Burn Out (And not the fun kind)

ImageThis was me about three years ago. I fantasized about this magical place called Yelapa in Mexico for some time. I finally, at the height of angst-filled wanderlust, booked my trip. It’s known as Paradise. It’s reputation isn’t just about the literal beauty of this small fishing village, but also because it has an air of calm, tranquility, peace and family. It’s pretty much the perfect cure for anything that ails you. And in my case, it was perfection.

I left my 4 year old at home, and set out on a journey of shedding my stress like nobody’s business. It wasn’t until my third or fourth day, that I was actually able to relax.

I’m uptight by nature. I am smart enough to know, the core of that trait is control. If i don’t have control and every area of my life, I just can’t seem to function. You can imagine how much self-imposed frustration I have, as a result. I bought this lightswitch plate that says, ‘What makes your heart flutter? Surrender’. It appealed to me because, I don’t allow surrender. Not with my laundry piling up, not with my weight, not with my happiness. I must demonstrate pseudo-have-my-shit-together 24/7, lest I fall apart.

I know where this came from. I mentioned before, I feel the wiggle of discontent/pain/unease – and work backwards until I find the source. And it doesn’t take a professional psychoanalyst to figure me out. Three little letters, DAD.

Take a man who has no authentic self and pair him up with opportunistic ventures such as an army of children, religious promotion and a thriving business based on supply & demand, and there you have a monster.

I wasn’t ‘beat’. I wasn’t underfed, unclothed, etc. For the most part, I had some normalcy growing up. What left lasting damage, was the ‘never-good-enough’ shit he piled on his family. Not only did I have to watch my Mother become unraveled due to his tyranny, but I also – with my siblings – experienced a cold corporal parenting style, laced with the guise of religion and it’s false sequential love. What did that produce? A constant state of perfectionism.

And back to the point of this post, perfectionists are seldom relaxed, calm, at-peace individuals. It takes so much energy to keep one’s shit straight internally and externally, that there’s little room left for joy. Pure, giggly joy.

This moment in the photo, was a slice of joy. I lounged in a hammock like a monkey. Drinking my red wine, and just …. being. Not being a mother, wife, woman, sister, daughter, friend or employee. Not being sad or mad or glad. Just breathing and being. It was sublime, what this magical place did for me.

I realise we can create our own peace regardless of geographical or situational spots in life. But vacations make that realm of self-acceptance and peace so  much more easily attainable.

I am at burn out stage. Time to book something…quickly.

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