On Resurfacing after Burn Out

We poked through the sparse, fluffy clouds, our tiny American Eagle plane filled to half capacity, carrying no more than 30 passengers. My window beside my single seat revealed a perfect landscape below. I could see miles of Atlanta’s horseshoe-shaped developments as we slid through perfectly puffball clouds, their shadows visible far below.

And up here, as I traverse back to Miami, I breathe a sigh of relief. It’s as if I had been holding my breath for a week in Chattanooga, unsure of how family and friends would respond, or unsure of how I’d feel there. It wasn’t really until Grace scooped me up from Jim’s house that a sense of ease came over me, and from the time I close that car door in Norht Chattanooga to the time I opened it to get out at the airport, I felt understood.

Much of our conversation dissected me, my ethic, my personality and what that looked like after leaving all that I’d built up in Chattanooga and moving to Miami. I was firing on all fronts, so to speak, for nearly four years in Chattanooga. I took myself seriously and my job even more seriously. I wanted to fully embody and embrace professionalism and my new carrer until it wore me out. In the meantime, I went out, I biked everywhere, I exercised at least five or six days a week and socialized in every last second available.

When work no longer fulfilled me and outside of work I had clearly burned through a series of relationships, I switched jobs. The intensity continued, though, and I thought that by more fully embracing my habitual yoga practice—and pursuing teacher training—I could rebalance. Instead it ramped up the intensity, and I pushed myself to the brink, unsure of what piece, what foot would drop first. I had no idea all of it would come down, my bubble of insane drive and desire would reverse itself.

The years of intensity, antipersperant, trying to act professional wouldn’t wash away, per se, but the charm would wear off. The excitement and newness and challenge would fade, and I found myself bored, drunk, and wondering what to do next.

Challenge, and all the discomfort that often accompanies it, has always appealed to me. Or rather, it’s always been present in my life. I like the slow steady burn of uncovering a new place, filp flopping my circumstances. This change represented the undoing of the past four years. Not only was I fed up with the monotony and seemingly glass ceiling of the business world (and industry) I had immersed myself in, but I craved satisfaction on a more primal and simultaneously more cerebral level. See: Miami.

And the major aspect of Miami, a dynamic, interesting city in and of itself no doubt, that differs the most is Jeff, my partner. His social views, his ideals and goals represent challenges beyond those any city could ever present me. These challenges are beyond a resume, cover letter and business suit. They question and ask so much more of me, they ask me to seek my authentic self, so much that I often feel overwhelemed at the task, and the responsibility of being my truest self, of honesty, ambition and love. It’s hard to accept those challenges for yourself in life, let alone someone else who you love and respect so much.

This trip to Chattanooga reminded me though of my burning passion and desire. It reminded me of my youthfulness, my vibrance and exhuberance I embody. It reminded me of the fire in my belly and in my heart, and a heat that I return with willing to share with someone I care for very, very much.

It’s fucking freezing up here, in our tin can flying 37K feet above the earth, likely in South Georgia now, hurdling through space and time. There aren’t many things, tasks or behaviors I want to address or change upon my return. No, I’m going to keep moving ahead, enjoying each day for its richness, its challenge, its blessing, its love and opportunity, no matter how easy, hard, uncomfortable or comfortable that situation is.

I love these changes, these challenges and most importantly the overwhelming joy and breathlessness I feel when I’m with this person, my partner, my best friend, as we sit on the beach or bob in the waves of the great Atlantic. No matter the hurdles we face, I know that we share them together, stronger together as a team than as one.

“Strangers on this road we are on
We are not two we are one.”

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