Having finally ended my vacations, I find myself needing to write about how weird I feel right now. You know... it's very strange. I feel... rested, relaxed, free of worry, anger and frustration are all a thing of the past. This is kind of new to me. So feel free to point at me like the weird fuck that I might seem right now, I don't care, I'm enjoying the moment and milking it for all that it's got. Who knows when some dickwad will do something to bring me out of my zen mode and bingo, there will be blood again, or as I like to call it, business as usual.
It is very hard what we have to endure in this business. The last weeks at my office I thought I was going to lose my mind...
Clients, who knew for months that I was leaving for a long awaited shutdown, decided to stretch their deadlines and not give me any information about the jobs that I had pending, HOURS before I packed my bags and left. Cruel? Maybe, who knows if they did it on purpose, like to punish me for committing the ultimate sin of abandoning them on Christmas season - one of the slowest in advertising but who cares, right?
Coming up to my vacations I was having full on nightmares, and that's when I had the luxury to sleep because I was also suffering from extreme insomnia. I was drinking heavily to numb the anxiety... ah, my body was shutting down in all its force and I was just a spectator waiting for the huge finale.
And suddenly I'm on a plane, far away from the office... but still my mind would not let me give it up. It took me a few days to finally just let go and enjoy my surroundings and suddenly something very unusual happened: I fell asleep. I slept, and slept and slept like there was no tomorrow. At one point I thought my body was just going to sleep all through my vacations! Little by little I regained my strength and most of all, the one thing that had eluded me for months: peace of mind. Tranquility. Silence. My mind just shut the fuck up for once, and I found myself looking around me, smelling, tasting and enjoying whatever was nearby, like I was an alien, new in this planet.
Why am I writing about this? Because I am the example of what not to do, how long you don't have to wait before you rest. I was sick out of my mind, my nerves were shattered, my brain was totally fried. I cried for no reason, I slept only with medication for months, I found peace in alcohol. And for what? For some full page ads and some tv spots.
It's not worth it. Trust me guys, this work can destroy us. We must do whatever it takes to take some time out, to rest. And no, I don't mean a weekend. No, I even don't need a week. It took me almost two weeks to finally let go, and I am sure I need one more to feel like myself totally again, but I know that I need to work and produce so I can rest again. It's a double edge sword, this life of advertising, but I learned a lot from this past shutdown.
I promised myself that I would never do that again. Yes, that was my new year resolution, and I am planning to do it all year round: I need to give a shit a little more. I need to make myself more important than a deadline. My health will not be questioned or thought over some stupid work that people will not look at, turn the page or change a channel. While I say this over and over again; we are not curing cancer, we are not saving lives, sometimes I forget it and think we are, in fact, doing it. I sometimes forget that this is one of the stupidest jobs ever, because we don't make real change in our society, we don't contribute life changing moments. We are just making a product noticeable in whatever media our client wants to pay.
And my mind and body are way more important, because if I can cure or save one thing, it's Me.
Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, Hanukkah, Three Kings Day, Kwanzaa and all other cool festivities, my friends. May this year bring you joy and a great awakening.
Much love. Me.