Privileged Boredom

As many of you may know, I had my last day at Virta Health, where I worked as a designer for three years, just last Thursday.

I’m still young in my career, and have only made a couple of job transitions, but even still, I’ve never left myself any time in between positions. It’s almost always been the case that my last day was on a Friday and I started fresh on Monday, likely out of excitement and, well, taking time off (aka going a bit longer than normal without a paycheck) has been pretty difficult for me to ever plan for here in San Francisco.

I wanted this time to be different, though. As eager and ready as I am to begin at Figma, where I’ll be heading to next, I knew deep down that I needed time to myself, to reflect, and to recharge. I live pretty far outside of the city of San Francisco, where I commute into each day, and because of this, my working days often leave me with little time to relax. I usually hop on BART around 0600 and arrive home by 1930, still needing to make time for dinner, errands, and ideally, exercise. By the time I’m finished and ready to really wind-down, it’s nearly 2200 and I need to be up in just seven hours. I’m usually able to keep up with this schedule pretty well, but after three years of doing this nearly every day (I did a poor job at taking vacation time), a break was feeling pretty welcomed.

From my last day at Virta to my first day at Figma, I will have had 17 days off in total, which is the most time off I’ve had since early in college. I’m currently on day 10 and am so, so thankful that I was able to have this time. Turns out, when you’re caught up on rest and sleep, the world looks a lot brighter and seems to have a lot more color in it. :-)

I really feel so thankful for this time off and and completely recognize how much of a privilege it is to have.

As much as I can, I’ve been trying to look at each day as a new adventure; time to do exactly what it is that feels right for me, whether exercising, watching movies, or getting into a new, creative project. To be honest, and I know it sounds ridiculous, but withholding judgement towards myself, because of how unproductive I’m being, feels pretty difficult.

It’s always been hard for me to sit still, not working on something, even if it might be best for my mental health to take a break. Whether for my job, chores around the house, working on my car, or exercising, I feel most comfortable when I’m keeping busy and staying useful, but I know that resting up and giving myself time will help me when it comes time to get back into a routine and in the swing of things.

As I mentioned, it’s day 10, and I have 7 more days before everything picks up again. Now that I’m feeling caught up on rest, I’d love to use the time to make time for creative projects and exercise. Writing, photography, reading, and focusing on my time at the gym all feel like the exact right activities to do for the remaining time and I’m eager to see how much progress I can make towards those goals.

Thanks for reading and for stopping by! 👋