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Space to stay still
On how hard it is to actually let oneself relax and breath
Since the last one where I told you about my creative journey and professional twists and turns, I managed to pack essentials of my life and move from Russia to Turkey. I don’t really know yet how to tell this story. So I will let it brew for a while. I will just say that me and my son are re-united with my partner and safe. And I am thankful for all the support that I had over the last few weeks.
I also would love to welcome all the new and old people here. Each one of you means a lot to me. Some of you I know, some emails are a mystery to me. But I hope you will like it here.
Today I wanted to reflect a bit on this idea of a break. And to be precise - about how hard it is to give oneself this very much desired break, even if you totally earned and deserved it. Maybe you also faced this tricky situation before and my writings will add up to the idea pot and help you to shake it off. Sometimes knowing is not enough. It is next level mastery to me to own and perform this knowledge.
Today marks a week since we arrived to the village of Turunç and I have this nagging feeling that I am late, that I should be doing more, that I miss something important and that I should be more productive. And I know with my brain that I am not, but the habit forces me to feel this way. I guess it is both a habit of a huge city urban dweller and a full time creative worker in a industry which prizes overwork and burnout is something fancy to have.
Since I started working in the publishing house, my productivity soared to the sky, but the flipside was that I did not have any room left in my brain for my home, my body, friends, family, my personal artistic endevours and hobbies. Each evening I felt like an empty shell. This is a very clear illustration how a job that one really likes robs you instead of fulfilling you.
Here, in Turunç I try to “remember” that there are different times for different things. Right now, the village entered off-season time. For locals it means no tourists and no immediate income. But it also means a time to fix, repair, clean and build. Quite often I see big sea boats in-between buildings while I walk the streets. These boats are bigger than trees and sometimes bigger than houses. It blew me away me when I first spotted it from a taxi window in the dark. Now is not the time to sail these ships, it is time to rub off sea creatures from their bellies, time to fix holes, time to get rid of the rust, time to re-paint. Sea is often stormy now, there is no need to be in it while you don’t have tourists to entertain and to carry. It is time to get dormant.
I try to remind myself gently that I worked really hard since March and also spent a lot of my mental energy to comprehend the horrors of the news, to wrap my brain over the change in a world and to make decisions that felt too big for me. It takes a lot. But it is very hard to say to myself - dear, you went through a lot, you can rest now. You can get slow. For real. If you have something like that now too, I want to say to you - dear, you also have been through a lot. There is no need to belittle one’s suffering. God forbid, we will have this race of who suffered more. We all do. Let’s not compete on who suffers best. We have too many other races to do (let’s better not though).
I want my accoplishments to look like that:
I witnessed a sunrise
I bought fresh veggies from farmers at a weekly market
I found a tick on a cat that frequents our porch and made neccessary steps to take it away
I almost unpacked
I hugged and met a lot of wonderful people
I sang at the balcony and played my ukulele a bit
I took a walk along the sea and watched waves
I really want to remind me of these things, which give me energy and peace of mind. And a much neccessary break.
Other stuff that I gave me a food for thought lately:
This essay from the world of book publishing - “Why I left corporate publishing”
This video from Louise - “You don't need another art course”
I would not say that this was very new to me, but I love that younger people (especially ones with the audience) are onspoken about the meaning of happiness - “I was wrong, success doesn’t bring happiness”
I also finally started to play Zelda: Breath of the wild and all of a sudden a friend of mine here in the village also started playing at the same time. I enjoy this simultaneous gaming as a shared experience.
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Thank you so much again for being here,
lots of love,