About adulthood

Having logged into my WordPress account for the first time since 2016 apparently (WTF, where does time go?) I found this cute little blog post, sitting here waiting to be posted. I’m 31 and I still identify, so why not post it, right?

carl-heyerdahl-181868-unsplashIt’s a funny thing, adulthood. I’ve heard many times that you never quite feel like an adult. Not the idealized, ‘can handle every situation’ grown up you thought you’d someday be, anyway. It does kind of sneak up on you, however. The feeling that you’re pretty much responsible for all of the different facets of your life, that you can count on the people you love for support but no longer should need them emotionally for every step of the way, and the giant responsibility of ‘making it’ – whatever ‘it’ means to you.

Nine months into my first real professional job I find life-work balance a challenge. If I’m not extremely calculating about how to spend my time, my routine looks like this: I get up and go to work, I feel tired by the end of the day so I go straight home, we cook and have dinner about 2 hours after being home and by then I’m truly exhausted so I park my butt on the couch and watch a show until I basically pass out and go back to bed so I can get up for work and start all over again. I know many people live their lives this way because it’s convenient, because not doing much in the evenings and getting to bed early makes it easier to have energy for work and means you’re more on the ball, which means you perform better, which makes you a better adult. But, I wonder, what about life?

In summer, obviously, things are different. It’s light out when you get off work, your friends are out, everyone is keen to soak up some sun and you just naturally feel more inclined to do exciting things. But living in Amsterdam and being dependent on good weather not to waste away your life away is a fucking fallacy. So last November I got a membership to a fitness program that lets you visit every participating gym/yoga studio/Pilates studio etc. a few times a month. The participating schools are all over the city too, so it gets you moving and experiencing new things with new people all the time. It’s a real routine-shaker. And sure, you develop preferences for certain classes and studios. But the point is that you can be as adventurous as you want. It’s been really great, but now that I’ve added a few two-hour commitments to my week, I can’t help but feel that I’m even less inclined to do much else until the weekend starts.

Like most young people, I have personal goals. I want to develop myself professionally, master languages I only marginally speak, see exhibitions, read more, and be inspired. But if I fill up my time between work, exercise, seeing friends and spending time with my husband, and resting, when am I supposed to get my extra-curricular professional development done? This too, would give me great joy. The thought of stagnating intellectually or professionally is too great a burden to bear. So, what’s going to give? I know something has to.

It may be a little late in the month for new year’s resolutions and I don’t quite have a plan in place. It’s more of a long-term quest for happiness and fulfillment – and mastering the art of ‘adulting’, I suppose. But I’m starting to think maybe in 2016 I don’t get to feel fully rested. Maybe being tired at 28 because I have a little too much on my plate is okay.

In this new year, I’ll be working to take my ‘adulting’ skills to the next level. Because if I’m really honest with myself here, I’ve lost sleep and felt exhausted for far less noble reasons. Cheers to that!

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