An Awakening: How I Died of Burnout and Came Back to Life

An Awakening: How I Died of Burnout and Came Back to Life

I booked a trip to San Francisco in the midst of the worst burnout of my life in March 2023. I had just launched Jupiter Society Books and was already preparing for our first event after only being in business for one month. I had absolutely no idea what I was doing — I never considered myself to be a great business person, but I knew I loved books. I was passionate about making books accessible to as many people as possible, and offering an escape from the craziness of every day life through literary adventures.

At the time, I was also working a job with the world's worst manager, the kind who loved the appeal of diversity having a Black woman on her team, while actively making sure I had no voice. Needless to say, I was over it, tired, and mentally exhausted. 

So, I made a snap decision and booked a ticket, three days in San Francisco away from the job, from my manager, and the erratic energy of New York (no shade, I love New York down, I promise!!). I had spent the past 10 years of my life through undergrad, grad school, research presentations, a master's thesis and two career changes. I had finally arrived at pushing myself in a writing career that caused me more stress than was normal, I'm talking sleepless nights and through the roof anxiety. I had felt guilty for being 28 and feeling like I had to have everything figured out. All I knew was that I had a flailing career and a new business venture that I wasn't even sure would take off. 

I had found myself at Baker Beach, the one place I felt my brain would finally rest. I bought my books, snacks, and enjoyed 4/20 on the beach. I watched the waves and marveled at the Golden Gate Bridge. Suddenly, everything back home seemed so small. I had renewed focus in my purpose and the purpose of the store. It was more than just about being a bookseller, but having an avenue to pour my passions into something other than the corporate space. I had never felt so at peace with myself and my life than I did sitting on that beach. 

By the end of that week, I had made it back home and jumped straight into prep for our first event. We survived it, and it went much better than I ever anticipated. By October, we'd be crushing it at our second ever event in Brooklyn and it would be yet another sign that my ideas and vision for the store weren't stupid after all. That same week, I'd be impacted by layoffs at work. The one thing I had been afraid of happening for months ended up being my liberation. I remember calling my mom screaming for joy that I was finally free. 

A few weeks after that, I found myself traveling yet again, this time in Bali. I had reached the light at the end of the tunnel: now, it didn't matter what career I had or didn't have or what milestones I was hitting. I was determined to go into 2024 giving my all to what I love and diving head first into new adventures. Now, I'll be juggling life as a new mom and business owner.

Jupiter Society Books is more than a store to me, and represents more than just my lifelong dream. It's a place where there's no need to push myself to exhaustion. I don't have to pretend. I can just be. I'm excited to introduce my son to the whimsical world of books and maybe, this will be something he want's to be involved in one day in the future. 

For now, I'm kicking my feet up finally, and preparing for our glorious return this May. No burnout allowed. 

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