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An Artist’s First Death: Burnouts

An Artist’s First Death: Burnouts

One of the most painful things that someone can go through is to lose passion for something they love. There are those who stop writing, leaving their stories unfinished and pages blank. Dancers who leave the stage feel that twinge of hollowness when the music comes on. There are artists who stop building, whose ideas on the first sign of appearance fizzle out. They exhaust themselves and they burn out.

The Result of Burnouts

Burnouts are not exactly new. There are stories and studies conducted that revolve around them, why they happen and how one can overcome them. The known causes that are usually identified are overwhelming workload, mismatching rewards, and efforts, displaced autonomy in work, unhealthy environment, and such. The World Health Organization (WHO) describes burnout as an “occupational phenomenon” and is a result of a “chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed.”

A person who experiences burnout has feelings of exhaustion, detachment from their job, and decreasing efficiency in what they do. 

Loss of passion is a common symptom among those who experience this. It is frustrating and takes a toll on your mental and physical health. It makes you feel like you lost a vital part of yourself. 

Black Swan

Losing one’s passion for something they love is described to be an artist’s first death. 

Martha Graham once said, “A dancer dies twice—once when they stop dancing, and this first death is the most painful.”

It was this very quote that appeared first in an art film. A group of dancers performed Black Swan by BTS. The song, itself, tells the story of how the group fears losing their passion for what they do.

Their love for music is so rooted in them. It would be devastating if it would stop.

“If this can no longer make me cry,

If this can no longer make my heart flutter

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Perhaps this will be how I die once”

Black Swan by BTS | Translation by doolsetbangtan
BTS | Facebook

Black swans are rare happenings that have crushing consequences. Perhaps that is why the name of the song takes after the term. Sometimes, we don’t realize that we are burning out. We don’t realize that the very thing we love has become exhausting for us.

Losing something as precious as that can be so jarring. It can ruin us.

Fighting Through The Unknown

It’s hard to fight through burnout. Not every solution works out for everyone. It’s scary to think of how we might never find that passion again. What if that one dance was the last one? What if that chapter never gets followed by another one? But one thing we know is that the future is not set.

We may rediscover that love again in a month, a year, or three years. We may discover something else. Our first death has been painful and whether or not we’re still the same or changed, we’ll still come out on the other side.

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