I propose an experiment. It involves workaholics, their lives, and a vacation. Let’s pull them from their jobs and giant offices above the clouds in big cities and make them relax. I truly think they would fall apart. Their internal organs would relax, twitch, and sleep, yet break completely. The brain would stop rushing with demands, their cold blood would warm up from rest, and their hearts would be reintroduced to people they haven’t had the time to think about in months.
When the body rests, the rest of the world is illuminated. When people step outside of their daily routines, they feel exposed. The people they left behind for good or stupid reasons are spotlighted and noticed. The emotions that those people carry are ignited and left to sizzle in the brain, creating unreliable feelings. They would not feel this way if they led their day-to-day life. The routines, the lunch meetings, the constant to-do list. These people would need to pay attention to their bodily desires. They’ll probably go mad. And who wouldn’t want to watch the fallout?
But then again, maybe this experiment would be the destruction of these work-driven people. With so much practice at working, becoming an expert in their field, studying the newest products, researching the best strategies, having people respect you because of a title… to all of a sudden having to be likable on your own, without it all. This is why I think they would break completely.
I can hold it together on the same ol’ day-in-and-day-out routine. I can wake up early, make sure to shower at night, pack a balanced lunch, be a likeable teacher every single day. I can take a chill pill when I’m uptight to be consistent with my students. I can bullshit with people and mean it. I can be myself at work and embrace all of the moods in the same facial expression as not to rock the boat. I can push my emotions aside for certain people and focus. I can be a team player and provide good ideas. I can concentrate 24 hours, seven days a week…
…until there’s a break scheduled. Up until that break, I’m busting my ass to be able to have a true break with no take-home work. I’m counting down the days and repeating the cliche “I can see a light at the end of the tunnel!” Then there’s the initial response of euphoria when that last bell rings and the students disperse. The idea that I can sleep in tomorrow and wear yoga pants for five days will drive me to celebrate with friends. The first day is amazing. Even the second because it just feels like a normal weekend Saturday and Sunday.
Once that third day hits, I break. Completely. If I don’t schedule something great every day, I have nothing to look forward to except the promise of locking myself into my box. I don’t even have to be in a bad mood to be tempted back into emotions of people I used to know and the fact that I don’t anymore. I feel things so much more deeply at this point. It’s like maybe I do like this person… but come Monday, I won’t. I won’t because work starts again. It’s a constant tug-of-war with myself. I’m so self-aware constantly, so I know I am notorious for routine and the same old life. I like it. I like my lonely life, until I finally feel the loneliness.
I’m an introvert, I crave the quiet nights riding solo into the takeout pizza and movie marathon. I have my books, my friends, my family, and most of the times, I just don’t care enough to get to know someone else. But the people I have known once before and through whatever circumstances have lost, are the ones my heart aches for and what puts me away. They are the ones who make me break.
I’ll ponder that until Monday, then get back to work. So really, disregard this message then.