In crew, we pull to various strengths and speeds to make the boat move, starting from paddling to power strokes. Power strokes are long, controlled strokes where we exert all of our energy to cover the greatest distance possible. On the other end of the spectrum, paddling is what we do to recover from power strokes and we're just gliding our blade through the water without trying to move the water, while still keeping our body in motion and breathing. If we stop completely (especially after a hard race across the finish line), we may vomit or pass out, and starting up after that takes tremendous effort. Therefore it's easier in the long run to paddle in fatigue to recover, rather than stop and start up again in pain.
So, these days at work, I'm paddling in pain. I'm unable to do anything more than what is required. Call it burnout, call it 五月病, call it 瓶頸, whatever. It's great that my boss from hell is out of my hair, but I still have no energy or motivation to do well, and I can't find anything to look forward to or anyone to look up to. Everything I see is negative.
Here's a sample:
- our chief editor turning increasingly nasty and yelling at nearly everyone - it doesn't make anything better or anyone's work easier!
- my coworker going on a trip to South America with the Minister of Education - why? it's not his beat, it's mine!
- getting ridiculous assignments I don't even want my name or voice associated with - "How to avoid/delay getting drunk at year-end parties?" Drink less!
- getting ordered to show up at the Ministry of Education at 7h30 to see if we can get a shot of the minster walking in with reporters chasing after him with questions like "how do you feel about not having to resign until 20 May?" Of course, we did not get a shot of him. He snuck into his own office building using the postal clerk's entrance or the back door or the motorcycle parking lot door while we waited at the main entrance.
There are rational answers and positive ways to look at all of these issues, but the effort is just too monumental. Although I get along with almost everyone quite well, I find no inspiration and no comfort in any of them. Many of them are nice and professional people, but it's as if we're in totally different dimensions of the same world.
Because I have a greater goal in mind, I force myself to believe that this is the boot camp that is required at this time.
I must believe that I am the beginning of a semi-precious stone, and I must be able to endure the extreme heat and pressure of the coal that is still a part of me, to make me valuable, to make me a treasured diamond. I must believe.
I must believe.