Burnout at 26?

I have avoided writing this post for a long time. Why? Well, for many reasons. I feel incredibly lucky and grateful to be where I am today at 26. I did not come from a well off family. My childhood was difficult and honestly my life today is what I imagined it to be when I was young. I wanted to be a career woman and happy. I am happy. My husband is my best friend and companion, and I have found an incredible set of friends. Even though currently they are still in Texas. My relationship with my parents has been improving…slowly, very slowly. But I can’t fight off this feeling and I want to put it all out there.

I feel the burn out. I read posts from a couple years ago and there is a stark difference in overall excitement and motivation. Even thinking about going on vacation is met with thoughts about how much planning I have to do, traveling, etc. It would be just so easy to stay at home and relax.

I think the burnout really started to creep in last year. And this year with all the new changes and job, I just try to do my best to keep myself going. We haven’t taken a vacation this year, so I’m missing out on the rejuvenation from vacation. But see paragraph 2 again. And now that we have moved away further from family, we have to do crazy traveling. There are many times where I just wish we could stay at home and enjoy the downtime. But we would be labeled selfish by both sets of the family. Most people enjoy being with family. Me? It’s fun, but also a lot of work. I don’t know how the people in Friends got away with not spending holidays with family.

I, also, think my perception of my closest family is changing. You know when a couple starts having kids, and their nuclear family is their kids and themselves? I know for sure my parents see us this way. When my mom thinks of her family being together it means having her kids (my brother and I) with her. It doesn’t necessarily mean being with her family (her parents), although that would be a plus. I remember talking to my mom on this last mother’s day. She was very sad because she wasn’t going to spend mother’s day with my brother or I. But then I mentioned to her, she was actually going to spend mother’s day with my grandmother (her mom), and that my grandmother would be happy to be with her. It wasn’t the same thing, she said.

As you read this, it might not seem like a big deal. But in Mexican culture, family is very big. And so by deviating from the nuclear concept of family, I’m not only deviating from my culture, but I’m also in turn being very selfish (catholic guilt).

My husband is tackling this as well. His parents seem very liberal in their concept of spending time with family, but really are not. His mom also has a very strong concept of family.

But we all grow up. I’m growing up and my nuclear family has become my companion, my spouse. How do you translate this to your family? How do your parents begin to understand their needs are not necessarily your needs? And how do you communicate the deviation? It’s not an easy answer, especially when you care about your family and when your family is very strongly opinionated (nicest way to put it here).

Don’t get me wrong. Family is family. I still feel very strong towards them, but when you are so tired…sometimes it’s hard to balance everything.

Now to the job aspect. My last job was stressful. Tons of work, very demanding stakeholders, etc. This new job is stressful in different ways. I’m drinking from a fire hydrant and learning the politics around here. The competition is very fierce. It’s a very competitive team environment. In in front of my desk by 7 am. I often don’t leave till 6 or later. Now some might say, well just quit your job or find a way to retire early and not have a job. I don’t know if either one is the solution. Plus, it’s not the solution any time soon.

There is a reason I stepped away from monetizing and growing this blog a while ago. I need a creative outlet where I didn’t have KPIs or deadlines or have to think about others’ perception of me. I, also, don’t want to be pressured to write about how my life is very rosy and beige. It’s not black, but it’s not peachy either. I’m tackling challenges left and right. I’m battling burnout and somehow trying to figure out how to stay motivated. I’m exhausted. So exhausted. I probably wrote about this through my latest blog posts, but I never really addressed the issue as a case of burnout.

Plus, it sucks to acknowledge burn out when you have so many bloggers that are early retired. But they are just at a different point in life. I’m 26. This is what it’s like to be 26. I feel both old and young at the same time. Maybe this is why you see so many people take off and do an MBA around this age? Quitting for two years is not an option for me. One, I already have an MBA. Two, I don’t feel like being stressed out over money because I don’t have a job will help my mental state.

There is no clear answer, so I will just keep chipping away at the mountain. Tomorrow will be another day!

**Again, not depressed. Just tired. I need an entire two weeks of just sleeping, going to a spa, etc.

*** I feel for the parents that have kids. I don’t know how people fit everything in a day.Feel so much respect for parents.

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  • I think that burnout happens at different rates for everyone. Some people burn out faster than other people. It also depends on how well you take care of yourself through your burnout. I’m sorry it’s happening to you. Time off without a job has been a huge help with burnout for me.

  • People laugh at me when I complain I’m burnt out at age 44! I’ve been in the customer service industry for 21 years now. I would say the first 5 were pretty good, but as the years have passed it has become difficult. The work is fairly easy but I’ve topped out on the income for the last 10 years. Money has become a big issue as retirement is getting close and my funds are quite lacking imho. More schooling might be the answer but being the cynic that I have become, it seems so difficult these days.

    In regards to family, it took me a while to realize that my wife came first before family, as it should. I love my family and will do as much as I can to help out, but not at the expense of my wife and, in certain respects, myself. There are limits I’m afraid. Reading about yours, it looks like your family seems selfish and does not care about your well being. Most of us are raised to put family first, but do not realize once we get married the new first is the spouse. I guess what I’m trying to say is that you should make yourself happy before you can honestly make others happy. Selfish, but necessary.

    • Yes, burn out does happen! As far as families being selfish, I think BOTH sides (my husband and my side) have a degree of selfishness. I have been working on making myself happy, but you can’t avoid family forever. And family is also a topic of conversation between my husband and I.

  • I totally get you in regards to family! I am a 30 year old Mexican American woman with 5 sisters and a single old school mother from el rancho. Trying to balance your original family with your new family can be tough especially when mama doesnt make it any easier. Self-preservation! Mama will get used to this change and everything will be okay. Do things that make you happy, surround yourself with people that make you feel good and call mama often even if just for 2 minutes at a time. In regards to work, I burnt out at 25 and then at 28. Both times, i quit my job leaving family and friends bewildered at my choice. I cared more about my emotional health than what other people thought about me. Journal, keep writing and let yourself be a lot more creative.

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