|Berrak Sarikaya||Oct 14|
We’ve had a good relationship, words and I. As with any relationship that lasts through the decades, we’ve had our ebbs, flows, and even betrayals.
But never like this.
No, this is the roughest patch we’ve ever hit because not only can I not rely on them for my projects, but I can’t even tap into the professional creative reserve. A simple email takes hours to write. Collecting my thoughts during a conference call is physically painful.
I show up, so why don’t they? Where are they hiding?
There was a time in my life when “prolific writer” would’ve been an apt way to describe me.
I’ve been accused of sharing too much. I would write thousands of words for school, for work, and then turn around to put out multiple blog posts a day, sharing “too much” of my personal life.
I processed the world through words.
For the past few months, all I’ve done is buffer.
So, not much processing has been happening.
I’m sure you can relate.
“Through the lack of attaching myself to words, my thoughts remain nebulous most of the time. They sketch vague, pleasant shapes and then are swallowed up; I forget them almost immediately.”
― Jean-Paul Sartre, Nausea
You know, I’ve been working for as long as I can remember. All I’ve ever wanted to do is grow and find ways to help people.
I haven’t always been good at this, and I’ve fumbled more times than I can count, but I’ve learned so much along the way.
And at times, I’ve turned into Doc from Boondock Saints, mixing up my metaphors and proverbs.
But I always find my way back.
Like the way I’m trying to find my way back to the reason I began writing this letter to you in the first place.
You see, part of the reason I’ve just been buffering is that I’ve been working for as long as I can remember. Last summer was the first time I took a real vacation in 11 years, and even during that, I worked at night after exploring Paris during the day.
I’ve been terrified of taking an actual break, maybe because the first time I took a 4-day weekend at a job, I got fired. That was 11 years ago, and I’ve gotten over it. I think.
But it took a pandemic to push me over the edge. Just like the rest of the world, dealing with the uncertainties and anxiety of the pandemic on top of daily levels of stress put my brain on stand-by mode.
So, I decided I need a reboot.
For the first time in 20 years, I’m taking a proper leave from work, where I will have no obligations, no deadlines, no responsibilities except to recharge.
Taking a 2-month leave of absence from work when I check my email even on my days off is a pretty terrifying decision.
Of course, there are underlying personal reasons, which you can read here if you’d like.
I want to stop buffering.
I want to find the words to share my story with the world, the same way I’ve always done.
I want to heal and find my way back to enjoying work again.
So, a month from now, I will shut down my work laptop and leave it behind to go looking for inspiration once again.
I will be writing without racing to a deadline.
And hopefully, I’ll find my way back to sharing those stories with you again.