It normally happens that I don’t truly recognize how tired and cranky I am until I take a day off from work. And I don’t mean the normal weekends or breaks during the school year. I mean officially-take-a-personal-leave-day-off.
Originally today was supposed to be used for picking up my dad fro the airport and getting him settled back at home. Now, with the passing away of my grandmother, and my dad postponing his return, and my landlord caring about his buddies more than his paying tenants, and my mom returning to HK barely two weeks after she landed from the same place, I decided to keep the day to get myself organized. And to simply rest.
So far today, I’ve looked into getting an updated home loan pre-approval letter, stocked up on supplies from Costco and Trader Joe’s (I’m loving my new Costco membership), read a little bit, wrote a little bit, unloaded and unpacked the car load of stuff I brought home, replied to some emails and phone calls, and just enjoyed bit of leisure.
I haven’t taken a personal day since 2013, when I used it to move house. The prior personal day before that was in 2010 during my first year teaching and I made a pact to myself to take a day off every 6-8 weeks. I remember doing that anyway, because I got sick that first year every 6-8 weeks, acclimating to all the germs I’m exposed to from being around 150+ students all day.
I haven’t taken a sick day since 2012 when I caught the flu (after having 15 students out with some sort of fever or other over a span of two weeks). And even then, I only took one day, even if I was running a fever for three.
I’ve grown pretty much immune to anything kid-germs can throw at me by now. But that doesn’t mean I’m not feeling well in other ways. My brain is fried. My spirit is exhausted. My soul needs rest and my heart needs comfort.
I was struck by this when I spent some time re-watching a bit of The Disappearance of Suzumiya Haruhi. This is easily my favorite anime/manga serial of all time. I haven’t thought about it in years. I used to relate a lot to Haruhi – all the random chaos in the search for something more. I saw myself bulldozing over people like her character tends to do.
But last night, I found myself shocked at how young she acted. How restless, yet hopeful. I would never do such bulldozing now! I would never be so immature and random today! I would definitely not be so loud and attention seeking.
And….I kinda miss that.
I miss that freedom when I wasn’t bound by both societal and my own preconceptions of what a successful adult should be. I should buy a house, get married, settle down, pay taxes, toil away at my job like a good worker ant, say mature and wise things, be perfectly coifed and dressed, exude mature confidence, never step on any toes (or at least work hard not to), save for retirement by using my money wisely, eat less junk and exercise more.
I’m not saying that all those adulthood things are bad. I like being able predict that I have retirement covered. I like eating less junk, and working at my job, and saying wise and mature things. I certainly like the fact that I dress better now than I ever did in my teens and early 20s.
But there is a part of me that I’ve kind of pushed aside while chasing all these adult things. The part of me that would sneak out in the middle of the night to make signals for passing aliens, or to convince people to do random things with me in search for something more.
Everyone tries so hard to make their appearance fit an image that they want. Branding, marketing, selling themselves so that people will admire them, look up to them, wish to be them.
I want to do what I want, to follow the chaos, and (perhaps) every once in a while dress up as a bunny and spontaneously sing on stage in order to help out some strangers in a pinch. Let the image be damned.
P.S. Shout out to super cool colleague MG. Thanks for reading! 🙂