On Taking A Break.

I think it began in March.

I was interviewing artist Windy Chien, who I greatly admire, for Giant Robot Magazine. Though it was an “interview,” it was crazy how easily conversation flowed. An hour and a half passed in a blink of the eye. There were two things she said that really took root in my brain. First, she said,

“I like to say that I’ve lived three lives already, and to me, that’s very comfortable”

When she said that, it really resonated with me. Not only did it strike a chord deep in my mind, it’s never left my head— it’s been on repeat within me. I have also lived two lives, and now, I’m on my third. I have never though of these different phases of lives as actual, separate, lives themselves.

Windy also said this:

No one is going to give you permission; you have to give it to yourself.  If you can listen to those voices inside of you that are calling you very strongly in a direction, you have to give yourself permission to follow those voices.

While the interview was chock-full of good advice, it was these two ideas that she said that have stuck with me since. It was especially relevant in that April was an exciting month, where the tides really changed in my life.

I started a new job, the dream job. It is what I’ve been working towards since that fateful day I quit my job in healthcare in 2012. When I quit, I had no idea what the future held. And, 5 years later, I still wasn’t quite sure what I was working toward. When would I finally feel *fulfilled*? All these gigs— will I always be spreading myself so thin amongst all of them?! Then, I found it. I FINALLY FOUND IT. Or, it found me. In a serendipitous turn of events, I finally found what I’ve been searching for these past five years. I didn’t know what it was until it was staring me in the face, and oh boy, does it look good.

Meanwhile I also turned 30. I embraced a new decade and new “life,” as Windy said. And it’s because of this, that I began to let some things go. It felt liberating and also terrible at the same time. I began to neglect this little corner of my world, and felt a crippling lack of creative inspiration. I barely picked up my camera. And while I should be celebrating, I felt guilty.

I felt guilty I haven’t shared all my adventures with you here. I felt guilty that I wasn’t working on the weekends, and instead, enjoying a slower pace of life. I felt guilty NOT working on the weekends. Finally, I remembered to give myself permission.

Permission to take a break. I remembered why I worked so hard to begin with. Why I would work a full time job then take on other creative projects and “gigs”. Why I skipped out on social events and spending time with friends to work. I kept doing more and more because something was lacking, and now I feel fulfilled*.

It’s been amazing to spend a whole weekend, well, not working. And while I still am working on the weekend (literally just did some work before this), generally, I am enjoying my time like I haven’t before. And now I’m back. I feel so much more refreshed, and was finally able to remember why I did this in the first place. To WANT to write about everything, rather than doing it because I needed to post ___ times a week.

So hey, I’m back. I missed you.

Are you interested in hearing more career advice? Let me know in the comments below and I’ll draft something up!

4 Comments

  1. It’s so important to take a break, to enjoy. And also for people you love. I love the giving yourself permission idea, gonna keep that one in mind.

    Refreshing article!

  2. Aw I really love this post. I love the idea of living multiple lives. It means you’re growing and evolving.

    Here’s to 30! :)

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