Oh, Grow Up

Guys. I had such lofty goals two days ago. I was starting a blog, I was waking up early, I made my own coffee, I started to clean my room, I exercised. And then I started to think about things. I don’t quite mean “think about things” as in “wrestle with the ever-present existential crisis things” (that I save for late at night or after a few glasses of red wine), but I started to think about the other things I had to do. Like grocery shopping, and spring cleaning my wardrobe, and applying to jobs, and cleaning the bathroom, and calling the vet, and making a doctor’s appointment, and fixing my bed frame. And suddenly I felt like everything I was doing was a sham–that unless I did a total overhaul of my life (wake up early every day, start running, make your bed, write for five hours a day, STOP BINGE WATCHING BACKLOGGED EPISODES OF THE WEST WING FOR HOURS ON END YOU LAZY–), I wasn’t really any closer to growing up than I was when I moved out of the house for college. Because, really, after seven years you’d think I’d have all this figured out, right? 

For the past few years I’ve thought that “who I am” and “who I want to be” were two very different people. If only I got a “real” job, if only I worked harder on my novel, if only I asked out the cute regular at work–I would somehow magically transform into Super Me. As though I could pinpoint one moment where I’d made it, and my ever-worrisome internal middle schooler could finally cheer and dance at our success. (Oh, like you didn’t stand in front of the mirror in 7th grade and wonder about the elaborately fabulous life you’d finally have when you turned the GAWD-that-will-feel-hella-old 25.)

All of this to say, I’ve spent a lot of time just waiting for something to happen. As though my adult self were just on the other end of a Hogwarts letter that was never coming. And the longer I wait, the more I’m starting to realize–she’s not coming.

I have to find her.

I’ve been trying to drill this phrase into my head lately: Adult is action. For me, growing up has started to mean taking actions to get me closer to who I want to become. So where is the balance between the ever-pressing to-do list that will help me find this Super Me, and the seven-hour Netflix sessions I somehow fall into on my days off? That’s what I’m still trying to figure out. If I start to list out of the things I have to do, I quickly become overwhelmed and bail on the whole thing and instead scroll through Tumblr for an hour or two. I can’t even begin to figure out where to start.

So I’m going to start very, very small.

I’ve made an extensive list of things that I think are essential parts to “Adult Me’s” life–broken down to doable, bitesize chunks (ie, rather than “Adult Me always has a clean room” it’s “Adult Me makes her bed every morning”). Each month, I’m going to take four of these fairly easy steps and apply them to my daily routine (note to self–get a daily routine). On top of these four things I will actively do, I will have one limit.

Here’s June’s action list:

-Make bed every morning

-Do at least one responsible/adult task every week day (doctor’s appointment, vet appointment, taxes, catch up on emails, etc)

-Write/research for a half hour every day (the amount of time will increase monthly)

-Go for a walk at least twice a week

And this month’s limit:

-MAX two hours of TV a day (guys, I watch A LOT of TV)

If you’d like to join me on this adventure, I encourage you to make your own action and limit list. Maybe you’re lightyears ahead of me, and you already make your bed and call for doctor’s appointments immediately. Maybe your list will include deep cleaning the kitchen once this month, or making sure to catch up with old friends you haven’t spoken to.

Every Friday I’ll check in to let you know how this experiment is going (I’m not a fountain of wisdom, this is definitely an experiment). The important thing is this–missing one benchmark doesn’t mean scraping the entire thing. We’re on a curve here. Just because I didn’t get to write one day this week doesn’t mean I’m allowed to call myself a failure and watch Supernatural for five hours straight. We mess up, we forgive ourselves, and we try again.

Slowly but surely, someday, we’ll finally become adults.

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2 comments

  1. I’ve found that setting little goals like you’re doing can be immensely helpful. They’re the only way I can really be productive… otherwise, I’ll just do exactly what you do. Sit on the couch and binge watch Netflix until I’m just like, “Wow, what am I doing with my life…” Good luck with yours!

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