The Power Of Choice
What's gooooood, internet?
I'm sure you've heard about the subject I'm going to cover but I'm also sure you've never heard it outta the mouth of yours truly, so just play along with me, OK?
So you like to work. Right? I mean, you like your job? You hate your job? (If this is you, pro tip: quit.) But you still go to work. If you're like most of us, and I'd imagine most of my readers are in this boat but don't wanna judge if you happen to have a #SugarZaddy...I digress, you have a job you go to Monday through Friday. If you're like myself and work in fitness, you have a job you most likely go to Monday through Sunday with random days off thrown into the mix.
So you work. And after you leave work, you maybe check an email or five, do a little bit of admin at your house, on the train, in an Uber, or wherever you find yourself staring mindlessly into the screen of your smartphone. Someone gets sick, so you agree to work extra hours, or work on your "day off" once. Then it happens again and you don't think anything of it. Maybe you get offered a raise, you pick up a few extra shifts or you take on a new job in addition to the one you already have.
And this is us, right? This is our world. Always be working! You can never have enough connections! You'll *network* and potential opportunities will arise because of it! The grind never stops! You don't NEED to sleep 8 hours a night! Who has time to sleep 8 hours a night! You've been sick for like two months now and you haven't noticed? Take a fucking Emergen-C and a ginger shot and go to yoga! Make sure it has ginger in it. That's the good shit. You'll be fine. I'm fine. Right?
One day you'll wake up, where you're supposed to go to work (of course) and you can't move your neck. Or your voice is so raspy you can barely whisper. Or your stomach is so bloated you look like you're 3 months pregnant because you've been eating dairy, even though you know you're allergic to dairy, because FUCK it's just soooo good and so easy and so quick and did someone say nachos? Sure, I'll have some. Two weeks ago I was driving down a metaphorical road off a metaphorical cliff and the universe said to me, GO! Watch what happens. So I did and naturally, as you can imagine: I crashed. Hard.
There is something to be said about loving your job. There are literally zero other places I'd rather be than teaching. I think about it all day, I dream about it, I talk about it constantly because it is what I am meant to do. It makes me feel like ME. So what happens when someone tells you to do LESS of that thing you love so much? You laugh, you shake it off, you think "no way! I love this shit! Why would I stop?"
Because one day you're going to wake up, and you're not going to have a choice.
You only get one place to live permanently your entire life, and that place is your body. (Thanks, etherial Instagram quote accounts.) Your body is the boss. It functions so unbelievably and autonomously no matter what we ask of it. So when you neglect it, when you treat it like shit, when you work out 4x a day for 4 months, when you eat whatever you want, whenever you want - something's gotta give. I've learned a lot about myself in the past two weeks as last week, I was forced (by a doctor, I might add) to take some time off. I love to work. That will likely never change and I know this for a fact. But I also know now that scheduling yourself every hour, of every day with zero actual days off? First of all, hard no. Second of all, not sustainable for everyday life. I'm 27, and although approaching the #DirtyThirty club (30 is the new 20 though, amirite?) I still very much like to have a social life. This all seems so simple, try and balance work and a social life and having time to walk your dog. But it never is, is it?
This is an independent account of what happened to me when I hit the metaphorical wall. I chose every class, obligation, commitment and food that led me up to this point. I chose them. Most things in life don't HAPPEN to you, most things are a series of choices that lead you to this: job, commitment, relationship, etc. I'm not a therapist, nor any expert on how to balance out your life. I just know that there's something extremely important about my days off where I can listen to NPR or Frank Sinatra or a podcast about fucking holistic nutrition and walk my dog to Castle Island. Your brain, your body, your emotions - they all need a day off. They need more time to recharge than the ~8 hours of sleep you give them a day, if you're lucky.
At B/SPOKE, I often talk about the song after arms being a "time out from life."
When do you actually even get one of those?
And if life were to hand you one, would you choose it?
It is so hard to disconnect, believe me - I'm the first to admit this. But as a unit I think we all could do a better job at this. So today, I'm starting with me. I choose a time out. Reset. I walked down Newbury, turned my phone off and just took a pause.
How do you recharge? How do you reset? How do you say no when you really want to say yes? If I've learned one thing about life it's that we all function better when we help one another. So help me, help you, help me. Number one on the list? Put your phone down.
I intend for this to be a space for me to share relatable experiences and narratives on the crazy ass shit this game called life throws at us. I promise it will be fun, I promise it will be relevant, but most of all: I promise it will be real AF.
This is me, coming in hot.