So I took the week off from work without any real plans to do anything or go anywhere. High as gas is, who can afford it, amirite?

I don’t think I even wanted a “vacation,” as none of the options suggested to me really stood out as something I would be willing to spend money on.

Honestly, when I decided to take the week off, it was because I didn’t feel like working anymore and I didn’t want to quit. Two and a half years working from home, the unending feeling of existential dread, and no end to this pandemic in sight (and I’m not just talking about COVID; this country is sick with more than just “flu-like symptoms” these days), I find myself lacking motivation more than ever. I find it harder and harder to focus on or even want to work, especially when it feels like the world as we know it is ending—like I’m just sitting here waiting to die. The expectation to maintain that same level of productivity we had at the beginning of this pandemic is beyond unrealistic at this point. It’s as if we’re all in denial of the inevitable.

And I know what you’re going to say. “Nortina, you need to get out of the fucking house.” I agree. And I at least try to make myself go on a walk every morning (rather than doom scroll Twitter when I wake up—even though I still do that). And since it’s finally started to cool off (we’ve reached that time of the year we here in North Carolina like to call “False Autumn”), I’ve been taking longer walks and sitting outside on my balcony. It’s been nice, but it’s all I’m willing to do right now because I don’t really feel like going out.

You can call it lazy or boring, call it depression, call it needing friends. Honestly, I couldn’t explain it to you even if I tried, but everyone’s definition of this funk that I’m in is wrong, and everyone’s suggestion for how to fix it is wrong.

I don’t want to go anywhere, but I don’t want to feel empty either, like I’ve wasted the week the way I’ve wasted the last few years and return to work having accomplished nothing from this break and feeling that same lack of motivation to do anything. And I really should get a therapist; I’ve been telling myself that for months now, but then the old-school Christian in me is like “Girl, if you don’t get on your knees and pray.” But what I’ve been doing instead is listening nonstop to Michael Jackson and imagining a fantasy world where he’s still alive because…because…I don’t know, I want to Xscape this reality?

Yeah, I’m definitely on the verge of a mental breakdown, I fear…

Music was his escape though, right? And I guess writing would be mine, although I haven’t written anything in months. So here I am, typing up what is essentially a diary entry for strangers on the internet. But at least if I put it out there, then maybe I can hold myself accountable.

So this week, I am going to write, and I’m going to try to not let the perfectionist in me kill whatever ideas I have that are scratching toward the surface. And maybe I’ll finally finish editing the book everyone’s been waiting on.

And maybe by the end of this week I will have escaped this funk and found my drive, my motivation, my push again.

But let’s be realistic here. I’m never gonna stop listening to Michael Jackson.

Let me know I'm not talking to myself.

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