How do I know when I’m burned out? My thoughts become negative. I know most of you won’t believe this, but I can be very unenthusiastic at times. And while the positive light I usually exude dwindles, a bad attitude blazes uncontrollably within.

I don’t let my bad attitude surface often. I firmly believe acting upon negativity only fuels the fire. But, when negativity engulfs seemingly everything, it’s kind of hard to hide or deny it. I can’t do anything without an internal debate lately.

Earlier this week I was told I’d have no classes on Thursday and Friday. I mentally prepared for this much-needed break; however, as is usually the case, I was even busier than normal on Thursday, and suddenly had to teach classes on Friday.

Usually I’m fine with these “surprises” that happen so often to many of us who are fortunate enough to experience teaching English in South Korea. But, this time I felt more stressed and unprepared as a result, which only gave my negative side more justification to exist.

The truth is I need a break. A big break.

I need a break from everything and everyone. My tiny introverted side is fed up with being ignored, so it has decided to rebel and take extroverted me hostage. My patience is about gone. Little things annoy me. When I look in the mirror I see an older, tired man. I’m creatively drained.

I know sleep would solve all this, but I can’t sleep. I won’t let myself sleep. There isn’t enough time in a day, and because I’m so far behind on everything, sleeping a full night just hasn’t been, and isn’t going to be an option for a while. When I do sleep more than six hours I feel guilty, like I’ve indulged on something that could potentially make me fat.

What keeps me going are the small things to be thankful for, and the promise that good can be found in everything. Even when I pout and put up a fight about doing something I don’t want to do because I have too much to do already, it always turns out to be better than my negative-self expected.

School ends soon. Then three weeks of English camp before I can have a real vacation. I can’t wait!