Over the past five years, Wall Street has gobbled up my eagerness to learn and strong work ethic in exchange for rigorous training and foundation building. Last year, the straight grind paved way to my first wake up call. I noticed that the day-to-day hustle was getting to me, preventing me from thinking effectively. Most of my attention was committed to surviving one day to the next. Feeling busy rather than productive started to almost feel normal.

Something just wasn’t right, and I owed it to both myself and my employer to respond. Wake up call 1A: I knew I had to briefly eject myself from my current surroundings and quickly “get away” to prevent burnout. I just felt it. Stumbling onto a last-minute deal, I booked a flight to head to Tulum, Mexico for a long weekend — alone. Wake up call 1B: in just one full day in a different environment with no set plans or agenda, I discovered that I was actually able to think clearly and creatively. Productive “aha moments” allowed me to solve problems that I had been working on as well as constructively brainstorm both personal and professional goals. Without knowing it beforehand, I carved out a condensed “Eat Pray Love” with no job-quitting required. I returned to Manhattan feeling equipped and empowered to thrive.

Originally published at medium.com