These days, when faced with anything having to do with other people, I tell myself the same thing.
“I’m on break.”
Not because I don’t want to, you know, “be with people”, but because…actually yeah, I don’t want to “be with people”. Okay, perhaps that didn’t make any sense, but basically I’ve been in a sort of conflicted daze. I want to engage myself with other human beings, but I also want to completely disengage myself at the same time—if that makes sense? In part, I believe this feeling arose from a (largely understated) rambunctious fall semester. Of course, amazing things happened, but so did some not-so-amazing things, leaving me as previously stated, “on break.” Hopefully this expresses a sentiment felt by all college students: somehow a lot still managed to transpire while in quarantine, and life—miraculously—went on.
It might just be me, but I never really know what to do during break.
Does a right or wrong way to do “break” exist, or do we all just do whatever we want? Could we think of break as a state of rest or only in timeframes? Break in high school seemed so simple, but in college I don’t know how to acclimate myself into a state of relaxation anymore. Every break I try to relearn how to relax: get boba with high school chums, take walks with my mom, play games with my brothers and try not to fall into the capitalist trap of needing to constantly produce.
So I guess I see break as an ideal, something I keep trying to master, this act of being “on break.” Consequently it would mean I lie when I say “I’m on break” because I’m not actually; my mind remains stuck in a “not break” state. The only question I have left then—since I don’t think going to a physical place, being with certain people, holiday time, or the end of a semester produces or is a “break”—is how in the world do I get myself to genuinely experience being on one of these breaks? I solemnly admit defeat.
Maybe I write this because I don’t really understand it myself, and maybe also to assure myself that I have a valid excuse to say “I’m on break” to people.
Whatever the case, this break I’ve just been trying to rejuvenate myself in preparation for the next semester. For one, my sense of humor has died an untimely death while the impact of fall semester looms alive and well. So, before I lose all sense of lightheartedness, I will continue to watch Schitt’s Creek to learn how to laugh again and, as an added bonus, to fall in love with Daniel Levy’s incredible writing.
I’ve also been disciplining myself to read every morning until noon, because learning how not to get distracted (by emails, texts, social media and worst of all, myself) truly breeds some needed sanity. Indeed, as much as I try to escape the world of human beings, I also realize I unfortunately can’t escape myself, which devastates me. But as most kitsch signs in your favorite basic humble abode say, “Live, Laugh, Love.”
Now, I know I didn’t clearly answer the titular question.
If anything, I slightly dug into, poked and pushed at this entity called “break”. However I’d like to say that “I’m on break” holds a similar posture as “Live, Laugh, Love”, for they both assume a position of having substantial meaning, when in actuality are used to frivolously dismiss what is being encountered presently.
So, to answer the question dear reader, with a grave heart I admit: I’m on break.