convince ourselves of our own bullshit.
In the end, what I had taken on left me zero time for reflection, self-nurturing and simply being. I had lost myself. My true self.
During my MBA program, I met a cool guy, who has since become a very dear friend. He would often ask me how I “did it all” and in return I would ask him how he manages so much work-life balance. He loves to have a lot of leisure time in his life and I was all about being super productive and in constant motion. The night of my MBA celebration we were joking about our differences with a group of friends and he said the most profound thing to me; although I didn’t know it at the time.
Sometimes Melanie, I just sit and stare out the window.
Who has time to just sit and stare out the window?
We laughed. It was funny; and I did not give any further thought to the conversation until I was in Thailand and I took this picture from the restaurant where I spent many hours sitting, eating, talking and just being.
I immediately sent him this text.
“You would be so proud of me. I am sitting here staring out my “window!”
It hit me like a train. I wasn’t tired. I wasn’t burned out. I simply hadn’t spent enough time sitting and staring out “my window.”
With love and gratitude,