Feeling burnt out? Light a new fire

Macy Holloway

“No, it’s not exactly a bang my head against the wall, pull out my fingernails bored.” I tell my soon-to-be former boss of my current predicament over Chile’s margaritas this past weekend. “It’s more like I’m doing the work and I’m watching the newer people smile and laugh and learn all that stuff I learned two years ago and I just all of the sudden realize that, that probably won’t happen again for me here.”

Now you have to realize that my current boss just gets me in a way that not many employers ever have or will. So when I storm into the office once a month and say crazy things like, “No, Jeff I can’t ask them again because they won’t want to do it because they don’t see the underlying value in covering something like this…and literally, I’m just here, trying to let the message speak and dance with all of these gorgeous, flowering organizations on campus, but they- they’re over in some cinder block building somewhere yelling about ads and page views!”

I hadn’t until very recently ever noticed how relaxed I actually am about life, issues and deadlines–I know, probably a bit surprising for someone who’s worked in the journalism industry for the past three years; but hey, I’m a Writing major. So while my decision to leave Student Media for my last semester of college wasn’t a surprise to me, it was to my friends.

Personally, I don’t think it’s healthy to remain stagnant in a job that doesn’t fulfill you, and I feel like over the past three years each of my jobs has been able to do that so far. But as soon as I felt that seeping feeling of ‘maybe I could be doing something more,’ I made a choice.

I’m a big believer in finding inspiration wherever you are and I felt like maybe taking this chance and being away from the honeycomb of friends and noise I’ve been surrounded by since I first stepped on campus is the best way to say goodbye.

This shouldn’t be a choice you let anyone else make for you, when you’re walking down the pedestrium, watching the sun shine through your fingertips and listening to your favorite song–that’s when you make your choice.

Ask yourself, what do I want to be doing for the next six months with my time? What have I been wanting to accomplish? Because now I can finally stop all the long-winded procrastination and just start living the creative adult life I’ve been daydreaming about as I rewatch episodes of Bob’s Burgers and hope to God that one day I’ll be as fulfilled with everyday life as Gene.

It may be scary and your friends may try to talk you out of it, but give it a week. Once you start thinking about all of the possible things you could do with your free time–being able to read again, write that book, make that short film or tackle that project you know is going to be kick ass–explaining yourself almost seems meaningless because who wouldn’t want this kind of time?

So if even for a second you begin to feel burnt out, take a walk, and try to think about the sort of fire you really want to start.