This wasn’t the blog I planned to put up this week, but when life gives you lemons… you call your mom-thing and cry. When I started Adultish I wanted everyone to be able to gleam a bit of wisdom from my mistakes, follow my journey and only experience the lessons and none of the hardship. I wanted to learn the shitty things and then tell you all how to better deal, or avoid those situations. I put so much focus on maintaining goals, being “adult”, having your shit together… being “perfect”. And while I do believe that growing up and paying your bills is undeniably important, I don’t think the way I have been doing this adulting thing is very realistic. Let’s rewind, shall we…
When I was married I was a totally different person. Very in my feelings and emotional, very pity-party and not really fun. I didn’t have my license, didn’t try too hard to get it, and I didn’t really strive or work towards anything at all. I counted on my husband very intensely, and that’s what “worked” in our relationship. Until, it didn’t work anymore. This all happened, probably, when I started to realize there was more in the world than what I was doing. I wanted to run again, and read controversial things, go to friends houses… I think I was starving for something new and exciting and that was not the person my husband married. Now, of course, I don’t know if this is why I went from married to homeless, but I am sure it probably played a pretty significant role. I don’t think I will ever know the reason why- but I do know I was starting to get very restless with the same thing everyday.
Now I have always been extremely hardcore. For most people there is black, white, and gray. For me it’s black and white. I either master something or totally screw it up. When budgeting I will either not spend a dime for 27 days, or spend an entire paycheck in an hour. I really have zero middle ground. . When I was married I was super dependent. And now that I am divorced and on my own I am stubbornly independent. The moment I moved out a switch flipped and I told myself I couldn’t screw up again. I felt like I had a second chance to do things and make something of myself. It’s like I got so scared of ever depending on someone or messing up that I made a vow to only count on myself and work my tail off. I honestly think if I was on fire I wouldn’t ask for help some days. It’s annoying, even to me. I think all of these responses to life trauma are extremely normal…
So let’s come back to the present moment where I am newly 24, divorced for about a year and my day dreams occupy an incredible amount of my time. I am obsessed with trying to save money, finish my degree, excel in my job, keep my place clean, trying to sleep 8 h/night, get A’s in my classes, keep up with Adultish, and be a nice person. All of these things are incredible, and absolutely imperative to work on in order to be a functioning human being. But I had a conversation that shook me to my depths.
*set the scene: me in tears (because I had lemons for lemonade but someone had better lemons… or something like that)*
Me: “But I am just agitated! I am working so hard, trying to do all of these things, and I’ve only made it this far!”
Magical Human: “You have only been on your own for a little over a year. You got a car, your license, saved, started school, moved into your own place… You’ve done the best you can with what you have… I mean what is it you think you are missing or lacking?”
And boom, like a ton of bricks crashing into my mediocre lemonade it hit me- I have some severely unrealistic expectations. In trying so hard to better myself and work towards the next thing, I have starved myself from reality and being appreciative of where I am. I really do remember crying and hurting because I wanted to have some money saved, and I wanted my own car, and the freedom a license brought. Now I have that, and so much more but I am only looking at what’s next. All I can think is how I want to advance in my job NOW, and move into a bigger place NOW, and get my degree NOW. But when we become so consumed with what we don’t have, it mentally destroys us.
I have a whole time line in my head of how things will work out, but most of these things take a considerable amount of time, like saving X amount and finishing my degree. These are excellent long term goals, but I need to focus on short term goals that help me get to the long term ones.
Of course I still totally believe in the importance of bettering yourself and getting your shit together. I will always be the person to try and make everything perfect- that’s just who I am. I will always rearrange my place 6 times a month and need to buy a new pair of shoes to spruce up my life. It would be a cold day in hell the day I didn’t want to update, organize or better something.
If you take anything from all of the tears and hydration I lost learning this lesson, it’s two things…
One- Long term goals are great. Short term goals help you keep your sanity.
Two- Sometimes the ability to see where you are versus where you were is the lesson it’s self. Always be grateful for where you are in life- even if it’s still miles from your goal.