For the last few months, I have been not blogging. I needed a break. My creativity was beginning to wane and I felt at the time, to continue, would have been a futile effort. I enjoy blogging. I enjoy writing in general. Yet when it gets to a point that the joy is no longer present, for whatever reason, sometimes a break is needed. This doesn't just apply to blogging, but also to many other things in life. I have periods were I have taken breaks from things, some short, some longer. And I recommend everyone do the same. It's good to have a break. To get away from ... whatever. And come back anew. Refreshed. Re-energised. Re-engaged. Hopefully all three of these, if not, at least one.
The best break I had in my life was a break from work.
I had been working at the same company as a Software Engineer since August 2014. During Covid, I was becoming more keen to take a year long sabbatical. I had a few reasons for this, the main one being my desire to go to the Philippines to meet my long distance partner in person for the first time. I also wanted to take this time to have zero stress and not have to think about work. It seemed like the ideal time too as I had sold my house and had extra money in the bank. So the stars were aligning and it seemed the time was right for a prolonged break.
And so, in April 2022 I was officially 'on sabbatical' from work for a period of 1 year. During that time, my mind was completely free of work-related thoughts. My life was dedicated to things that I wanted to do. I went to the Philippines (twice actually, the second time for a good few months), visited Singapore and got Covid for the first time, took some courses online, and ended up getting married. Not having work in the background of my mind, or thinking about returning to work was such a massive relief. I had the best time being free whilst also having the finances to do what I wanted to do.
I was very fortunate to be able to take a break from work. Most people who have a break from work usually have it inflicted upon them by reasons beyond their control, including health issues or being let go by their employer. I was able to come back to work after my leave, and return to my same team.
I love to read. It's a gift that was giving to me by my Father. Since I was no age, he was reading to me in bed before I went to sleep. It didn't take long for the roles to be reversed, and I continued to read to him after he fell asleep. Now I continue to read in adulthood, albeit now alone, just the way I like it.
I have always said I have reading moods, where I just want to read many different books, often at the same time. Sometimes I am so invested in reading that it is all I do with regards to hobbies and relaxing. And during these times I feel a great sense of joy and accomplishment finishing a book.
And yet, with reading, there comes times where I lose the spark. I feel that my joy of reading disappears. I no longer want to read for a while, and this can even last for a month or two, where instead of reading, I might simply watch tv instead or play a video game. Having a break from reading, even if just for a few days, makes going back to reading all the more enticing for me. Maybe it has something to do with being forced to read boring books in school or long-winded extracts at university. But when I get the need for a break from reading, I don't despair. I accept it, I take the break, and then I wait for the desire to read again to come. And when it does, it makes the break all the more worth the wait.
Forgive the abruptness, but sometimes a break from others is needed.
I've never understood myself to the extent of self-identifying as an introvert or an extrovert. I even think labelling oneself as such is overly simplistic. Human beings are not fairies from Neverland who can only feel one thing at a time. We are complex, and as such, can have multiple facets of personality. Many would describe me as talkative and overtly social. Does that make me an extrovert, when at the same time as being overly talkative I really just want to be by myself and read or play a video game? I don't believe it does. But I also don't believe it does not. I can be both, and neither. And still need a break from friends.
I have great friends. Not too many. But in reality who wants a lot of friends? It's a question of substance over quantity. And despite them being overly substantial for my friendship needs, there are times when I need a break from friends, to just be by myself and have some alone time. And that's great! To be content with oneself. To reconnect and enjoy being by myself. To have a break from the social. And, when I feel ready, to re-engage, re-energised, and refreshed.
My break from blogging is over.
A lot has happened since July.
It's great to be back.